One of the nice new pleasures we get from being in the area is to catch up with the Werribee Wagtails birding group.
They have a number of projects for bird counting and one them is at Mt Rothwell.
So we followed the roads out the back of Little River and met up with the eager bird counters.
Mt Rothwell is near the excellent You Yangs and is a fully enclosed area so there are some heavy duty gates to get through before the serious counting begins.
On this day, however there was a wonderful strong breeze at work, and it was the first really cool day after the heat so the big birds were up in numbers all looking to catchup on their dietary requirements.
The area also has a very strong educational programme and there are some great walking tracks covering the area which is mostly light scrub, trees and some great rolling hills with lots of boulders and rocky outcrops.
So we set off. I got side tracked by a Striated Pardalote, and spent about 10 minutes photographing it, and by the time I’d gotten back on the track. Well, the count and counters had moved on. Easy enough, just go along the track thought I. Till I came to a Y in the road. Always take the ‘right’ one is the advice I’ve worked with over the years. Not always good advice and in this case dead wrong. After about 10 minutes I came to an open field and looking along the track not a counter to be seen. Wrong track I thought. So a bit of bush bashing got me across to the ‘right’ left track, and no sign of said counters.
After a bit of scouting about, I found that Arthur had left an “Arrow” of sticks at the next junction, and from there it was walk fast until I caught up. But, the track swept around to the right, and I figured the track had to sweep back again. Remember its a fenced off area. Easy said I. Over the top of the rise in front of me, stand on the top of a rock and they should be visible. So saying I did. And. Yep, there they were way over there. More scrub work.
Needless to say EE was not to happy with my tardiness, and I think I got a black mark on my name from the walk leader who was getting a bit concerned about having to ‘find’ said missing dude.
No more Pardalotes for me for the rest of the day.
With the strong wind running the raptors, which include, Whistling Kites, Black Kites, Brown Falcons, Little Eagles and Australian Kestrels, were in their element. Such a great site to see so many soaring birds. And I didn’t have to get misplaced to see them.
In the afternoon we walked the opposite side of the park and came to a large open field. “Hmm,” said I, “I’ve been here already once earlier today!”
Hopefully I’ll be allowed back next time.