The little map dot name “Goschen” has quite a reputation among birdos who are in the know.
This little area of scrub only a couple of football grounds around has at various times of the year an opportunity to spot a large number of species without much trouble. See some of the many blogs that tell tales. See Ian Smissen’s recent post.
It is not far from Lake Boga, and only 15 minutes drive from Swan Hill. We were bound there for a family weekend event. (Some would use the term Holiday, but I cannot understand why!)
Mr An Onymous and his lens were there as well, so we plotted a day at Goschen. Only trouble was the weather. The day we travelled up it was 40C. About 120 in the water bag as my old Dad used to say. So we went to Goschen early early in the morning.
And inspite of the heat, and the overcast sky the birds did play a bit of a treat for us. A Hooded Robin pair were probably the single highlight. But that is not forgetting the Honeyeaters, and Treecreepers and an Australian Hobby. A small flock of Budgerigars were a nice addition to the day. We also did a bit of a diversion down to the Tresco Nature Reserve (Its about 10 mins from Goschen) and scored some Blue-faced Honeyeater as Blueb-bonnet Parrots for our efforts.
Being an ex local lad, I figured we’d follow some back roads to Kerang, pick up a pie at Gray’s Bakery and have lunch there. One of the back roads is called just that. Back Quarry Road. Its really only a link for the farm machinery between paddocks, but has a good stand of mallee on one side.
The new lens played a great note and he got a super series of a Pied Butcher Bird being fee. Also a few Mallee Ringnecks and Blue Bonnets.
We made a futile attempt at Lookout Lake, and ended up at the pie shop. Sure enough still great pies after all those year. Sign said 200metres to Bakery. It took us about 3 goes round the block to figure it out. Sort of missed the big building labelled “Bakery”. No wonder we can’t find birds.
A stop at the Kerang Ibis rookery seemed sensible, and as soon as we got of out the car the call of a Whistling Kite pair echoed across the carpark. We located them well down the ‘nature’ track by the lake. Too many trees for great shots, but lovely to hear them exchanging calls.
Last stop for the day was the Little Murray Wier, and again the big lens was working hard. And a Nankeen Night Heron and then a patient Sacred Kingfisher rounded out a nice day.
Ont the way back past the Swan Hill Aerodrome (I was thinking Kestrels) we came across Steve (who drives harvesters at Quambatook-, but that’s another story) and his front yard. In the air above said driveway was a couple of Whistling Kites. Nice. We went back out in the late evening sunshine on spec. and. There were Ten Kites up over the recently cut wheat/hay/lucern. Spect– tack-ular.
Goschen even in the middle of a heat wave still had enough to keep us busy.