Little Visits: The Flight of the Brolga

I was going solo at the Western Treatment Plant.  #kneetoo was tucked up in her wide view bird-hide at the hospital, and as the sun was shining in a clear blue sky, I thought a quick trip to check to see if any Flame Robins could be making the most of the weather and the paddocks at the Plant.

However after a bit of fruitless searching it was obviously not going to be my day for robins.

A final quick trip around the “T Section” area just in case a Brown Falcon or two might be present and then home was my plan.

As I unlocked the entry gate to the area, I heard the long rasping call away off in the distance of Brolga. A scan around the horizon and it was not likely I’d spot any as the calls had been a long way off, and had now stopped.

I prepared to shut the gate and another birdo was approaching to go out, so I held the gate open and said I’d lock it as they left.  Then, just as I swung the gate across the road, that rasping cry filled the air, and this time I’d id’d the location. Sure enough in the air were three Brolga. Then as the shapes grew more distinct, it was likely that they were not only coming in my direction, but would perhaps make a pretty close pass by.

Locking the gate, I grabbed the camera and hoped that the pass would be on the sunny side of iAmGrey.

The more I watched, the more I became aware they would be using the roadway behind me as sort of navigation aid, and would pass right over the top of me.

And they did.

They disappeared behind one of the bunds, and I wondered where they had ended up.

Satisfied with  the fly by, I went on to look along the roadways. Time for a cuppa, so I pulled up at one of the cross tracks and pulled out the doings.

Then the croaking call rattled over the ponds and I looked a bit further along the track and the pair were in head stretch calling mode, and engaging in a little pair bonding.  Cuppa forgotten, I moved along the track for a better looksee.

They settled down to some preening and feeding and the juvenile with them was feeding in one of the shallow ponds.

I went back for my Cuppa and sat and watched until they moved off the pondage and up on to the track, and moved further along to continue their morning routine.

Satisfied, I packed up and headed off for a visit with the patient.



8 thoughts on “Little Visits: The Flight of the Brolga

  1. That was a remarkable find David. It is so good to see them back down south again and breeding, we never see them near here, too many people I guess. I always look for them up north near the border and over. Lovely shots of the family with juvenile and so good you had the blue sky to give true colour and contrast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ashley, as little as 100 years ago Brolga roamed the plains west of Melbourne. A birder I knew used to tell stories of how as a young girl in the 1930s she would walk to school past paddocks where Brogla were the dominant water bird. As she said, she took it to be normal.
      The Western Treatment Plant has a small number of residents. I’m unsure of the numbers, but anecdotally it might be as many ten or more.

      The pairs nest regularly each season, but the dangers of ferals, foxes and cats, and harriers and kites. Over the years we’ve seen them lose many more than they have successfully raised. Perhaps this one was a product of the quiet time at the Plant last year as it was closed due to covid restrictions.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is always wonderful to see them! A splendid series of images, David. I especially like the last of the flight series with just the one bird. It pays to wait for the other birder to come through the gate! Serendipitous! Great to see the juvenile!
    I hope that #kneetoo’s recovery and rehab is going well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi David, I thought it a bit strange to have such huge birds in formation bearing down on my spot.

      #kneetoo is home, recovery is as good as can be expected. All the signs are good, and the medical attention is first rate. Thanks for the thoughts.


  3. How good is this, David! You’ve been nicely rewarded for whatever you should have been rewarded by whoever keeps an eye on you. I enjoyed so much this special story and the images of the Brolgas. Best wishes to Dorothy.

    Liked by 1 person

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