Little Journeys: Strollin’

One thing our lockdown for the CovidCrisis has highlighted for us, is the chance to enjoy a walk around some of our local areas. Normally we’d be out and about in regular birding locations.

And of course, being local, there is not likely to be much in the way of highly sought out birds in the area.

Or
So we thought.

Not much more than a stroll from home is a new housing estate. It has been built on what, of course, was old farming land. And in our area, that would have been vegetable farming. A small, seasonal creek runs through the area, and because it is of environmental significance because of among other things, the habitat of  Growling Grass Frogs (Litoria raniformis) a fairly wide verge has been created, and partly sculptured with a well formed footpath and open grass.

The rest of the creek proper, thanks to the developers, the local council and Melbourne Water, has been turned into runoff water retarding basins. As the creek was originally a set of water holes rather than a flowing creek, they have used the natural lay of the land to develop the area.

The past few days we’ve had a good amount of rain. In our gauge alone  showed over an inch and a half  (about 39mm).   The new development with its sealed roads, footpaths, lawns and of course house roofs has indeed provided plenty of run off.  As we walked today there was plenty of evidence of at least a metre or more water having recently been through the reed beds. But thanks to clever Melb Water development, the water level has subsided quite quickly.

About half an hour walk from home is an aptly named coffee shop, The Little Growling, and it makes a good spot to turn around and return.  With a freshly brewed coffee to go, thanks very much.

As we walked out of our village at the start of our stroll, I heard the call of a Rosella, I’ve been hearing it occasionally over the past few weeks, and had even spotted it on a fence-line a couple of times. This time it was in one of the street trees, and to my surprise, a Crimson juvenile was with it, so there was much calling.  (Whether they nested locally or not is still open to supposition). I am beginning to have my doubts about the Eastern id, perhaps it is a hybrid?

Not a bird we’d normally see locally, so it was not only a pleasant surprise, but quite enchanting.

Enjoy.

Eastern Rosella, or a hybrid with buff cheeks.
Juvenile Crimson Rosella.
The last of our local Black Swans. The rest of the family seems to have moved on. Perhaps this one is reluctant to leave a good feeding location
Magpie Drama. For reasons I’ve never been sure of the adults seem to single out one of the young and peck away at it. No one seems to be hurt and the young one will pickup and move on as if nothing happened.
Enjoying breakfast together.
Maned Duck Drama. This male has a family of 5 trying to move across open ground. About 20 ravens thought there might be a quick snack or two for an enterprising attempt.
In the end, EE and I moved down the paddock and put the ravens to wing. Not that it would last for long, but sufficient to get the little ones safely to water.
The little family made it safely to the water, and were able to paddle away.
Australian Reed Warblers are either feeding young or building new nests.
Food delivery
Now that is something you don’t see in the average housing estate. Fortunately it was in no hurry to stop and chat
Like all housing estates, there are plenty of opportunists.
And this is why they call her EE.
“Buff-banded Rail,” she cried. True to form, it was. A most unusual find in a housing estate. We have been known to drive around the Treatment Plant for hours and never see one.

5 thoughts on “Little Journeys: Strollin’

  1. A fabulous collection of images from your patch, David! Terrific to see the Rosellas. I wonder if the hybrid was the one that visited Woodvile last year. And a Buff-banded! That is a great sighting! I will let you keep the Tiger though!
    I was surprised how quickly the Sneydes paddocks had dried off after the rain, when I went down today I thought I would have to go in the ‘long way’ but it was only slightly damp underfoot, the old channel had plenty of water though.

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  2. G,day,
    Not sure on the Rosella, I know I’ve seen a full grown Eastern about, but like many sightings its only fleeting and hard to connect to others.
    I wasn’t surprised by the Tiger being there, (was a tad surprised to see it so close to the houses), I might have spent a bit more time with it, but it slipped off into the nearby grass and was gone. So was I. 🙂

    Interesting you should say how quickly it dried out. After all that rain, most of the area we walked today showed how quickly the retrading basins had done their job, and how quickly the surrounding ground had dried. Iots of bicycle, footprint and paw prints from the wet yesterday.
    The interesting thing to me in that Synedes Road Hoppers Lane is how quickly the grass has gone from rich deep green to turning on the yellow gold. Time for a mowing I think

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  3. Wonderful selection in the local hood David. The Crimsons are known for many variant mutations, and a nice one at that. Father duck looked like the one I was attacked by the other day, they know how defend their brood like good dads. That snake looked like a Tiger, which are nasty crockers, and more prevalent down south than up here. The Maggies do a lot of serious play, and are one of the most playful birds apparently. I have been reading about it recently, and will display their dominance causing the younger ones, to lay on their backs relenting and display their vulnerability, like our dog use to do when it escaped and I would catch up with it. An interesting selection to encounter, with the rail being a lovely unexpected topping to the cake.

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    1. Hello Ashley,
      Each time we walk along there we do come across a lot of interesting, if common birds. Always something new to learn in the way they interact toward each other and with the local environment.
      I must read up on the Crimsons and their variations. The Eastern definetly has the White cheek feathers, but perhaps that too is a variation.

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  4. Somehow I missed commenting on this post and your delightful collection of “the locals”. The Eastern Rosella seems to have the colours in the right places but the buff cheek feathers are certainly different. Maybe it drinks a lot of coffee?

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