Sunday, 10 May 2015

Mount Worth State Park

The Heyfield birdwatcher's latest outing was to Mount Worth State Park, located SE of Warragul (see map here and park information here).

Marg, Jos and me decided we'd stay locally the night before and we found Twitcher's Cottage very comfortable and good value; also only 2km from the park. I recommend it for anyone wanting some bush-walking or bird-watching locally.

Very windy and a few showers the evening before but we spotted a Grey Currawong, 6 Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos and heaps of Eastern Spinebills in the garden or nearby.

Out for a walk nearby before meeting up with the rest of the group in the State Park, we spotted these two lovelies in the nearby bush:
A Bassian Thrush (Zoothera lunulata) moved and jumped around too much for a photo. This one was actually taken a week before in the Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve near Moe (map here); another great spot.
This Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor) sat and watched us for a bit near a small dam before deciding to take cover. We have one in the bush nearby at home but from time to time, he shows up near the house. Three weeks ago, we spotted him under a Cherry Tree right by the house.
Off to the park to meet up with the rest of the group and Merryn from Twitcher's Cottage as our guide. Birding was secondary to the fabulous vegetation and funghi as the combination of cloudy weather, very tall trees and very thick under-story made spotting very hard.
Dense tree-terns at ground level.
Mountain Ash towered 35-50m above the dense tree-fern forest floor. One old giant is 65m and that is with quite a few metres of its top missing.

A myriad of funghi and plant forms were spotted but I'll leave it to Gouldiae to explain what they are.
Some form of epithyte growing.
Close-up of the same epithyte.
Apart from more Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos, White-browed Tree-creepers, Varied Sitellas, Eastern Yellow Robins, and a few "little brown jobs", the highlight was a pair of Lyrebirds heard in the nearby bush. Their mimicry of Kookaburras, Shrike-thrush, Whip-birds, Yellow-tailed Cockatoos and others was fantastic. Merryn suggested that the first visitors of the day are likely to spot them out in the open.

Definitely a place worth another visit!

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