Been a long time between posts, I know. Hope you remember me!
But the excuse—I’m going to use—is that we just haven’t been doing much that is reportable.
Long term readers may remember that the blog was originally set up to record the bird activity at Grey Box forest at Woodlands Historic Park. Quite a few things have changed, in the park, and in my birding life, and in my life since those humble beginnings.
It has been said more than once, sometimes kindly, others not, that I have Grey Box sap running in my veins. Put me in a stand of Grey Box and my heartrate, breathing and all other out of contol faculties calm down.
So when EE said, casually, ‘Why don’t we go to Eynesbury”, on a sunny morning, before you can say, “We’re off” we were!
After all the rain, Eynesbury Grey Box looks a treat. Plenty of green and still good water laying about in the usual dry water courses that cross the forest.
We had hoped to see Speckled Warbler, Diamond Firetail, Sacred Kingfisher and Jacky Winter. In descending order of importance.
We also had hoped to hear the forest ringing with the sounds of Dusky Woodswallows that regularly return to nest in the area.
However Grey Box is not always forthcoming and in the end we had to admit, that today was not going to be our day.
We found a family of Galah today.
They had discovered an old disused Southern Cross Windmill. Whilst it no long is used to draw water, the blades still function in the wind, and while it might not be as balanced precision as when first installed, in a strong wind it can crank around at a fair pace.
Now the questions arise. Did the Galahs know what would happen as they perched on the vanes, or was it all some fun thing to do that needed to be repeated to get the most from it.
None-the-less, for about 20 minutes or so they enjoyed exploring and learning about gravity. (?).
If one landed on a vane off vertical it enjoyed a slow trip down to the bottom of the arc. If two or more landed, then the balance could be worked out and the windmill did not turn, but when one left, either by flying off or moving to another vane, then the others enjoyed a trip around the circle.
The rust on the vanes always was intriguing and so each one tried their hand (beak) at removing it. Stubbornly it remained.
It was one of those times when the video on youtube would get a million hits.
As the first Australian Lockdown came to an end back in March 2020, Scomo, our Prime Minister announced that it was “Time for Australia to come out from under the Doona and get back to the office”. Fine sentiment.
For readers not familiar with Scomo, it is a contraction of the Prime Minister’s name. Scott Morrison. It came to public attention first on August 2, 2018, when during a press conference, Mr Morrison was asked about his leadership aspirations, as there was a lot of unease about Malcom Turnbull’s leadership. He reached out and hugged Mr Turnbull and said, “This is my leader, I’m ambitious for him”
To which the (doomed) Malcom Turnbull responded, “Thanks, Scomo.”
The irony of the comment really only became obvious about 3 weeks later, when Malcom Turnbull was ousted, and Scomo became Prime Minister. (Skipping over some of the heavy duty political drama in there!)
So with the recent lifting of restrictions on the Victorian Lockdown to a 10km travel radius, I decided to take Scomo’s advice and “Return to the Office.
Mostly I wanted to see if the Flame Robins were still in the area. But as it turns out, they have become very conspicuous by their absence. I did find a lone Black-shouldered Kite who was happy to share a photo of its hunting prowess.
Then I heard the intense call of Magpies announcing a raptor approaching. Looking far across the paddock a small dot with large wings was headed my way. To be honest, at first I thought it was a local Black Kite and was nearly going to dismiss it, but the intensity of the maggies attack made me look again.
Trying desperately to get enough speed to gain some height and escape being harassed. However maggies are trained for this and they were making sure that the Eagle had to stay down just over the paddock. It kept coming and then the Eagle and its attendant pesky magpies flew pretty much over where I was standing.