These photos were taken in 2015, shortly after the bushfires had hit. I remember thinking it was fascinating finding small signs of life amidst such devastation.
white throated treecreeper
You may be saying “two posts about bugs in one day? I thought this was a birdwatching blog.”
It still is. And, birding posts will return. Glenn pushed us over the download limit for the month and our internet has been shaped until tomorrow. This means I can’t edit the remaining photos, as I use aviary on Flickr. I have to use the posts I’d archived for emergencies.
Normally I wouldn’t count one day without posting as an emergency but dudes. You have no idea how busy Summer/Spring are for birding. Birds are starting the second part of their breeding cycle. I don’t have time for that 😛
Anyway, I was excited to go to my parents bush block because I really wanted to check out the bugs and spiders you get there. I have no idea where the fascination came from. Blame Sethy. There is just so much we don’t see. I regret not buying the macro lens earlier as it would have been so cool to have. Hopefully we’ll get to return to the property again soon – especially with Seths newfound love of yabbies.
Also intrigued by getting macros of fungi down the track!
One of the first places many people recommended I visit while in Apollo Bay was the Paradise Picnic Ground. It’s hard to find much information about it online, despite there it being on one of the signs in Apollo Bay.
Basically, it is a teeny picnic area about 7km out from Apollo Bay.
On arrival one picnic area is located near the carpark and toilets. We recommend you follow the track across the road which will lead you to a beautiful picnic area aptly named ‘Paradise’. Here there are a couple of picnic tables set beside the creek under an ancient tree fern canopy.
It is incredibly beautiful and a lovely place to do photography, and is a bit closer then some of the walks a bit further out. There isn’t much of a walk – although some people have created an unofficial path by bush bashing.
I wasn’t sure how to find birds here so basically just wandered around for an hour, sitting and listening to the sounds. The eastern yellow robin was a frequent visitor.
I actually went there twice. I went there for a 10 minute walk with my parents on the first day, to see if they’d be interested in exploring. Seth was starting to play up so we decided I’d return the next day ‘to visit a friend.’
If you like eastern yellow robins, I highly recommended it. They were so photogenic. There were a number of grey fantails hanging around so I ignored some of the birds around that size who had similar behaviour. I regret doing it as I nearly missed out on this yellow faced honeyeater!
The honey eater was flitting around about a meter from the ground and feeding from flowers. I’m pleased with how the photos turned out
I did see a bronze cuckoo of some description, but there wasn’t enough of it to be able to tell what species it is. I was so surprised when my friends ID’ed it because it was a lot smaller then I would have thought. The tail is completely different.
I wonder how many times I may have seen it in the past and dismissed it because it was the ‘wrong size’. I’m hoping to see both of them over the spring/summer birding season. I’m not sure I will, as I don’t know enough, and there is just so much to learn.
I’m not fussed about not being able to add something to the life list because I did learn something! This is despite falling over there (the ground was wet and slippery) and being pretty sick with a cold.
Bog standard brown thornbill – even though the above photo didn’t really look like a thornbill to me. I find little brown birds to be so confusing. Bring on ducks. Ducks are easy.
I also saw a white throated treecreeper there. In the third picture, it looks like it has something in its mouth.
When I saw this I realized that there is a lot of similarity between here and the brisbane ranges. The treecreeper, robin and honeyeater are all ones I’ve seen in both areas. It was interesting because they are completely different types of forest. Probably not so different in terms of the the trees and flowers, but different in the climate.
This golden whistler was a lot of fun to photograph. Look at the detail and brightness in that photo! And this was in a dark area!
It took a while to get a good look. I was hoping it was a crested shrike tit, even though I don’t think they’d like this type of forest. Even Sethy said the photo was beautiful.
I didn’t have much luck with other types of birds but darn, the area was great for photography. It has been overshadowed by places like Maits Rest and Melba Gully.
This adventure wasn’t as good as it could have been for birding. It’s partially because of lack of information online but mostly because of my inexperience. I struggle with bird calls, have no idea about behaviour of many species and was walking around there wondering if I even deserved to call myself a birder.
