With Werribee Wagtails at Goschen

The Goschen Bushland Reserve outside Lake Boga, is renowned among bird obsevers as one of the true ‘honeyspots’ in the Mallee.
Little did I know as a young kid, riding my bike around the area, that I’d be back so many years later to spend time photographing the birds of the area.

We had travelled up to enjoy the BirdLife Werribee—aka Werribee Wagtails— camp out in Swan Hill. Of course one of the spots to visit was Goschen.

On the way up, one of the relatives had informed us, “Goschen now has been fenced off.” or words to that effect, and it sounded as though access was restricted.   I had visions of a 3 metre chainwire fence all around the area. And huge gates with those big padlocks that Parks Vic. seems to be able to produce for such occasions.

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Still as we arrived, it was pleasing to see that the standard 6 wire, with a seperate top wire, was the order of the day. And that an access was allowed near the site of the State School.  Not my favourite way to enter, as both by historical and by preference, I’d rather approach from the Woorien Road side, but, beggars as they say.
And full marks to the Parks folk for the work, as it does prevent any more deterioration by vandals in the area.  The old Meeting Hall is now quite a shadow of its former self. These old buildings were a major feature of town life in the early days.  A beaut version of one still exists up the road at Nyah, and is still in use.

Also the ‘entrance’ is a narrow space between two posts and would be enough for most bike riders to look elsewhere. But, as they say, you can legislate for the honest people, the rest…

The park is in top condition. The recent rains have turned the usual red sand into a most glorious garden. Rich with both colour and variety. And off course the birds have taken full advantage of the opportunity.  We found quite a number of Hooded Robins with young at various stages of development, and White-browed and Grey-crowned Babblers hard at work with young.

And just about every tree had a male Rufous Songlark in full cry.  Plenty of Rainbow Bee-eaters and a Sacred Kingfisher also were on show.  Add to that Blue Bonnets, and Ring-necks and a host more and it was a great day to be out.

The group also visited “The Daisy Patch”, a little more scrub in the Tresco area.  Top find there was an Owlet Nightjar.

Who would have thought all those years ago, when my tired young legs pushed the pedals and our faithful old Foxie followed along that I’d be back on such a perfect day.

Gate Entrance Goschen. School Monument .
Gate Entrance Goschen. School Monument .
Rich variety of grasses and plants cover the ground.
Rich variety of grasses and plants cover the ground.
Mum and juvenile Hooded Robin
Mum and juvenile Hooded Robin

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Rufous Songlark male taking advantage of every available perch
Rufous Songlark male taking advantage of every available perch
At Tresco Bushland.  Owlet Nightjar out in the open. Normally these little dudes poke their heads out from a tree hollow.
At Tresco Bushland. Owlet Nightjar out in the open. Normally these little dudes poke their heads out from a tree hollow.
Wonderful to see the area so richly dressed.
Wonderful to see the area so richly dressed.
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White-browed Babbler
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4 thoughts on “With Werribee Wagtails at Goschen

    1. Hello Eleanor, it is indeed a most pleasing birding spot. It rightly deserves all the accolades it recieves among birders. I think the only time its a bit barren is over the hotter summer months, but even then with a bit of patience the photographer can be rewarded. Although the bird accountants would find it slow. 🙂

      This year its pristine. The best I’ve seen that part of the country in quite a number of years, and the farmers should be delighted with the stands of wheat and other crops looking so well.

      Hope you are able to travel up that way someday.

      Like

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