One of the activities that the Werribee Wagtails group, (now officially Birdlife Werribee), is conducting quarterly surveys at Mt Rothwell conservation park.
I’ve written about the park before, but this little piece of protected area is just to the north of the You Yangs and has its own unique woodlands and lovely rocky outcrops.
The weather was a bit on the average side, has been now for several weeks. But we none the less walked around the three areas and had a chance to see the forest in its late spring garb. There are usually quite a range of raptors in the air, and today was no exception. The number of Brown Falcons and Whistling Kites seemed a bit lower than normal, but with so much of the open plain for them to hunt, its not necessarily a bad thing.
One of the highlights of the morning was the call of Sacred Kingfisher, and with a bit sleuthing we were able to track down what I’d suspect is a pair. Whether they were looking for a nesting spot or simply passing through will of course remain a mystery. But it was the first I’d seen this season, so I felt pretty good. We also heard and again tracked down a pair of Rainbow Bee-eaters, and eventually I counted at least 7, and probably there were a couple more. Again, not sure if they are nesting in the area, but they do regularly in the You Yangs and its but a mere wing flap or two for the travelling Bee-eater.
After lunch we entered the enclosed conservation area, and to our surprise we met “Fluffy” the Emu. She(?) is a recent addition to the enclosure having been obtained from somewhere, staff were a bit unsure of the details. But she (we’ll stick with that), is a bit human friendly, and came trotting down to see what the humans were upto, and after politely introducing herself to several of our group she wandered around with us and among us, for the next half hour or so.
My mate An Onymous was with us and had a green neck scarf that flapped in the breeze. Fluffy seemed quite taken by said scarf and made several attempts to relieve An of it, and when he wasn’t looking to take a peek into his camera bag, just in case there was something that may suit a growing Emu.
We had to leave Fluffy at the exit gate, so she wandered off to look for some other Emu amusement.