Eynesbury Gems—Episode #1

Eynesbury township just a few minutes from Melton, was established around a golf-club. Part of the deal concerns a stand of Grey Box Forest, that is in close to original condition, or perhaps, well established with old trees and understory, might be a better description.
It was used until the mid 1950s as a pastoral area, and the forest was used to run the shorn sheep from the shearing sheds in the area.

Many long term readers will know that its been noted that I have Grey Box sap running in my veins and a visit to the Eynesbury Forest is enough to rejuvenate the lowest of my spirits.

The local Eynesbury Conservation Group, you can look them up on Facebook, conduct a walk on a Sunday morning every two months. Usually led by the award-winning Chris Lunardi, a local identity; EE and I make it a point to turn up if at all possible.

Much to see in a day, so we cheated, and went back for a second look the following day.

Here are some of the Gems of the Forest.1811-28_DWJ_6412.jpg
Little Eagle, one of a pair. And try as I might I’ve not been able to locate their current nest site.

1811-28_DWJ_6492.jpg
Peregrine Falcon, a new bird for me at Eynesbury, this one is working on short wings with quick flutters. Target— Tree Martins that are nesting in the forest. We found at least one carcass to confirm its skills.

1811-28_DWJ_6517.jpg
A fledged Jacky Winter. Not from our usual pair, but one of two young birds on the wing. Well done Jacky

1811-28_DWJ_6527.jpg

A trip through the Greybox will always be accompanied by the trills from the many Brown Treecreepers in the area. A threatened species, so its good to see them so active in the forest
1811-28_DWJ_6536.jpg
At the lake, an Australasian Grebe was nurturing at least one new addition to the family

1811-28_DWJ_6562.jpg
Big, bold, noisy and hungry. Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are working in the wattles that have seeded

1811-28_DWJ_6590.jpg
“Our’ Jacky Winter young. The nest is near falling apart, and the young still have a few days to go to fledge. Jacky made it quite clear today, that we were not welcome. So we moved on quickly

1811-28_DWJ_6664.jpg
Normally at this time of the year the forest would be ringing with the calls of hundreds of Dusky Woodswallows. Again, it is feared they are in decline, and this is the first season we’ve seen so few. But those that have come down, have wasted no time in getting off their first batch. This pair are feeding two young

1811-28_DWJ_6794.jpg
Two Black Kites were in the air having the best time on the strong winds. it really deserves a blog page of its own to describe and show the antics of this couple of birds, but two should do eh?

And finally two of the Tawny Frogmouth from the Children’s Playground park. Other photographers, you know who you are Lyndell, seem to be able to get them on days when they are low down, in the open and all together. They seem to be quite happy to sit in the trees while kids play about on the swings and climbing things just metres below.

Another episode to come I think.

 

Advertisements

As Swift as: Swift Parrots at Eynesbury

Quick snapshot.

We, EE, Mr An Onymous and I had gone up to Eynesbury for the Eynesbury Environmental Group’s Sunday walk in the forest.

We motored up in style in the An Blackmobile, and what other colour would Anonymous chose. (Let’s not go there).

We arrived in good time, thanks to great navigating by the unnamed driver.  Chris, he of the awards, was waiting in the car park and the sun was shining. How good.
We waited for the rest to arrive, and heard a unusal call in the tree line at the carpark.  A little searching and lo and behold, to our astonishment, and joy and delight, let it be said, there was a Swift Parrot at work in the tree, feasting on lerp.

1806-03_DWJ_5222.jpg

Continue reading “As Swift as: Swift Parrots at Eynesbury”

Little Visits: A Morning in the Sunshine at Eynesbury

Still in the Little Visits Mode:
The monthly Birding Walk at Eynesbury was on again today.

We drove into the Grey Box forest in the warm sunshine, and slowed down to enjoy the play of the light among the trees.  It has rained overnight and there was that wonderful distinct crispness to the air and the whole forest seemed to sparkle in the moment.  The great Grey Box stood soaking up the light and the tones of the light playing over their trunks was a delight to see.

Continue reading “Little Visits: A Morning in the Sunshine at Eynesbury”

Sunday Sunshine at Eynesbury

The monthly Bird Walk at Eynesbury rolled around and the calendar clicked over the last Sunday in the month, so we looked out the window, and sure enough Sunshine!
So Sunshine, we headed out to Eynesbury to catch up with the group of locals in their exploration around the Grey Box forest.

Chris had initially planned on being away, and asked another local, Leigh, to take the day.  As it turned, Chris turned up anyway.  Nice to catchup.

The sunshine added to the recent rain made the open areas around the housing estates glow in most impressive green with lots of new growth coming on.
So we set out for a looksee along the river gorge to the east.  In times past before the housing establishment, a small creek drained water outward the gorge and as it tumbled over the rocky edge a wonderful waterfall would suddenly appear.   And. Today was such a day.  The little creek has now been somewhat controlled to a drain-way through the estate, but in the last few hundred metres runs over the rocky ground, forming little pools as it goes.   Then. Taking is self to the edge, it plunges down the 30 or so metres to empty into the creek, that runs toward the Werribee River. And spectacular it would be too in full flood and great light,  but I was just a bit late  as early morning shadow hid the sparkle of the water.

