The sun came out! After such a long couple of weeks with very average to almost depressing weather, the sun came out.
And so did the cameras, the themos and the car. And soon we were headed to Eynesbury.
For those who’ve missed part of the backstory, we’ve relocated to a new Villa in Tarneit, near Werribee. Woodlands is quite the drive for us now, so won’t get anywhere near the same coverage as when we were local.
Eynesbury is a new housing development out near Melton. Before it was a housing development it was part of a rich pastoral holdings from the late 1800s. Over the years, things have changed and eventually a development group acquired the land and among other things built a golf course in the middle of the forest and have set about developing the estate for golfing aficionados. Its working. Around 600 units have been occupied or in the process of same.
Part of the old property was largish Grey Box stand which was left untouched as it offered a place for the sheep to shelter after sheering and dipping, etc. The developers have tried to maintain it and there is quite an ‘environmental’ approach to forest.
Its been the home of some very interesting birds and now at least they are relatively well sheltered. So we went to take a look. If we can work the way we did in the Grey Box at Woodlands it might be a fair substitute, less of course the amazing Red-capped and Eastern Yellow Robins. Still time will tell.
We didn’t have to get too far from the car to find the forest filled with White-browed Woodswallows and some Dusky’s. Any number of Brown Treecreepers, and a pair of Little Eagles, who raised the anger of the Woodswallow who mobbed the poor eagles relentlessly.
A Brown Goshawk, crashed through the tree canopy and again the ever vigilant Woodswallows were in attack mode. The speed of the Goshawk and the power of its attack was actually quite phenomenal. Made me respect them even more, and there would be no escape for an unwary photographer who got in the way of one of these very powerful birds. I thought it must have taken a hapless Woodswallow, and then thought it might have missed and taken the branch instead, but when I looked at the only image I got, it was a large skink of some sort. Chased by any number of Woodswallows, it disappeared with as much speed and agility as it had appeared.
One of the highlight birds at Eynesbury is the Diamond Firetail. These little birds travel in small flocks, and seem to feed in the open areas under the Grey Box. I found a couple, but they seemed very wary of me, and I didn’t get very close.
A second very important bird is the Speckled Warbler, now there is a couple at Woodlands, but they do take a bit of tracking down. At Eynesbury, it would seem they are going to be just as elusive as I only saw one from a distance on a stump.
While I did a quick scout along a track and Kangaroo pad, EE stayed by a pool of water on the roadway. Of course, while I was gone she managed some great views and shots of first a number of Firetails coming in to bathe and then a few shots of a Speckled Warbler in some low wattle scrub. Oh!!!!
So we thought as the sun got hotter, it was time to go, and down to the Golf-club Cafe we went to enjoy a late lunch and a coffee. They have a Lamb and Mint pie on the menu, so armed with that bit of info alone, it would be enough to entice me back.