Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Spring Delights

Spring is well and truly here with birds active everywhere, building nests and feeding. A few recent sightings here....
The Heyfield Wetlands added a new lagoon which promptly filled up with Spring rains. The bare mudflats provided a great location for a pair of Black-fronted Dotterels. Getting close enough for a decent shot, even with a 500m lens, called for some commando crawling but getting wet was a small price to pay for this shot.
This Restless Flycatcher has been visiting for the last 2-3 Springs but we've yet to find this year's nest.
Jacky Winters are regulars here but hard to get close to. This one seemed to be just resting in the Sun.
Spotted Pardalotes return to build their nests in tiny tree hollows or even tunnels in dirt banks or the side of wombat holes.

Mother Nature is busy all over with Spring growth bringing freshness and energy to all parts of the landscape.
Daffodil Farm at Ellinbank
Daffodil farm at Ellinbank.
The line of trees caught my eye in an otherwise monocultural farmland near The Knob Reserve at Stratford.
A cloudy Spring has limited my astronomy but I caught this nightscape of an old boiler and the Milky Way on Heyfield Station looking towards the lights of Sale

Toorongo Falls

Marg and I recently discovered this wonderful little gem just East of Noojee, Victoria (Google map). This is mostly wet forest with lots of Mountain Grey Gum, Mountain Ash, Manna Gum and Blackwoods.Two beautiful walks take you up to the falls and then along the side of a ridge above the pristine Toorongo River rushing down over a steep, rocky, gully.

Apart from the scenery and tranquility of the walk, the highlight was seeing not one but three Superb Lyrebirds at different points of the track! As well, they stayed within a few metres of us, scratching around in the thick undergrowth for several minutes before drifting away. Previous sightings elsewhere have usually been fleeting glimpses of a running bird or a raised tail a long way off.

Getting a decent photo was hard due to the poor light, and the difficulty of getting focus on a moving target in thick vegetation. Resorting to flash helped and didn't seem to bother the birds.

This DEPI brochure has more information or Google Toorongo Falls Reserve.