I pulled myself out of the funk pretty quick – it was mostly because I was sick and feeling sorry for myself. And, I told myself to go easier on myself. Birding isn’t my life. It keeps me sane but it also causes pressure. Because I need to ask stupid questions online, because there are social nuances in the birding community and because I’m just not able to do the huge birding days/trips that others can do.
It is so overwhelming going to new environments. It’s something I haven’t done for a while, at least for the primary purpose of birding. That’s one of the reasons I stopped and just took shots of the scenery.
I was impressed with how the lens handled it. I don’t know whether the photos are better then they would have been with the kit lens. There are definitely better then they would have been with the Nikon!
Hope to return one day, at a point where I have more experience 🙂
I’m going to the Gold Coast in two days for work. It’ll be two days of travel, two days at a conference with maybe 1-3 hours of sneaky birding. As usual, I’ve been feeling pretty anxious about it. At least I was on the weekend. I couldn’t slow my heart beat nor get much down.
Fortunately, the fabulous Carolyn offered to take me adventuring for the day. I would have planned to go somewhere myself but the weather forecast was meant to be bad. I thought it would be handy to have a car there just in case it suddenly poured down.
We were lucky. We had great weather. We went to the Brisbane Ranges. It was a rough day in terms of anxiety management but ultimately, very therapeutic.
Our first stop was a walk along orchid and tea tree tracks. I think. The birding was more difficult then I’m used to but it was still pretty awesome
Scarlet Robin. There were a number of these floating about which gave me a chance to practice my sphotography. I was so hoping to see a flame. Alas, I missed. I’m not sure if I’ve missed my chance to see them – or double banded plovers elsewhere – but I’ll try when I get back.
Grey Strike Thrush. The call may have confused me – again!
The above is a white eared honeyeater. I’ve seen them before, it was nice to see them again. I don’t know why I like them more then the white naped honeyeater. Perhaps the red eye annoys me? They were pretty tricky to photograph, they flew very quickly
Blurry wedge tailed eagle. I don’t see them that often and it was flying very low. I was so stabby that the camera wouldn’t focus in time.
Eastern Spinebill. These guys were here in pretty decent numbers. Further away then the ones at the botanic gardens. It was interesting, seeing as I know nothing about their behaviour and what type of habitat they like. I didn’t think the ranges was wet enough. But the plants they liked at the botanical gardens were more for the food they provided.
I love the accidental learning. I so have to learn more about photographing these guys.
I was playing around with creative auto (to get nice backgrounds) when this guy flew off. I think the setting could be useful in rushed situations. Hoping to experiment with it more.
Brown thornbill? A couple of types were seen here, I’m just in no rush to ID them.
Another robin, or probably the same one I’ve photographed earlier.
This is quite likely a lifer. Carolyn did say she saw a grey headed (or grey?) honeyeater but I couldn’t see quick enough. I’m not even annoyed I couldn’t see it, I only get annoyed later when I missed the potential flame robin. Even then, I was just cranky at the camera.< img class=" aligncenter" src="https://farm1.staticflickr.com/422/20423457246_6b4aa3a709_z.jpg" alt="IMG_7406" width="640" height="427" />
Treecreeper. I could photograph these guys all day.
Not sure what this is. Probably something common. Maybe a pardalote?
Boar gully Camp Ground
We didn’t have much luck with birds in this area. I took photos of all the signs so I’d remember to read up on it when I got home. I did notice it was the start/end of the Burchell track. I’d given up any hopes of walking it because it isn’t really accessible and involves more hills then other walks I’m interested in. However, I may be able to pay friends for a lift there. I’d need to improve fitness and figure out how to work around my selective eating. I’d given up most thoughts about multi day hiking with all the stress of the past year. I’m pretty excited about all the potential nature adventures I can go on. So many, so little time!
It was a really good trip. It definitely lessened the anxiety. I’m finding I’m feel better in general now I’ve moved.
This trip took place on the 26th of June
I woke to the sound of my phone buzzing. It was a text message. It may have been around 11am.
“Want to go birding around the Brisbane Ranges today?”
