The November bird walk at Brace and Barbara Bateman’s property was truly a delight. On arrival at their cliff-top property at Cathedral Rock just before Lorne, we were almost overwhelmed by bird-song, identifying almost a dozen birds before we started walking.
Introduction by Brace
Unfortunately we saw only a few other species during the actual walk along the track through almost virgin (but, of course, logged) forest beside a river.
Where are the birds?
The track continued into the Otways National Park and alongside a magnificent escarpment. We wished we had a geologist present to explain the unusual geology of the area.
I became enthralled by the vegetation, and my plant list ended up longer than the bird list.
Brace and Barbara were really delighted to see a young koala at the beginning and end of the walk, as they had never seen one on their property before. They think it must have been part of a recent release of new koalas to the area.
At the end of the walk they entertained us to a slap-up morning tea in their ‘room with a view.’
View from the living room
Before going, we had a good look from their property along the beach and out to sea for water birds, but the only animal life was human seals enjoying the surf.
However we were pleased to be farewelled by the ringing calls of a Rufous Bristle-bird. Margaret Lacey also found a beautiful Swordgrass Brown butterfly.
Swordgrass Brown butterfly
Three of us went on afterwards to a private property in Bambra to help with a Spring bird survey organized by the Upper Bambra Landcare Network in conjunction with Birds Australia. The aim is to compare birds on private property in remnant vegetation compared with revegetated areas.
The owners of Jinda Park, Jennifer and Richard Morrow, have planted thousands of trees in previously very degraded land, and their property includes a gorgeous vegetated valley dominated by large remnant Blue Gums and massed ferns.
In their delightful valley
Our koala luck continued as we sighted one here, and the only other time Jennifer and Richard had seen one on their property was on the winter survey.
A few more species were identified here such as the Golden Bronze-Cuckoo and the Crescent Honeyeater. We look forward to returning next year for surveys in the other seasons.
BIRD LIST NOVEMBER 2015
1. Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
2. Australian King Parrot
3. Crimson Rosella
4. Shining bronze-cuckoo
5. Superb Fairy-wren
6. Rufous Bristlebird
7 Brown Thornbill
8. Spotted Pardalote
9. Yellow-faced honeyeater
10. Crescent oneyeater
11. New Holland Honeyeater
12. White-eared Honeyeater
13. Grey shrike-Thrush
14. Australian Magpie
15. Pied Currawong
16. Grey Fantail
18. Welcome Swallow
19. Australasian Pipit
Photos by Margaret Lacey and Ellinor Campbell