Have been walking the Sale Common twice a week for a few months now, the bird population has decreased no doubt due to the colder weather.
The one bird that is very common at the moment is the Azure Kingfisher, have had sightings every time I have been down. Record so far is 3 sightings on two separate days.
The above photo of the Male Darter sitting on a nest was taken on the 13th May, I thought it was strange that a male Darter would be on a nest near winter.
The next photo was taken on the 22nd June, today showing 3 young have hatched, don't know if this is normal or not.
The photo below is another strange one the White Faced Heron is totally unperturbed by the presence of the fox. I watched for about ten minutes, the fox just looked around and then wandered off, the heron was still scratching around after the fox had left.
Some photos below of the first of the early Orchids. Checked out Swallow Lagoon 10 days ago, and called into Beverley's Rd, after Bird watching outing last Wednesday. Just to put some perspective on the size of these Small Mosquito Orchids, the buds on the top photo measure about 6mm in length.
Small Mosquito Orchid Beverley's Rd.
Small Mosquito Orchid Swallow Lagoon.
Parsons Bands Orchid. Swallow Lagoon. This is the first one of these Orchids I have seen and the only one I could find at Swallow Lagoon.
Have been visiting the Sale Common quite frequently over the past few months, at least twice a week. Whistling Kites are in abundance as are the Sea Eagles, Pied Cormorants, Little Pied Cormorants, Black Cormorants, Darters, Yellow-billed Spoonbills, Royal Spoonbills, Pelicans just to name a few.
Whistling Kite sitting above his nest, below is a young Yellow -billed Spoonbill near his nest. This is the tree where 4 Yellow-billed Spoonbills were raised with the Kite hovering above.
Following on from the latest Heyfield Birdwatchers blog, below are a couple of photos of Cormorants. It was difficult to take reasonable photos from a moving boat, so i only have a couple of good ones.
After our 2 hour trip on the boat we lunched at Nancy's shack on the beach side of the lake and then we were taken back to our cars by the water taxi.
Five of us then headed off to the Colquhoun Regional Park about 10 Kilometres from Lakes Entrance towards Bairnsdale. We only walked about 50 metres along the track and came across a very busy Rufous Fantail. It was difficult to get a decent photo, so the following is not the best; but at least I did get a photo.
I have been keeping an eye on this Yellow-billed Spoonbill nest over the past few weeks, situated opposite the water trough about half way through the Sale common walking track. Following are some photos of the progress in the nest.
This 1st photo was taken on the 1st December 2016, looks like the female is sitting on the eggs whilst the male stands guard.
December the 7th still sitting.
24th December there are 2 chicks. One parent standing guard.
24th December different angle to try and see the chicks better.
30th December 2 chicks have really grown, and two more chicks have hatched, on the right of the nest.
13th January the nest is now getting crowded, 4 fairly large birds plus 1 parent.
13th January different angle.
21st January 2 older chicks are out of the nest and the younger ones standing in the nest.
This photo was taken on my walk back past the nest, one of the parents is back on the nest and the four chicks are all on the nest.
All these photos were taken from about 60 yards so they are not as clear as I would like them to be.
As an aside there are 2 Raptor nests in this same tree, so the spoonbills have done well to survive.