I recently joined a Facebook group for Victorian birders and had arranged to join a group trip to Toolangi. Somebody was coming up the day before and was going to meet up with another birder to see a peregrine falcon. I asked if I could tag along and they were both gracious enough to say yes. For this, I am so appreciative.
As a kid, I was a bird nerd. I was focused on learning as much as I could about parrots but I was also fascinated by peregrine falcons. An animal book I had growing up said they were the fasted birds in the world. I loved them, even if I didn’t research them.
Above is the crappy photo of the aforementioned falcon. I never would have found it by myself. Despite Phillips best description, I needed Bill to physically point me towards where the bird was. The photos were crap but I don’t care. I would have loved to see more of it – possibly it hunting – but I’m so happy I got to see it. I can’t describe any information about it’s location simply because I was unfamiliar with the area and don’t remember.
We dipped on finding purple crowned lorikeets which was fine, as I know I’ll find them. As soon as we walked into the woodlands we saw this tawny frogmouth. Part of me groaned inside, as I’d struggled so hard to find one around Geelong. I do love seeing them though.
It was a great day for raptors. I learned so much! We saw a parent and juvenile calling to each other. We heard magpies doing a call saying that there was a raptor in the area.
We definitely saw a collared sparrowhawk. Looking at the pictures, and the images in my field guide, I can see why they said the tail gave it away. There is one subspecies up north that I’ll have to track down. Also saw a brown falcon so can tick it off the list. The above bird is a young brown goshawk (I think). I wrote down the birds I saw but not in the order that I saw them.
Also saw this spider which was cool. Saw another interesting small greenish spider but my camera wouldn’t focus on it.
I had seen a female golden whistler in the past but never a male. I believe I saw a male golden whistler at some point during the weekend. Seeing the rufous though helped me understand what rufous means 😛 It’s a consistent colour. I remember it’s call being beautiful, but I don’t remember what it is.
There are five subspecies of it – it’s described as a nomadic or migratory species in some parts of Aus. According to birds in backyards, “The female and immature birds can be distinguished from most other whistlers by heavy streaking on the underparts.”
It’s rarely seen on the ground and forages higher then other whistlers. And produces two broods in a season. If all that information is overwhelming for you then just look at how pretty it is. I only googled because I know nothing about whistlers.
We did get to see a straited pardalote which was pretty awesome. I’ve seen one before but hadn’t seen it with this behaviour. Phillip used callback to get it closer and it was on a branch above us, spreading it’s wings. This behaviour was different to the one I had seen at Ocean Grove.
Bill suggested that it may be it’s defense behaviour – there may have been females or young in the area. I was just researching online and the bird is apparently very defensive of it’s territory. Maybe the difference in behaviour was because I saw it without using callback?
There are a number of subspecies across Australia and markings are meant to differ? No idea.
I think the above is a weebill. I know I also saw a yellow faced honeyeater – either here or at some point on the next day. It was incredibly overwhelming – almost to the point where I couldn’t keep track of everything. I had so much fun though.
I’ve written about how I’m susceptible to migraines and have a problem coping with heat on warm todays. Today was no exception. I started feeling really sick after about an hour of walking. There was a slight incline and my legs were burning. I had a funny feeling in my gut and couldn’t seem to catch my breath. I ended up saying “you guys go ahead and I’ll wait here for a bit.
They came back and we drove to another area of the woodlands. Again, I sat down by myself for a bit. I felt rude but still had fun watching the reed warblers. I was burping (not so discreetly) to try and feel better. At one point, I really thought I was going to throw up. I ended up burping out the tummy upset and being okay for the trip home.
I know this is way too much information, but it’s one of the frustration aspects of birding. I don’t know if it’s a health issue, a side effect of my antidepressants or just the result of me being unfit. I don’t get sick as often anymore as I’ve been pushing myself more with my fitness levels. It just made me feel like a shitty liability.
Overall it was a fun trip. I love seeing new areas and learning about them. It reminded me of Ocean Grove Nature Reserve somewhat. Philip is extremely knowledgeable and I was very grateful to be able to tag along. I learn a lot and there was no way I would have saw that much by myself, let along learn anything.
Part me of feels guilty for taking away from Bills experience. I honestly do not know how to behave in some group situations and don’t know if I’m cramping other peoples style. I suspect this is something I’ll have to relearn now that I’m actually being social again.