Wandering with the Wagtails. Werribee that is

The Birdlife Australia subgroup, The Werribee Wagtails, conduct seasonal surveys in some of the small box forest remnants in the local area.

Today was such an outing and I went to along to see how it all happened.

They monitor several areas and the first we stopped at in the Pinkerton Forest on the Mt Cotterel Road.  There is no public access so this was  good opportunity to see a relatively unexplored area.

The highlight of the morning for me was a pair of Australian, (Nankeen) Kestrels, and  the male carried in a meal for the female who exploded out of the nest with the usual cries to retrieve her prize.  No time to stop and watch further, but I’d have stayed there all day if I’d have been able.

Not to be outdone, a very rich brown Brown Falcon male came in a bit later with a substantial looking rabbit in tow and he was soon overwhelmed by his female as she came out  to take the offering.

There were a number of Whistling Kites calling in the distance, but didn’t see one all day, until late in the afternoon as I was driving home.

The forest offered a number  of Brown-headed Honeyeaters and one spent a bit of time sun trancing on a branch so we got a good view of it.

Over the paddock and into Bush’s Forest.  This very small area immediately began to hum with Crested Shrike-tits, Dusky and Masked Woodswallows and two very active Rufous Whistlers, among other things.

Lunch over, we moved around to the Eynesbury Grey Box forest, and here I met a family of Australian, (Maned) Wood Ducks.  The young scampered across the fairway and into the water feature and the little tiny legs looked so funny trying to keep up with the rushing bodies.

Then it was off to look for Diamond Firetails and Speckled Warblers.  Of course when you do a survey for a walk with others, the day before, the birds are everywhere and it all sounds great.  On the day.  The birds know, y’know, and they move to other parts of the forest. And this was no exception.  But we did get to see plenty of this lovely Grey Box area, and eventually found specimens of the target birds.
To top off, a Brown Goshawk circled through the trees, and we got some nice view of a very active Little Eagle.   Add any number of Brown Treecreepers, a dash of sunshine, some great company among very active and alert birders and a good day was had.  Expect to see a return visit any time soon.

Sunning Brown-headed Honeyeater
Sunning Brown-headed Honeyeater

 

Just about to head for the water
Just about to head for the water
Recently hatched Eurasian Coot
Recently hatched Eurasian Coot
Crested Shrike-tit at work.
Crested Shrike-tit at work.
Crested Shrike-tit
Crested Shrike-tit
A Diamond Firetail at a distance.
A Diamond Firetail at a distance.
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