Ahh, Toolangi. A place so magic that it rivals the Otways – and I’m besotted with the Otways.
I’d done a bit of reading prior to the trip so I knew what other birds would be in the area. Pilot bird, satin flycatcher, superb lyrebird and olive whistler were all ones I was keen on, although I didn’t really think I’d have a chance at any of them.
Fortunately, luck was in my favour,
I finally saw a satin flycatcher! It sounds silly, but I get annoyed when such common birds elude me. I’m a lot better at being a patient birder but I still get really insecure at my lack of knowledge.
It was really hard to get a photo of this but it didn’t matter. I could clearly see what they meant about the blue sheen! I’ve now seen the three main flycatchers in the area and will be doing some basic research on them. My friend recommended that I read the field guide multiple times but it’s very hard me to make the connection between information I read and the birds in the field until I’ve actually seen them. An online contact has recommended I go to the local uni and read about some of my favourite birds in HANZAB and I’ll probably be doing that over the holidays.
Black Faced Monarch
Facebook friends were going nuts over this bird and everyone was really keen to see it. It was hard for me to understand what the hype was about. Apparently they are here every year but are just easier then normal? It is an incredibly beautiful bird but I assumed that others, like myself, had seen it elsewhere already. I’d seen it O’Reillys.
Why get a fleeting glimpse when you may be able to get a better look elsewhere?
I don’t know if I’m naive or just tired. All I know is that I was more focused on the robins. I did learn a lot about them.
Knowing there call is key to finding them. They can be pretty elusive but like to hang around the same areas. Getting a photo is hard because they hide behind foliage. If you hear the call and are patient enough, chances are you will be able to get a decent photo. Patience is key 🙂
I’ll be keen to see what others see and share over the coming months. I bet once everyone has twitched it, the traffic to the area will die off. This may help to get better photos.
Everyone was focused on looking for the monarch when I saw a robin move. I asked the others what it was. “Probably a scarlet,” someone said. They were completely focused on finding the monarch and didn’t look. It didn’t look like a female scarlet so I took a number of photos so I could check when I got home.
Facebook friends confirmed that it was, in fact, a flame. Flames have moved into that area and others saw males on the day. I’ve finally knocked it off my life list! Not that I was in a real hurry to get them anyway, but it was becoming an embarrassing dip.
Incredibly beautiful bird and looking forward to studying it more next year.
I was also fortunate enough to see a Bassian Thrush earlier in the day. Grace, who is an extremely skilled birder, was able to see one and waved at us to come over. My photos turned out shit but we got great views. It was a humbling experience. When with others I am less patient, because I’m hyper aware of being on a time frame. I’m too anxious about infringing on their time and staying too long that I never pay enough attention to where I am. I figure that I’ll come back another day and bird at my own pace.
I need to slow down and talk with my birding companions so I can fully relax and enjoy myself. We also saw tree martins collecting nesting material. A great time to visit if you like photos of birds preparing nests.
I need to figure out how to get back there. Very seriously considering a tour so I can hit many of the areas that fascinate me and get a basic understanding of the birds that elude me. Alternately, stay at an airbnb room in Boronia and hit the Dandenongs area as much as I can.