Friday, 4 October 2019

191002_Wirilda and Tyers Park

It was a beautiful day in the wilds of the foothills north of Traralgon where the Tyers River bubbles out onto the lush, verdant floodplain of the Latrobe River. Hardly a zephyr stirred the newly awakening leaves on the deciduous trees and the warmth in the air, with a clear sky above, moved the birds to seek the oohs and aahs of an appreciative audience (us).

Thirteen Heyfield Birdos and 6 Friends of Tyers Park gathered at the BBQ Shelter. Joe van Beek gave a quick introduction to the park and then we were off, heading up river at a less than great rate of knots but one typical of intrepid birdwatchers. We hadn't gone 10 metres when a Mistletoebird and a Yellow-tufted Honeyeater claimed attention amidst the cloud of Grey Fantails.

It was just lovely walking through the shaded track on the righthand side of the river. Black wattles and pittosporum seemed to harbour more birds: Brown Thornbills, White-browed Scrubwrens, Bassian Thrushes.

Angry bird -- White-browed Scrubwren
A male Golden Whistler gave us marvellous views as we headed both up and back.

Golden Whistler, male
We heard, but never saw, 4 species of cuckoo. Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Horsfields Bronze-cuckoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo and, wait for it, ..... a male Eastern (or Common or Pacific) Koel. Top bird. They have been heard and seen for probably the last 3 summers in Traralgon and 4 in Sale but this is a good 6 weeks earlier than previous years.

Before the main mob arrived, a Brown Falcon darted through the carpark with a pair of magpies hot on its tail. It retraced its wingbeats whilst we were assembling.

Someone commented that it was a good spot to see Rose Robin. Jack said you usually hear them first with their very distinctive call and, sure enough, within a few minutes one was heard calling fairly close to us. A single playback had a male and female winging in giving everyone great views and Jack very excited, before they whizzed off.

We went about 1km in 80 minutes, had a stop for morning tea and chat and then retraced our steps back to the cars and luncheon.

Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Grey Fantails kept a constant background chorus going for the entire visit. Satin Bowerbirds were seen around the car park with their whirring call.

Satin Bowerbird
Images by Ross Stothers.

Perhaps the star of the morning was a single male Scarlet Honeyeater well seen on a dead branch for several minutes.

A very noisy lunch ensued and eventually we departed. Thank you to the Friends of Tyers Park for being hosts for our visit. It was a great morning.

Here is the list.

1 Pacific Koel
1 Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
1 Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
2 Fan-tailed Cuckoo
2 Australian Pelican
1 White-faced Heron
2 Laughing Kookaburra
1 Brown Falcon
2 Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
6 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
1 Crimson Rosella
1 Superb Lyrebird
2 Satin Bowerbird
1 White-throated Treecreeper
2 Superb Fairywren
1 Eastern Spinebill
8 Yellow-faced Honeyeater
1 Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
4 Red Wattlebird
1 Scarlet Honeyeater
4 White-naped Honeyeater
1 Spotted Pardalote
1 White-browed Scrubwren
1 Brown Thornbill
1 Black-faced Cuckooshrike
1 Eastern Whipbird
1 Grey Shrikethrush
2 Golden Whistler
1 Rufous Whistler
4 Australian Magpie (White-backed)
2 Pied Currawong
7 Grey Fantail
2 Rose Robin
1 Eastern Yellow Robin
2 Bassian Thrush
1 Mistletoebird
3 Red-browed Finch