You bet I did! I was exhausted and burnt out. Barely up to being social. But I have some sort of spiritual experience when birding. It calms and refreshes me. It makes me feel excited about life again. It reminds me of why I push myself through so much, even though I’ll probably never fully recover from anxiety.
I LOVE the Brisbane Ranges area. We explored it a little bit as a kid. My parents, or my grandparents, would take us out there for adventuring. I was interested at how the terrain was different and how many rocks there were. I wasn’t interested in birds or flora at the time, which is disappointing. Past Jade could have learnt a lot!
I haven’t been able to get there as an adult. It’s one of those places that is difficult to get to without public transport. I’m very much intrigued and would love to explore it properly.
Lower Stony Creek Reservoir
I’ve struggled to find much information about this area. Maybe I’m confused with the Stony Creek Picnic Area? I know we started at a picnic area and walked down the lower reservoir.
Animal poop we found – suspect rabbit? Still interested in learning more about animal droppings 🙂
There was a yellow robin there. I don’t understand what type of environment they love as I’ve found them in a couple of different types of forest. As always, it was rather photogenic.
A very unique type of fungi. The stalk thingy looks different to other types that I’ve seen. I definitely need to educate myself more about fungi. Carolyn was saying that someone she knows uses a dental mirror to look underneath the fungi. That is a great idea and something I may think about doing.
Yellow Tufted Honeyeater!
I did see one in the past at Chiltern…. just before I killed the camera. I was so upset as this is such a beautiful bird and I really wanted photos. This photo is mediocre but it was awesome to see one again. I really want to study this bird more and get much better photos. I also want to see the helmeted honeyeater subspecies.
Golden Whistler. It may be a generic bird and it is one that I am seeing more and more often, even close to home. It was fun to get some photos of it doing something different instead of just posing like it normally does.
Burchell Trail. I took a photo of this sign to remind me of my previous love of hiking and how I’d love to do this walk one day.
More poop. Suspected wallaby or kangaroo.
Lower Stony Creek
This area, in particular the dam, is very significant to the history of Geelong. Well, the water supply. It may be boring to some but I thought it was interesting and so, as usual, took a photo.
You can get more information about the history of it at Barwon Blogger.
This map is blurry and may not be useful to anyone. I added it, as I always do, to add context. The following couple of photos are intended to show what the reservoir looks like when there is no water in it. Glenn could have gotten some really awesome photos there.
Yellow faced honeyeater. After much thinking, I’ve decided that these birds are awesome. (I either love, or hate, honeyeaters. Don’t ask.)
A different angle.
Eastern spinebill. Took forever for me to see my first one but now they are popping up all the time. Definitely worth researching 🙂
White naped honeyeater. This is one of the species that I don’t like, although there is no logical reason. Possibly because it is so difficult to photograph with very little reward 😉
White browed scrubwren. Definitely want to research subspecies and behaviour as they are awesome.
It was so fascinating going to Steigletz. We went through the township, including going past the church. I’d definitely love to return to the area and learn more about it. I don’t think it’s feasible anytime soon but man, it is beautiful.
A scenic, but otherwise useless, sign.
Unsure, but suspected grey strike thrush. Or female golden whistler. Normally I use the wings to tell them apart.
Scarlet robin. We saw two, a female and male, in different areas here. There was also a large number of crimson rosellas but they were fairly skittish.
White throated treecreeper. We heard a number of them around that day. I haven’t found a consistent type of environment they like but it was always awesome seeing them.
Loved this trip. Am so very grateful that Carolyn asks me on these adventures, even if it means going out of her way. I love learned about new areas and she has been a fantastic mentor. So much knowledge about the various parts of nature! She also understands my social limitations and it makes it so much easier for me.
I can be an agoraphobic people hater but still get lonely.
Anyway! Brisbane Ranges is really interesting. It’s amazing how you can have so many different environments in such a small area. Visiting here helped place a lot of the other areas in context and gave me something to compare other places to. I’ve been focusing on areas close to the ocean – mostly because they are serviced by public transport.
The natural world is so diverse and I’m so fortunate to be able to experience it as much as I have lately – despite my many limitations. I love birding.
Change of tone from yesterday, hey?