The May bird walk took place over one and half days, as we showed Echuca Birdlife members some of our favourite birding spots. We had lovely warm, still weather, but the birds were scarce, and on Sunday smoke from planned burns meant a change of itinerary.
At Coogoorah Park in Anglesea on Saturday afternoon the Great Cormorants were missing from the dead trees near the car park, as had happened on our previous walk. The most unusual bird we saw here was a skulking Buff-Banded Rail, always a good sighting.
Buff-Banded Rail viewing platform
Also nearby some Welcome Swallows posed most handsomely on the top of some dead wood, with the still water as a backdrop.
The next day in Aireys Inlet we started with the water birds at the Allen Noble sanctuary, and then walked up to the lighthouse and clifftop track. Our visitors were delighted with glimpses of scurrying Rufous Bristlebirds. Table Rock, below the lighthouse, had a record number of five visiting Black-faced Cormorants.
After morning tea at the sanctuary, we moved on to the Painkalac Valley, and checked out the birds in the swamp at Butlers Bend, where we had an unexpectedly good view of a Wedge-tailed Eagle gliding over the valley.
Next stop was the bottom of Lot 2 in the valley, entering over the small private pedestrian bridge. The best sighting here was a couple of White-faced Herons sitting in a tree.
We were disappointed that the multitude of Dusky Woodswallows, seen on the previous visit, had left for warmer climes. The planned burn prevented us visiting Distillery Creek, so instead we went on to Moggs Creek for lunch. This was also quiet, but free from smoke and we enjoyed a pleasant walk along the nature trail. The birds of the day (in all locations) were small family parties of the ever-delightful Fairy Wrens hopping about their business.
Fairy Wren (adult male)
Fairy Wren (juvenile male)
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.