Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Bird Watching

I'd always wanted to do a tour with someone who new what we were looking at.
What I found with Paul of Melbourne Birdwatching was that it was good to have someone who could find them as well!!
A golden headed Cisticola
Paul picked me up at 7am in a  comfy 4WD and we headed off to the You Yangs which I learnt is a Regional Park and home to bush birds. The mountains (?hills) were especially clear in the morning as we headed off the Geelong Rd at Lara but were mistier as the day progressed
View from  The Treatment plant 
The You Yangs are only 352M but visible from long distances astray are in the midst of an otherwise flat plain. There were lots of beautiful trees Manna Gums, yellow Gums and Red River gums  and some Wattle and drooping She Oaks.
The big fires of 1985 burnt 80% of the park but it is slowly regenerating Unfortunately it is now over runs in Boneseed a noxious weed. Eradication plans are underway but it is widespread!
Corollas by the dozen!
Spoon Bill and Sheep
Lovely new growth on the trees


Basalt boulders.
I learnt there are no Wombats west of Melbourne because of the granite! 
Morning sunlight on the trunks  
One of many trails in the Park 
Spot the Grey Kangaroos!
Beautiful foliage
The start of a wattle tree!

A small robin.
With a permit you get a key and a Map 
We then stopped in Lara for a coffee and Loo stop then on to The Werribee Treatment Plant
It is huge

  • Occupies 10,500 hectares (same size as Disney World 
  • produces 40billion tires of recycled water a year
  • is energy self sufficient generating all its electricity for sewage gas 
  • declared and internationally significant wetland for water fowl in 1983 under the Ramsar Convention 

Moorhens 
Lots of black swans
White Ibis
Egret and duck

Lots of gates!
 We talked about the migratory birds and their amazing feats!  
Populations of these shorebirds are crashing. Climate change, coastal development, the destruction of wetlands and hunting are all culprits.
Areas along the Yellow Sea are being drained, dredged and filled in to create land for industry. More than 50 percent of the wetlands along China’s and South Korea’s coast have been eliminated.
Bird hunting remains rampant. Along the coast of China, illegal nets are erected every fall to capture shorebirds for human consumption.
While in Australia shorebirds also face increasing threats to their southern wintering grounds, mainly from relentless coastal development and habitat loss.
Since 1974, pectoral sandpipers have declined by more than 50 percent, and Hudsonian godwits have declined by more than 70 percent. 
The pectoral sandpiper, departs from northern Alaska long before its offspring can fly, heading south to spend the winter in the pampas of Argentina. More amazing, the offspring left behind eventually take to the air on their own and, with no guidance, follow exactly the same route, joining their parents at a point 8,800 miles to the south. 
Lovely colours of vegetation and Dotterels
Scientists have no clue as to how this is programmed into the youngsters.
One other birdcall a Godwit, weighs 500gms, travels for 7000 miles without stopping!! And we struggle with a 18hrs flight with food and sleep!

 Just as were came round the last bend of our last track We screeched to a halt to avoid these birds on the track
orange bellied parrots
They are just a bit bigger than a budgerigar  and is critically endangered in all states  
It breeds only in the South West of Tasmania. After breeding has concluded, most of the population migrates across Bass Strait to spend the winter months on southern mainland Australia. The adults leave a few weeks before the juvenile birds. On the mainland they often associate with other small ‘grass parrots’ with which they are often confused, but are best distinguished by their bright plumage and distinctive buzzing alarm calls. They return to the breeding grounds in spring, with adults arriving a few weeks before the juveniles.


you can see the orange on the belly of the R. bird.
They are so colourful Bright green and blue and the sale patch of orange  

This is a Bittern that Paul said he had not seen for months 
Raptors everywhere This is a Kite  
Crested Terns 
A Hawk having a break 
Cape barren geese
A Harrier 
Welcome Swallow nests The bigger holes is where sparrows have move din
So I joined BirdLife Australia. Every little bit helps

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