For a birding day, it was a bit quiet, even for me and my missing bird karma as Mr An Onymous puts it.

We did manage a fine Eastern Yellow Robin, an Eastern Spinebill and a couple of Crested Shriketits as we strolled along one of the forest tracks.  And so another birding morning came to a close, lots to talk about, plenty of things to share about the few birds we did see, and to get a perspective of the area from Leigh’s point of view.   He has been in the area almost since its inception and gave a fine running commentary of points of interest along the way.

EE and I took a cuppa by the lake, and then headed down to see the Tawny Frogmouths in the local park-area.  See the May report for details.   Sure enough, dependable as clockwork there they were. One has added an additional extra piece of camo to the perch as a branch has broken off higher up and now obscures the perching branch very well.

Off to look for Flame Robins, but no luck there either, and it was time for home,  just as we went past the old shearing shed area a small shape darted into the tree.  A Speckled Warbler. And to make its point is warbled away quite merrily.  Just about managed to get off a couple of shots before it was gone.  Looking at it the shots, it’s no wonder they are so hard to spot given the wonderful markings on the feathers that blend into the scrub so well.

Thanks to Leigh and Chris for the day, and also to everyone who turned up and enjoyed both the sunshine and the birds.  Looking forward to the July Sunday.

Australasian Grebe
Australasian Grebe

Dusky Moorhen enjoying the sunshine too.
Dusky Moorhen enjoying the sunshine too.

Maned Duck, showing his lovely rich body feathers and his daper litle mane.
Maned Duck, showing his lovely rich body feathers and his daper litle mane.

Eastern Yellow Robin, on the move
Eastern Yellow Robin, on the move

Veiw down along the creek. So wonderful to see the water flowing.
Veiw down along the creek. So wonderful to see the water flowing.

The wonderful "Eynesbury Falls", such a treat.
The wonderful “Eynesbury Falls”, such a treat.

Spot the Tawny Frogmouth
Spot the Tawny Frogmouth

Oh, there you are
Oh, there you are

Speckled Warbler. A great find for today
Speckled Warbler. A great find for today

 

A Grey May Day in a Grey Box Forest, at Eynesbury

All we needed were some grey birds and it would have been complete.

We turned up at the monthly Eynesbury Residents Birdwalk.  Did one back in April see details of the area in that post. Details Here
This time the lake was in fact a, lake!.  Water had been added and the ducks were happy and in residence again.  And there was a “Farmers Market” in full swing. Make note to self, leave earlier, bring wallet, and enjoy some shopping therapy before the walk in June!

Chris had a walk to the north eastern area of the forest planned for us, and the six or so hardy stalwarts set off for a looksee.  And a quiet day it happened to be.  We did get a good view of the ubiquitous  Superb Fairywren, and again noted how many Brown Treecreepers have made this their home.

Chris pulled out the best spotting by giving us a grand view of a male Flame Robin, rich in colour and brightening up the day.  Just as we were enjoying it all, he took off not to be seen again.
A couple of Striated Pardalotes come down out of the top branches and all got a good view of  these delightful little birds.  Not to be out done a Jacky Winter helped add to the charm of the area, as only Jacky can, and performed some feeding twists and turns in an open area.  But, in the end, we had to say it was a quiet day.

Perhaps the recent rain had made the food scarce.   We turned back and meandered through the open forest.  You can do that in Grey Box, its a lovely forest to walk through. Tracks become optional. Chris offered all sorts of running commentary on fox and rabbit issues, to what sort of native plants were working in well in the local gardens, and one our number told how her three sickly looking Running Postman were now clambering all over the garden pots.  Super.

A Common Bronzewing, a few more Treecreepers, and the inevitable Red-rumped Parrots kept us entertained until we eventually reached the roadway, and back to the cars.

Might have been a quiet morning, and the light might have been less than ideal, but we all were pleased to have seen a little more of the Eynesbury Forest and to enjoy some great company at the same time.  Now we’re looking forward to the June walk.
Way to go Chris.

EE and I grabbed a quick bite to eat, and a cuppa,  then went round to a small open park area among the houses on the west side of the lake.  We’d been told that a pair of Tawny Frogmouth were in the park and ‘easy to spot’.  Hmmm.

You know that feeling?  You’re walking into a park for the first time, checking trees, checking trees, knowing that Tawnies are, well, not necessarily ‘easy to spot’.  In fact, I’d left the camera in the car. Now that is confidence.   EE on the other hand, well, she would wouldn’t she?  Had camera out, and at the ready.

Looking, looking.  Well I suppose I’d taken about five steps into the park. “Oh”.
If only everything was  that “Easy to Spot”.   There aren’t a lot of trees, so Tawnys didn’t have a lot of choice.  “There they are!!! ”  Trudge back to get camera, (all five steps).

We then moved down to the forest proper to look for more Flame Robins. No such luck, not as ‘easy to spot’.  A flock of Maned Ducks, (Wood Ducks) were house hunting and that kept us amused for a few minutes.  A duck in tree.

Then the sound of Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters on the way back got us looking and eventually locating a couple.
So in the end a good day at Eynesbury, and another triumph for Grey Box

Enjoy