On a perfect, still, sunny winter morning we welcomed four new people on our bird walk, including two people who had driven all the way from the Cape Otway Conservation centre.

Allen Noble Sanctuary surprised us with a large, busy flock of Silvereyes, and a lone White-plumed Honeyeater on water plants.

Coot
Coot

Little Pied Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant

Australian Black Ducks
Australian Black Ducks

We were disappointed that there was no sign of the swans which are thought to be nesting there, but 19 species was a good tally.

Bambra Road Paddocks were a rich green with a large area of ephemeral water near the river bend. Two Cattle Egrets were near the water but nowhere near cattle or, in this location, horses.

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

A pair of gorgeous Shelducks were the highlight, but the quantity prize went to Magpies…about 80.

Shelducks
Shelducks

 Australian Wood Duck
Australian Wood Duck

The flowering Ironbarks in Distillery Creek were alive with honeyeaters, but only the two most common species. An unusual sighting was a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets, and a Yellow Robin entertained us over morning tea.

Morning teaMorning tea

Yellow Robin
Yellow Robin

Red Wattlebird
Red Wattlebird

Superb Fairy-wren
Superb Fairy-wren

We were having too much fun to finish then, so we moved on to the Blazing Saddles pony trail. It was vey pleasant walking along the riverside with resting kangaroos watching. A pair of beautiful Scarlet Robins posed obligingly, and we enjoyed seeing some Red-browed Finches and three Sulphur-crested Cockatoos hopping in an out of a nesting hole in a large tree.

Scarlet Robin
Scarlet Robin

Red-browed Finch
Red-browed Finch

Cockatoos
Cockatoos

All in all it was a very pleasant way to spend a nice winter’s morning.

Below is a list of all the birds identified:

1. Australian Wood Duck
2. Australian Black Duck
3. Grey Teal
4. Shelduck
5. Purple Swamphen
6. Coot
7. Great Cormorant
8. Little Pied Cormorant
9. White-faced Heron
10. Cattle Egret
11. Masked Lapwing
12. Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
13. Corella sp.
14. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
15. Rainbow Lorikeet
16. Crimson Rosella
17. Laughing Kookaburra
18. White-throated Treecreeper
19. Superb Fairy-wren
20. Rufous Bristlebird
21. White-browed Shrubwren
22. Brown Thornbill
23. Spotted Pardalote
24. White-plumed Honeyeater
25. New Holland Honeyeater
26. Red Wattlebird
27. Australian Magpie
28. Pied Currawong
29. Grey Fantail
30. Willy Wagtail
31. Little Raven
32. Magpie-lark
33. Scarlet Robin
34. Yellow Robin
35. Eurasian Skylark
36. Silvereye
37. Welcome Swallow
38. Common Starling
39. Red-browed Finch

Ellinor Campbell

Photos by Mark Le Pla

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Weed of the month

Bushy Yate

Bushy Yate

Bushy Yate, Eucalyptus lehmannii, is an evergreen densely rounded tree to 8m with spread of 3m. It is endemic to the south coast of Western Australia but has naturalised into the Surf Coast cliffs, coastal areas and bushland where it seeds prolifically. The orange flower pods form clusters like fingers extending from a hand and the horned seed capsules are fused at the base in clusters of five to eight.

More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.

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