Dusky Wood-swallow

 DUSKY WOODSWALLOW Artamus cyanopterus

There were numbers of Woodswallows about  in the area of the sewerage  ponds yesterday. Some were feeding young birds,  not too long out of the nest.

These Dusky Woodswallows are not to be confused with those others, the Welcome, and White-backed Swallows and the Martins we often see in and out of old sheds, under verandahs and bridges. 

Whilst both are of the order Passeriformes, they are each of a different Family. Woodswallows, Artamus, Swallows Hirundinidae. So, not related.  

The Woodswallows are very social animals and can often be seen sitting together along a branch, up to a dozen birds squeezed up together tightly. 

Unlike the swallows and fairy martin family who build nests from mud, the Woodswallow builds a rough looking nest from twigs and small branches

Cuckoo-shrike Black-faced

 BLACK-FACED CUCKOO-SHRIKE Coracina novaehollandiae

There is a nicely wooded paddock at Willowmavin, a few kilometres to west of Kilmore. It is seldom grazed so at the moment it is heavily grassed with kangaroo grass, wallaby grass and other pasture grasses.
This young bird was busy hunting and feeding, returning to the same branch to consume what had been caught. Caterpillars by the look of it. 



Black Swans & Chicks


A number of we locals, have been watching a pair of swans on the Hospital Reservoir for several months. Like a group of older aunts we have been waiting and watching for signs of new arrivals.

Well here they are at last. 


The cygnets have been out and about for about three weeks now. They and the adults are very at ease with the world, not concerned by the presence of golfers, course workers and walkers and dogs.



This morning as I passed the group at a distance, I noticed a woman throwing cut up lettuce to them. She must have been around at other times, the swans and young moved eagerly toward the her and the picnic she offered.



I spoke to the lady later and she told me there had been three young birds. One had looked 'sickly' from the start. She said it spent a lot of time on the back of one of the adults as they floated across the water. She hasn't seen this chick for a while and presumes it has died or been taken by a fox.


Sparrow House

HOUSE SPARROW Passer domesticus


Such common little birds. We see them so often it is easy to not to pay them any attention.

















Introduced to Australia in the 1860s, they are now abundant pest through most parts of the country. Unfortunately they displace our native birds from  nest sites. As well, they use our houses, sheds and farm building for their nests often leaving a mess of twigs and leaves which harbour mice and insects  


Many of us have been woken by the incessant scratching and chirrupping of sparrows nesting under the roofs above our bedrooms. 


Whilst knowing that they are ubiquitous pests, they are bright and cheerful little birds, well worth watching  and contemplating. Common maybe, but they are certainly a big part of our avian birdscape. 


As I see them fluttering around the old railway station building at Kilmore East, I am always reminded of the verse from Matthew's Gospel Bible, 'Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care'. 




Oriole Olive-backed

 OLIVE-BACKED ORIOLE Oriolus sagittatus


  I spent over half an hour watching this bird as it moved between trees around the lake in the Dr. Colin Officer Reserve. 







I was first attracted by what I thought were Indian Myna birds calling to each other, but found instead this solitary, male Oriole. He called constantly, his own call alternating with the calls of several other birds. I could identify the mimicked voices of mynahs and Crimson Rosellas


This is a very young bird. It was still being fed by adult birds and was loudly calling for its dinner.



Grey Teal

GREY TEAL  Anas gracilis




A pair of grey ducks on the Hospital reservoir this morning. 



I assume they were a pair but I was not able to see any difference between them.  


They are Grey Teal. I am told they are quite common, but I have never oticed them around Kilmore before. 

There have been plenty of Wood Ducks, Black Ducks, Chestnut Teal, Shelducks,even Musk Ducks, but  no GreyTeal. 

How exciting!