On Friday, Carolyn contacted me to see if I wanted to go birding. Did I ever! I was hoping to go somewhere that day but had been trying to figure out what adventure would cause me the least amount of stress. I was tossing up between the stormwater harvesting lake, and Mcleods Waterhole, when I got her message.
Turned out Saturday was a bad anxiety day so it was really nice to be in the bush. I met Carolyn at Lara train station at 9am and we headed towards Western Plantation.
I don’t believe I’ve been here before. I’ve had no reason to. There are a lot of horse riders there and it isn’t the type of environment I’d usual explore. That is probably what makes it so good.
I got two lifers in this location – the first being the below jacky winter. I have no idea how people can tell what it is and will be putting it on the list of birds to look into later. Regardless, it was a lovely surprise.
I also got a lifer with this horsfields bronze cuckoo. Some people had suggested that I had seen one at Paradise Picnic Ground, but were unable to definitively say so due to my poor quality photos. This lovely one was incredibly coorporative – and also signals the need for me to take photos in raw! Carolyn was lovely and able to explain the differences in calls to me, which is one of the easier ways to tell them apart. We did hear a shining one later on but I was too knackered to track it down.
Plenty of dusky woodswallows there. I was keeping an eye out for white browed, mostly because people say they have seen them in the region, but no luck. I feel weird asking about them sometimes, like all I care about are lifers, but really I’m just trying to piece together all these random bits of information.
Then we saw a rainbow bee eater! Which oddly has a call that sounds a bit like a frog. I thought it was weird I heard frogs in a dried creek bed. The photo is meh but I don’t care, it is always worth seeing them again. I’d love to be able to photograph them at length and get one of the photos of them with an insect or bug in their mouth. Even better – I’d love Glenn to photograph that!
It seemed like they were inspecting a nest – I got a photo of one of their butts coming out of this hollow in the side of the river bed. I never knew they nested like that 🙂 It’s awesome. I was confused as to why the birds here seemed to be nesting later then the ones at Balyang…. until it was pointed out that Balyang has a continuous water source. Some things take a while to sink in.
I struggled to figure out what this was, I was hoping it was one of the many honeyeaters I haven’t seen that like to hang out at the You Yangs. I figured out it was a wattlebird when I saw the mother feeding it. I’ve gotten a number of photos like this in the past, and am still seeing wattlebirds being fed, but I thought it was lovely.
I was also fortunate enough to see, and photograph, a male and female rufous whistler. I never get sick of seeing these. It was great to get such clear photos contrasted against the background; it really helps me see the details of various markings.
Final bird? Sacred kingfisher! There were other birds here but the kingfisher was especially awesome. I hadn’t seen one in ages.
I highly recommend coming here for birdwatching. Would love to return here with Sethy. Warning: It IS snake season. We were lucky but we did see a tiger snake about a metre from the path.