Ages ago, I emailed a mate telling him about the cool frogs we’d found at Balyang. I didn’t got a response to that, but I did get an email in early May asking me if I’d like to join him and another GFNC member birding around Serendip and the You Yangs.
I immediately said yes. My cat had been missing for a couple of weeks at this point and I had been feeling shit. While nothing could replace the Beej, birding may take my mind off him for a bit.
It was just before 8 when we arrived at Serendip. It was earlier then I had ever gotten there before – normally I get there around lunchtime.
I highly recommend you visit there at ungodly hours. I normally avoid being up too early as it triggers migraines but in this case it was worth the risk. No-one else was there and the staff were still feeding the animals. The magpie geese hadn’t moved away from some of the common ponds yet and were sitting a lot closer then they normally would. Next season, I’m definitely returning to get some good photos. Alas,we didn’t have much time to take photos today.
We had just gotten out of the bird enclosure when I noticed these two tawny frogmouths in a tree. I felt so proud of myself. I can’t do bird calls and struggle with a lot of species, but I can always spot movement or when something looks different. Apparently they can be very hit and miss here.
We walked along a back here, behind a waterhole. It had dried up. I saw a group of bones that had once belonged to a roo.
We went to one of back ponding areas.
Two shelducks and a shoveller! Woohoo! I really wished I had my proper big lens that day, and I’d been able to photograph them pooping.
I got a good view of its underwings as well.
We left and started driving towards the you Yangs, when Jeff stopped suddenly.
There was a pair of whistling kites eating a carcass.
I didn’t get that many photos at the You Yangs. We went off the path a bit and the bush bashing was pretty tricky. Some of the bits were steep, which is normally fine. It’s less fine if there is no defined path and the dirt is slippery.
I was too busy trying not to fall over to focus on the birds. Have a couple of scratches from that day – my legs are showing a lot of signs of my clumsiness! I was so pleased with myself, I pushed myself really hard and didn’t get sick at all.
We went to a couple of other haunts in the region before going to Avalon Beach. It was so great to return there, I hadn’t been there in a long time.
There was a decent number of banded stilts there which was great to see.
Also a pied oystercatcher.
It was a phenomenal day, my report doesn’t do it justice. I very much need to improve my fitness though if I’m going to go on more of them.
I’ve learned that one of the reason I don’t see as many birds is because I tend to stick to the paths. Often, some of the best birding can be found off path.
We ended up seeing around 100 species which was pretty awesome. I saw so glad to get home that night though!
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