Took an early morning walk out to the old Cumberland Homestead site.
It overlooks Melbourne Airport and was recently part of a control burn that Parks Vic had carried out. What with the rain and all, the grass was beginning to recover nicely and only a few trees carried the scars of the fires, while a goodly number of new growth gum and wattle were charred remains.
Still its always a good walk as the grasslands are still pretty much open areas and suits the big birds hunting.
It wasn’t long before a pair of Whistling Kites put in an appearance and one posed with the airport control towers in the background. See it on Flickr. From my vantage point of a large log in the middle of the paddock the birds make frequent low passes across the paddock.
Till of course the local Brown Falcon showed up. Then it was a bit of a yelling match, and the big birds politely left the area. The Falcon was then harassed by a number of magpies and ravens, and eventually driven off by a Magpie Lark. Size is not a big deal in all this.
I walked back up toward a small ridge that runs down beside the Greenvale Creek. (normally dry, but today had a small flow of water from the rain. At the top of the ridge there are several open areas among the old Greybox forest and the Robins has traditionally hunted up there. Last year many of the females retired there for much of the winter.
And I wasn’t surprised to find a small hunting party going about its business.
Found a White-throated Treecreeper near the map shelter on the way out, and a number of Silvereye and a couple of Varied Sitellas doing their usual upside down thing on the bark of the big trees.