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11/05/2019

Golden Whistlers, Fame Robins, White-eared Honeyeaters

GOLDEN WHISTLER

Late Autumn is here and Winter not far away.

We have had some good rain this week, the first for many months  and the countryside and bush has suddenly turned green. Tiny shoots are carpeting the ground everywhere turning, what last week was dry dusty ground, to a carpet of green.

Today the sun was in and out of the clouds all day, and little birds were in and about the trees and scrub of the Monument Hill.

Male Flame Robin



This White-eared Honey-eater was enjoying a bath in a middle of the track puddle



Male Golden Whistler















Female Yellow Whistler

02/05/2019

Red Wattlebird

RED WATTLEBIRD





The Red Wattlebirds are beautiful. With their yellow bellies and their bright red wattles, they stand so straight and tall, like soldiers at attention. They are cheeky and so often seen, it is a little easy to neglect their regal elegance.


 
  

 Described in The Australian Bird Guide as 'Noisy, pugnacious and conspicuous; actively chases smaller birds from food sources by swooping and bill clapping.'

Some also regard their voices as unpleasant; 'a harsh, grating cough or bark' says Michael Morcombe's book. Poor wattlebirds, nobody seems to like them much.








That sounds like the report of an active young boy in his first year at school by a exasperated infant teacher. I liked those lively young boys with 'go' in them at school. Perhaps that is why I like the wattlebirds.






One of my pleasures of early Spring, is to wake in the predawn, to hear  them 'schhhkkkkk, schhkkking, in the trees around our house, like an old man sucking on his false teeth.













01/05/2019

Fairy Wren

FAIRY WREN





The fairy wrens are well and truly well out and about.












They are such pretty little birds.  Some people without an eye for beauty, group them under the name of LLBs, Little Brown Birds. They are so small and delicate, so many shades of brown and what beautiful upright tail feathers. And  oh what lovely orange eye makeup.










 





30/04/2019

Grey Shrike-thrush

GREY SHRIKE-THRUSH

The shrike thrush is a very common bird around Kilmore. It has a beautiful voice with a huge range of songs. Gisella Kaplan, in her book 'Bird Minds'  describes the  "extraordinary purely tonal and varied song" of the bird. 

 

 

 

 

Michael Morecombe in 'Field Guide To Australian Birds; is even more expansive.  "..a rich and varied repertoire of calls and songs - high, clear and loudly ringing whistles, intermingled with mellow, musical notes and deep rich bubbly sounds."  





This thrush is found over  wide area, from town gardens, farmland where there are trees to forested hills.











The thrush is omnivorous in feeding habits. I see them often scratching amongst leaf litter and under logs, for the insects, small lizards and seeds. They are known to take young nestlings, frogs and mice.




 



This young bird was busy along a very dry creek at Willowmavin this morning. All creeks around Kiomore are dry at the moment.

It has a light band of colour along it's brow, an indication of a young bird. It was very sure of itself, continuing to feed, with just one eye on me.






23/04/2019

Silvereyes

SILVEREYES Zosterops lateralis




These pretty little birds are in some places called wax-eyes or white eyes. It is not hard to see why.








 They are itinerant birds moving to the northern end of their patch in the autumn and then back to the south to nest in winter. These are in Kilmore today. I assume that they have arrived from the more northern part of their territories since I haven't seen them here for many, many months.    







My books tell me they are omnivores, eating insects, and large amounts of nectar and fruit. They can be a nuisance to those with fruit trees and orchards.




17/04/2019

Brolga

BROLGA Grus rubicunda

 

 

 

I was very pleased to hear that a pair of brolgas had arrived in the district.
 The person who informed me, said that each year a pair, or sometimes two pairs of brolgas, visited a particular area of Willowmavin. One of those pairs was back in the area.

 

 A pleasant walk through some open paddocks on a dry afternoon, showed they were indeed in residence.



The first sighting was from a long distance. Being such large birds it was possible to identify them, even from several hundred metres away. Feathers in the paddock also identified the birds.

 

 

 

First look was last Saturday, today, Wednesday, I was able to get a little closer and get some better photographs. Not perfect but quite nice.

 

 

 

 

 It is a pity that we have only the one pair this year.

 

 

 



Perhaps there might be a nest with young amongst the rushes around the dam, where they were seen this week?  

 Softly, softly!

11/03/2019

Gang-Gang Cockatoos

GANG-GANG COCKATOOS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning on O'Grady's Road at Kilmore East, a family of gang-gangs was busy in the morning sunshine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   The parents were out with their young, encouraging them to practice their flying skills. The parents sat together on a branch watching as the young flew around the group of trees they were perched in. The little ones would fly around around and then through the branches. They would alight on the fence of a set of stockyards, wait a moment and off they would go once again, around and around and then down through the trees.

 

 

After a short while, one of the young flew and sat beside its mother, holding its mouth open, begging for food. The mother obliged several times, whilst the male looked on.

The young, flew off once again around and through the trees.