We have a pair of Brolgas nesting on a dam in the Willowmavin area, to the west of Kilmore.

This pair returns each year. A lady I spoke to on the road told me this pair had nested and raised a chick last year on a dam on her property, about a kilometre away.
 I saw them at another site, two years ago in a paddock with a dried up dam, again about a kilometre from this nesting site. No chick that year.
 From a distance of about two hundred metres away, a single large egg can be seen perched on a nest on the edge of  a dam. It was good planning by the parent birds to build the nest high.  There has been  much water around this year.  
The lady I spoke told me of  swan's nest nearby with chicks.  That nest was covered by water and the chicks there did not survive.

 I first saw this pair on November 5. The egg was in place then. November 25th today; it cannot be much longer to wait Normal  time in the egg is 32 days. Very wet, windy and cold today. We hope they are all right.







White-eared Honeyeater

 WHITE-EARED HONEYEATER Nesoptilotis leucotis

These are a  common bird found all over most of Victoria and on the eastern coast of NSW and in South-Eastern Queensland. These were photographed amongst the wattle trees and gorse bushes at Kilmore East last week.


They are an attractive medium sized  bird with a  rich olive coloured back and breast with contrasting black bib and white eye patch.






They are present in most treed areas although not seen quite so often in open farmland, nor in town or urban areas of the countryside. A flash of olive is often the first sight one sees of them as they move quickly between trees.




They are of course honeyeaters by name, but feed mainly on insects picked from the bark of trees, as well as fruit and nectar. 






There have been a number of platypus sightings in the Kilmore Creek in the last weeks. It is pleasing to think the creek, small as it is, is home to these shy monotremes. 

Sadly several of the sightings have been of animals affected by rubbish in the creek. 

I include this piece from the Australian Platypus Conservancy 

Australian Platypus Conservancy (Official)

10 October at 22:21 ·

An Australian Platypus Conservancy attempt to rescue two platypus entangled in litter in Kilmore Creek on Friday night was unsuccessful. However, the rescue effort was significant in providing important good news about how the local platypus population is faring. 

One platypus had been spotted in the pools near the Kilmore Leisure Centre with a plastic ring stuck around its head. Another animal had been observed near Bourke Street with what appeared to be a length of thin string or line with a tag of some sort caught around its body (see photo, courtesy of Kerry De Gabrielle).


White-browed Scrubwren



I have lived in Kilmore for over forty years but only in the last three to four, have I noticed these cheeky looking wrens. They are seen in dark tangled bushes, in amongst fallen logs, often around water. They move very quickly, over, under, around  the dark places and deep inside the thorny blackberry and gorse scrub. 

The band of black around the eye gives them a villainous look,  just like the Beagle Boys. 
There are a lot of these little birds around, over a large area. It is hard to tell whether they are more plentiful now or whether it just takes some time to recognize they are about.
The give away for me is the high pitched  'chie-weeep' which is heard before the birds are sighted.


Black Swans



It is many months since I last recorded bird sightings. The weather has been wet and cold and there has been little bird life to see. I could walk most days and not take a single photograph. 



The last weeks have changed. The bush has come alive once again.



And the swans are back. 







Well we think the male swan is back. Has he a new new partner? A number of keen watchers think it is a new female. She seems smaller and finer than the female of 2020. She also has  a distinctive skin tag on her beak. Unless the mother of 2020 has had an accident and lost some weight, this is a different partner.





There are four grey signets, happily following the adults around the lake and around the grassy, still damp, fairways of the golf course.















So good to see two years in a row.


Eastern Yellow Robin

 EASTERN YELLOW ROBIN Eopsaltria australis






I haven't seen the Yellow Robins in the area for quite a while.


This one was with a group of Thornbills and a single mistletoebird, amongst the low growing cassinia bushes around the base of  Monument hill.





 MISTLETOEBIRD  Dicaeum hirundinaceum


I do not think I have seen Mistletoebirds in the Monument area before this month. 

If I have seen them, I perhaps mistook them for Scarlet Robins. 



I watched this male bird, or was it several birds, a  number times over three days. It was in the same area of cassinia scrub each time, seemingly feeding with a group of Brown Thornbills. My books however tell me, that the Mistletoebird feeds almost exclusively on ........ yes, the fruits of  mistletoe. In fact the digestive tract has adapted to suit this diet.

The brilliance of  the red chest stands out from quite a distance. It is a much deeper and more vibrant red than that of the robins. The heavy black stripe running between the red chest and the white abdomen, certainly sets the Mistletoebird apart from the red chested robins.

The female does not have the same colouring as the male. Her chest and abdomen is a pale creamy grey, with a red patch under her tail.



Australasian Darter

 AUSTRALASIAN DARTER Anhinga novachollandiae

I watched this male Australasian Darter sitting on a branch over the Kilmore Hospital reservoir, with a number of other birds, Little Black and Little Pied cormorants. 

They were all sitting in the sun, drying  their wings and enjoying a good look around.

The Darter then began to prance and dance about. I imagined he was showing the smaller birds who was the boss. They turned their heads and watched, without too much  interest, what he was doing.

Nor did he appear to be too interested in them. His  performance seemed to be directed towards a tree a little way over the water.

There she was. A female Darter. She watched him with just a little more interest than the cormorants.
What a show-off!



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.