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29/12/2019

Little Corella

LITTLE CORELLA


During the summer months there are always huge numbers of corellas  roosting in the trees round the Kilmore Hospital Resrvoir.

In the evenings and early mornings, they are very vocal,  their squaking and whistling, so loud and piercing, can be very hard on the ears of neighbours. Visitors who do not know of corellas are amazed, at times startled
at the noise of these flocks.



From the trees, the birds will alight to the nearby golf course, scratching and digging for the small grass bulbs in the fairways.

More troublesome, are the masses that settle on the greens. They make an awful mess, tearing away large patches of grass. It is a tedious and time consuming job to repair
the damage left behind.





The local golf club has permission to shoot blank cartridges to scare  the birds off the greens and fairways.We often awake early in the morning to the sounds of shooting. It is also a common soundtrack, just before dark on warm evenings.

The shooting does work; for a while!

When aroused to flight, the birds simply move around to  the newly laid turf at the Kilmore race-course. After a week or two, they are moved on from there . and return, of course to the golf course.

I am sure it is all a game for the corellas.





Beautiful birds they are. And I am sure they do have a sense of fun.



These birds pictured, were enjoying a windy morning, perched high on exposed branches, every now and then swooping away with the wind with a raucous cry.

Currawongs and Ravens

YOUNG CURRAWONGS AND RAVENS





It is very hot and dry in Kilmore lately.

Whilst there is still plenty of water in the dams and reservoirs in the area, birds, like children, enjoy playing in flowing and splashing water.













The other day, for a very short time, there was a sprinkler running under the trees in my garden . 










The watery fountain was found quickly by an adult currawong with a young bird in tow . A few moments later they were joined by  an adult raven with young.












In both cases, the adult bird stood aside and watched as the  youngsters played in the water. It looked so much like the behaviour we see in our own mothers and children at the local swimming pool.








The young currawong would stop its play every now and then to take a drink. It waited for water to make a small pool on the top of the railing.

It would then bend down a take a drink. Some more play and then, head down its head would go for anothe drink.




03/12/2019

White-winged Triller

WHITE-WINGED TRILLER  Lalage tricolor

It is always exciting to find a new bird in one's area.


I first saw this pair on the open area around Lake Eppalock. I was watching from a distance and they seemed quite small, just a little larger than sparrows.


I have since seen them, White-winged Trillers, several times. I have seen them around the ford on Jeffrey's Lane at Broadford. I have seen them around the Kilmore Golf Course reservoir and today along Dry Creek on O'Grady's Road at Kilmore East.They are well established  around the area at the moment.



Each time I have seen them, there has been a pair, a male and female. The male is very much like a magpie lark in colour, just little smaller.



He has a beautiful pied plumage, deep black and vivid white. The females are also beautifully coloured, with a range of browns from pale beige to deep brown. There is a strong pale to white edge to their wing feathers.






 

17/11/2019

Striated Pardalote

STRIATED PARDALOTE Pardalotus striatus


There was a large number of pardalotes at the bridge over Nanny Creek on Friday.



They were very active, flying, calling, hunting and feeding.










 Many were in pairs, male and female, flying and perching on branches together



 









There are numerous fairy martun nests under the bridge. I have observed these nests for several years, beautifully made from hundreds of spots of mud, pushed together to make intricate, interconnected nesting places.


 





These nests are used by both the fairy martins and the pardalotes. The pardalotes seem very happy to live in the mud, martin made nest hollows which they fill with and grass, little sticks and small pieces of bark. Not very different to a hole in a creek bank I suppose.







Both male and female would settle on a branch, next to each other , each with a grub, a moth, a caterpillar or an ant in its beak.






 

They would then approach the nest, one entering whilst the other waited outside, hanging from the mud structure. The first would emerge and the second would enter.











Then both would fly off together, returning several minutes later to repeat the process.


Brown-headed Honeyeater

BROWN-HEADED HONEYEATER  Melithreptus brevirostris

 

On the road between Kilmore and Sugarloaf Creek; the beautifully named Nanny's Creek Road; the road widens to leave a small treed area where the concrete bridge crosses the creek.

The bridge spans the small and often dry, Nanny Creek. I have no idea who Nanny was. Our old books give me  no information. An early mid-wife perhaps!

 

This area is populated by large numbers of fairy martins, pardalotes. and numbers of various honeyeaters.

It is a good spot to visit, there is always something to see.

Last  Friday I noticed a number of small birds I had not seen or noticed, before. 

 

Bigger than the resident pardalotes, these brown headed birds had an olive sheen to their backs. Each had a brown head and cheek, with a white stripe behind the eye. The eye patch was a creamy yellow colour on the adult birds. What I took to be the younger birds had a paler, bluish eye patch. 

 The books tell me, Brown-headed honeyeaters are reasonably common bird to this area, but it was a new sighting for me.





02/11/2019

White Faced Scrub Wren

WHITE FACED SCRUBWREN Sericornis frontalis

 

 

 

It is always interesting to come across a bird I haven't seen before. I should rephrase that to 'a bird I haven't noticed before.'

 

 

 




These little wrens were feeding, late in the evening of a hot day, amongst grass and low scrub on the edge of the Kilmore Hospital Reservoir,

 

 

 

Little brown birds are easily missed, but this group of about eight individuals, being so busy in the deep shadows and showing no timidity, very obvious.



31/10/2019

Brush Bronzewing

BRUSH BRONZEWING Phaps elegans

 

 

 

There are plenty of pigeons and doves around Kilmore. This is one I do not see very often.

 

 

 

 

This Brush Bronzewing,  a female, and  was sitting all alone amongst the trees around the Hospital Reservoir, late in the afternoon.

 

 

It was very placid and not at all concerned by my presence.

 

 

She does not have the red-brown hind-neck nor can I see the reddish bib that the male birds shows.