Werribee Wag-Tales: The Baker’s Dozen + Two

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EE and I were on our way down the Bellarine Peninsula for a spot of R&R, not sure what R&R meant in this decision, but rest and relaxation were never going to be high on the list.

On the way down we decided to visit a couple of places along the way and Fyansford Common was a good place for an early start.
Imagine if you will, our surprise when we spotted Mr An Onymous in the carpark.  How co-incidental.  And not long after, we were joined by others of the now, non-affiliated Former Werribee Wagtails.  Isn’t life just full of those serendipitous moments.

So, as a Non-group, we set off our our individual paths around the Common.
A Pied Currawong, a tree full  of Brown Thornbills, and some Red-browed Finches were a good start to the day.

EE and I then set off for Balyang Sanctuary on the Barwon River.  Ideal spot of a cup of the Earl’s finest. Again we were fortunate to find our birding friends had also decided on morning tea here, and Kathy’s sultana cakes provide by husband, Mark, were are welcome treat.
Balyang area proved to be quiet, (nearly wrote quite quiet, but on re-reading_), a few Australasian Darters, and various cormorants with young.  A  rather handsome Sulphur-crested Cockatoo was happy to pose for photographers and watched our meanderings with interest.

Then we drove on to Drysdale Railway Station for lunch, stopping, as usual at the Cinnabar Bakery and Pie Shop in Drysdale and a choice of fine pie delights.  Some might wonder if we go birding and stop for pies, or go for Pies and do the odd bit of birding while we’re out.   You, alone dear reader have all the evidence needed for a conviction.
So our non-group settled in around the steps and seats at the railway station, and enjoyed the some great food, I had the Plain Meatpie (traditionalist that I am), while others had a range of Chicken and Leek, Beef and Mushroom, and Curry.  Great pastry makes a great pie.

The main reason for EE and I to go to Lake Lorne, next to the station, is that it has a good reputation for Freckled Duck, Blue-billed Duck, and Latham’s Snipe.

We began to circumnavigate the lake,  and I dropped off the track into an area near the water’s edge, then with a sharp, “SCHHRAARKH”, the first Latham’s Snipe for the day, exploded out of the grassy edge of the lake, rocketed down about 300 metres and dropped into the edge of the grass.  It was easy to spot as it worked its way, feeding along the edge.
I moved 50m along the edge, and One, then Two, then Three more flushed.  Now it was getting serious.

An area that I’d had some success previously was bare of snipe, so Mr An and I moved further along the edge of the lake until we came to a jumble of branches that required careful negotiation.  Almost across the last one, and Wham!!! Four Snipe were in the air in front of us.  And we were off-balance, so only managed a couple of grab shots.  By the time I was stable of foot, they were across the lake.

We flushed another three and the total for the circuit was a creditable 15, not counting the ones we might have counted twice.
So Baker’s Dozen folk walking the lake, and two extra snipe—actually I’m reliably informed that there was only 12 of us out and about, but as I don’t count birds, I’m hardly likely to number people. 🙂
Especially those who just ‘happen’ to turn up to go pieing/birding with us.

A few fond farewells, and EE and I were off on the next part of the trip.  Gannets and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, being our targets.

Wonderful day out with some great people, good birds, fine discussions and great food.  Werribee Wagtails Lives On

Enjoy.

 

Click on photo for a larger size of each shot

Blogging 101 Week 2 Day 3

Checking out the Neighbourhood!
So says the assignment.  So I got to take a bit of a spin around the blog (block) and dropped by a few sights  (sites).

First up is a look at some of the architecture  and bird locations in Perth.
Try Here.   Somewhere42

Then a bit of a stretch of the legs in the Seven League Boots to find a spot on Chesapeake Bay. (Every since I was a little taker, the scenery and people of Chesapeake have been a bit of a magnet to me. I’ve never been there, but have enjoyed many fine stories and photos from the area.

At Hoof Beats and Foot Prints, Emily Carter Mitchell shares some of her work with the nature of the area.  Such amazing shots of shore birds in the soft light. Please take the time to take the link to this one

Next stop is Blue Note Photos.   A Musician who has a skill with the camera and enjoys those moments of creative expression.  Stuff we’d probably all like to explore, and here it is happening.   Blue Note Photos.  Enjoy

And after all that energy, some relaxation with Perry Battles who shares some fine thoughts on Tai Chi Practice for tranquility.

and just to finish off.
Here is shot from last evening of a Silver Gull ‘walking’ on water.  It was using its wings to ‘hover in position’, and then step from wave to wave as the water rolled underneath.  They are the masters of the air.

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For the Technically ept.  Shot with the D7100 and a 70-200mm f/2.8 and a TC1.7 converter. I’ve set the crop size to 1.3x in camera, as I’m experimenting with what the new focus system on (my) new D500 might be like with the focus points spread over more of the viewfinder area.  I wouldn’t normally bother, rather cropping from a full sized image, but its intriguing to think the focusing mechanism will do with the focus points right to the edge on the new D500.

 

 

Werribee Wagtails at Melton on a weather challenged day

DJ's Birds as Poetry

Werribee Wagtails bus day out was a trip to several  Melton Parks.  Geraldine and Brian had worked out some good spots, and it was all looking well until the weather took a turn for the worse (which is dear reader, a euphemism for went belly up big time)

What with the incessant rain, the chilling squally winds and little real shelter, it meant. Stay in car, or put on Drizabone. Of which I settled for the latter.

Besides not only wanted to see birds, but had a new lens to try out, and after taking fodoze of the inside moisture of the car, it was obviously time to get out.  As luck would have it the rain eased and we could walk around the Caroline Springs water feature without having to paddle through a water feature on the footpath.

Morning tea at Melton Hannah Watts Park, and then a stroll around…

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Werribee Wag Tales April 2015

Formerly called Werribee Wagtails, Birdlife Werribee had a day at the Western Treatment Plant.  Stories about that event and a few others are available in the Werribee Wag Tales Newsletter for download here, or from the Wagtails tab on the front page.

WER Wag Tales April 2015