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
Take my Picture. Sulphur-created Cockatoo
Young Australasian Darter
Latham’s Snipe feeding along the edge
Handsome Maned Duck
And they’re away
Dropping down to a favoured feeding spot
Click on photo for a larger size of each shot