Wow, over a month. What a lot of stuff happens that keeps you from the things you’d like to be doing.
We had a couple of weeks away back up on the family acres, mostly family things, and I have to admit to not even bothering to take a camera. And its not been much better since we returned. So there hasn’t been much to report.
I do have a backlog of a few earlier trips to slot in here, but thought we’d start with the You Yangs.
Our friend Merrilyn (see her blog here), mailed me that she’d seen a Red-capped Robin on a track in the Big Rock area. That was enough to get the gear loaded in the car.
It’s no secret to the erstwhile longtime reader that Woodlands Historic Park was our ‘second’ home. In fact my association with photographing the birds at Woodlands goes back a number of years predating this blog. As I was able to roam over quite a bit of the area, I spent a goodly amount of that time working out which birds where nesting, and where territories might be found. The local Red-capped Robin population also accepted me, and a number of them came to be on good speaking terms, and would come out to see what I was upto anytime I wandered through.
But, as we’ve moved, all that is pretty much ancient history. We’ve be able to locate a couple of areas locally, but none the rival the freedom of being a few minutes away such as Woodlands offered.
Oh, yes, the You Yangs trip.
We set out to have a look at the Red-capped Robing, and despite much searching were Not successful. He might have been travelling through, or he might have been resting in the bush just behind me. So not sighting yet. We also looked for Eastern Yellow Robins and only found a couple of pair. Not unusual, as they have most probably taken a new batch and are quietly feeding them amongst the thicker scrub in the area.
What we did find was quite a few Scarlet Robin juveniles. These lovely birds are very distinguished by their motley feather set as they moult out juvenile and take on first year feathers.
My long time reader will recall that about this time, several years back one such bird turned up at Woodlands and for a few weeks I thought S(he) was female, but within few weeks the beautiful glossy black revealed a very handsome male. So it was like meeting old friends when we came across several family groups of Scarlets. Some still unidentifiable as males or females, and some quite well advanced into first year dress. What was interesting, in the 4 major locations there were at least 4 or 6 such young. And we think that it was only a sample of the numbers of Scarlets that have been successfully hatched this season.
At Woodlands one of my all time favourite birds and a particular interest to my mate Ray, was a single female White-throated Treecreeper. For a number of years she seemed to be on her own. One season I found a male, and later a juvenile, but she went back to her single ways the following year. So it was quite a surprise to encounter a White-throated female, and see her disappear behind a tree trunk. When I looked, there was a nest in the hollow of a tree, and her one young offspring perched on the side of the opening. Just like meeting an old friend.
At a large tree near the Ranger’s Office, there is usually one or two Tawny Frogmouth, but they’d been absent for quite awhile. But we went to look anyway.
They were back, along with at least one young one. Again at Woodlands there are a resident pair near the carpark, so again it was like meeting old friends.
Here are some shots from the day.