I wasn’t planning to go back to Balyang for a bit. I was hoping to get to Serendip, to see any baby birds and whether or not the brolgas are dancing. Turns out it takes just two words to change my mind.
I belong to an online group that focuses on identifying Aussie birds. It’s been incredibly useful. There is a decent amount of Geelong people on there, including a number who live around my suburb. Someone had posted pictures of baby herons and also said there were four hard headed ducks.
“That’d be right.” Glenn said when I told him. Although he may sworn a bit. Part of me felt like saying “That’s what happens when you photograph the easy birds and don’t go exploring.
So, today I walked down there. I was having a bad anxious day so I didn’t shower and wore Glenns hat.
I couldn’t. Find. Anything! No sign of the hard-headed ducks. No sign of the herons. I was getting rather annoyed at myself. I tried to get photos of any ducks that were further away to see if I’d notice the ducks when I looked on the screen.
They *were* hiding at the back. I’m starting to think I may have to get a pair of binoculars, instead of relying on the camera lens. It’s not stable when I’m holding it sometimes and I can’t properly see.
Apparently they aren’t that common at Balyang. That’s fascinating, as they were one of the first ducks I was able to properly ID. I haven’t seen the pink eared duck in some time though, which is interesting.
I had walked around the back of Balyang and bumped into a couple, both of whom had binoculars. I’ve become more outgoing lately so flat out asked them if they were birders. They were! I asked if they had seen any herons… then they asked if I was Jade from the bird identification group.
We spoke briefly and they pointed out where the hard headed ducks were. They were telling me about a man, who visited there weekly and kept a lot of records. Apparently there have been bowerbirds! there and you can see a lot of changes if you visit there often enough. They also echoed what others had said, about walking along the river on the Highton side. They have seen a crested shrike tit along there!
The ducks had moved closer to the first bridge. A family was feeding the birds. I guess if you want to double check if a species is there, you should bring out the bread. There was two there that I saw, male and female. My friend had noted that there was 4 there when he visited.
I’m guessing that this cutie is the grebe I saw here back in autumn. I’m never confident telling hoary headed and Australian ones apart, but I’m guessing this is the hoary headed. I love watching how their plumage changes.
Found this red browed finch at the back. Have seen them many times before but it’s always worth practicing on little birds.
I could only see one wood duck.
- There was two cormorants on the tree, whereas on Monday there was one. There was another one on a nesting box near the road
- There was two pelicans, compared to none last time I was here. I wonder where they go?
- We occasionally get grey currawongs around here. (or was it butcher birds?) Apparently the best way to tell them apart is via the call. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never stop learning about birds. So much to learn!
- Dipped on the herons. Will send Glenn down when I’m at mums.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the purpose of this blog and whether it actually helps people. I’m a professional blogger, so of course I get trapped in the world of metrics and amount of followers. Some birding blogs can have a dedicated following but those people are able to visit multiple birding areas.
This blog has primarily focused on the areas close to my house, specifically Balyang. I was joking last night to Glenn about how I’d be lucky to have five readers. This blog will never lead anywhere and will only be relevant to a very small group of people.
But you know what?
That’s fine. I have a visual document showing how Balyang changes during various seasons. I’ve posted observations, snippets of conversations and photos. I’ve asked questions. Anyone interested in studying the area may be able to learn. What I write may influence decisions about animal conservation. Probably not now, but it will have an impact on someone.
I struggle to leave the house. But I know how to leverage the internet. Blog posts will also have more power and influence then notebooks and lists on online databases. This may just be my personal project, but it’s a project that allows me to share what I love.
Oh, and I finally managed to get a photo of straw necked ibises. Apparently they are borderline pests in some areas and circle because of something to do with thermal currents? This post was recommended: Boom time for migratory birds in Australia