A sunny midwinter morning at Distillery Creek proved to be good for birding, in contrast to the previous dull, wet day when few birds were evident. (Full list at end of report).
Many birds were busy in the leaf canopy, but the strong winds at that level made it very hard to locate them in the ever-moving foliage. We enjoyed hearing numbers of honeyeaters, particularly the Crescent Honeyeaters, which seemed as numerous as the ubiquitous New Holland Honeyeaters. It was a good learning environment to distinguish the range of calls of the Crescent HE, apart from their most well-known “egypt” call.
Two types of cuckoos were heard but, even with some diligent looking, were not seen.
A Golden Whistler heard early in the walk along the road, finally came close enough when we were on the bush track for everyone to have a clear view of his glorious markings.
Towards the end of the main walk we were delighted to hear, then see, two Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos languidly fly past, with one landing nearby so we could check if it had a red band around the eye, which is a characteristic of a male.
The highlight was a different LBB (Little Brown Bird) high up in a tree displaying its white underparts and flicking its wings and tail in an unusual way. Finally we saw a bit of a blush on its upper chest and, after much looking in an iPhone app. and a bird book, we came up with a diagnosis...a female Rose Robin, indeed a most unusual sighting.
At morning tea in the picnic ground we were entertained by a pair of Scarlet Robins. Two of us decided to walk back into town in the sun and see what else we could find.
There were a range of water birds in the swampy areas in the paddocks near the Creek, and we had our only sighting of a raptor... a Nankeen Kestrel. The view out to sea from the lighthouse was really something, with the extreme winds turning the sea near the shore into a frothing cauldron of white.
The high winds had brought some Shy Albatross closer to shore than usual, and were beautiful to see as they glided effortlessly over the waves. To the naked eye they disappeared from view when their upper body with black wings were toward the shore then appeared, as if by magic, as they turned and their white underparts caught the sun’s rays.
The morning finished on a high note to the ringing sounds of Singing Honeyeaters and our most special of birds, the Rufous Bristlebird which is highlighted on the Angair mosaic.
Below are all the birds identified on this walk:
Distillery creek/Painkalac Creek & paddocks/Coastal Reserve Reserve/Ocean
Fri 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Social Evening. Matthew Russell, Park Ranger
Sat 9:30am - 2:30pm
Get to Know our Tracks. Currawong Falls Circuit
Sun 9:30am - 11:00am
Friends of Allen Noble Sanctuary
Mon 9:30am - 11:00am
Sat 10:00am - 1:30pm
Combined Friends of Eastern Otways / ANGAIR end of year BBQ