Studio Werkz: The White-plumed Honeyeater Appointment

I know all the birds of the hills

Psalm 50

To say we’ve had a run of weather of late would be to guild the lily somewhat.  Lack of sunshine, and howling southerly winds have been much more the norm. Add to that the best of fast moving squalls with intense rain, and well, its enough to make you roll over and pull the donnah up even closer.

So with a touch of sunshine peeking through the breakfast room window, EE and I decided on a quick trip to The Office.  Image our surprise when we found Mr An Onymous out there as well.  Put it down to the call of the Osprey.  However she wasn’t in residence so we had to content ourselves with lesser subjects.

Continue reading “Studio Werkz: The White-plumed Honeyeater Appointment”

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The Tale of a Wagtail

When it comes to nesting and bringing on a new clutch, Willie Wagtails seem to go from one extreme to another, in more ways than one.
The weather can take a turn and dash the plans of quite a number of nesting pairs.  And around the Werribee River area at the Office, they all seem to start within a day or two of each other and a change of weather takes out most of the nests.  That has happened once already this season.
Plucky little birds, just shake off the wet feathers, take a wagtail deep breath and start again.

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Continue reading “The Tale of a Wagtail”

Wagtails visit Western Treatment Plant

Ahhh,   a tour update and trip report.

The Werribee BirdLife group had their monthly outing yesterday and visited the Western Treatment Plant.
The weather has been predicted to be sunny and hot, so it was with a touch of bemusement that we headed off down the highway in the fog!

But it did give us a lovely cool morning, so the sulking photographer in me just had to make do for awhile.

Travelling with the Wagtails (Werribee Birdlife in a former name), is a fun experience.  There is a great deal of knowledge of the birds, and the area, and the social activity makes for a fun filled and well fed day.

We went down to the T Section, an area that is fast taking on hero status as a Red Phalarope has come down to visit over.  Perhaps to the uninitiated a bit hard to spot, but once seen the frenetic activity of the bird makes it reasonably easy to locate. And especially if the tour leader. (D Torr esq.) lines it up in the spotting scope at the start of the activity.

Here is a quick take from some of the events.

Black-shouldered Kite, in pursuit of a really annoying Raven
Black-shouldered Kite, in pursuit of a really annoying Raven
A Welcome Swallow decided to join in the chase.
A Welcome Swallow decided to join in the chase.
Down at the beach, the Red-necked Stints are really putting on the weight now.
Down at the beach, the Red-necked Stints are really putting on the weight now.
White-fronted Chat: Female
White-fronted Chat: Female
Whistling Kites at play
Whistling Kites at play
Whistling Kites at Play
Whistling Kites at Play
Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite
A nice find. Banded Stilt
A nice find. Banded Stilt
The amazing T Section ponds. Spot the Red Phalarope for extra points!
The amazing T Section ponds. Spot the Red Phalarope for extra points!
Sharp-trailed Sandpiper. Trialling the travelling equipment.
Sharp-trailed Sandpiper. Trialling the travelling equipment.

Finding Jacky Winter

We’ve been up around the Newstead area this past week.  Went up for the annual Werribee Birdlife (Formerly Werribee Wagtails) camp out.

On one afternoon in the RIse and Shine Bushland area we were quietly travelling through the forest, when I was pretty sure I’d heard the familiar “Peter, Peter Peter” of Jacky.
So we stopped and eventually I reckoned it about 500mm further down so we went to look. No doubt about it, a Jacky Winter, and quite vocal, and very busy.  The EE spotted a pattern of flying into one tree, and a few minutes later announced, like some magician about to pull  a rabbit from a hat.  “Look, she is building a nest!”.

Now of course you have got to have seen a Jacky Winter nest before to have any idea what you are looking for. Mr An Onymous who was with us peered into the trees, scratched his head, got out his ever dependable Nikon binos and looked again.  “Where?”  Which is a pretty good question as Jacky doesn’t exactly go in for high class up market building. If there was one of those ‘reality building’ shows for birds she’d be among the bottom of the backyards.

And there on a tiny Y in  branch was an almost imperceptible bulge.  And pretty soon Jacky confirmed that by adding some more spider web to hold it all together.

Hope she is successful.

Enjoy.

Ahh, Hello, Jacky
Ahh, Hello, Jacky
Now that is a pretty determined flight pattern
Now that is a pretty determined flight pattern
Look no further
Look no further
Not likely to add a wide screen tv in here.
Not likely to add a wide screen tv in here.
Good luck Jacky the species is in good hands.
Good luck Jacky the species is in good hands.