Our mid-May visit to Jinda Park and Bambra was on a most pleasant, initially still, and unseasonably warm autumn day.
Jennifer Morrow, the owner of the farm, first led us past her large attractive dam but, surprisingly, there was only one lone White Ibis to be seen.
We then walked along beside a gully which, like large areas of the property, has been completely replanted by Jennifer and her husband after most of the property was cleared for agriculture in the 50s. It’s incomprehensible that it was not foreseen that this hilly property would erode deeply and much of the topsoil (dispersive clay) would slide into their creek, which is part of the headwaters of the Barwon River.
The revegetated gully was being enjoyed by numerous small birds, which also eat insects that enjoy their sown pasture grasses.
This means that Jennifer and her husband don’t need to use pesticides. We had morning tea in a delightful fern gully that had retained much of its original vegetation due to its steepness. There were even table and chairs, set up primarily for the use of visitors to their attractive rental property Stringybark Cottage.
Quite a bit of time was spent identifying two parrots which started off as Gang Gang Cockatoos, then were thought to be King Parrots, and finally, and disappointingly, identified as Crimson Rosellas, as we had already seen lots of them and none of either of the others. On our walk back Jennifer pointed out a tree with the typical markings made by Yellow-bellied Gliders.
Finally we had good views of two soaring Wedgies enjoying the wind which had come up, and had a glimpse of a Nankeen Kestrel. Just as we were about to drive off we spied a pair of beautiful Scarlet Robins and a Willy Wagtail.
We then drove through Bambra to Bambra Wetlands, which are beside Dean’s Marsh Road.
This special little place is a project of the East Otway landcare group helped by Deans Marsh Primary school. We had a nice walk in there, but the now quite windy conditions meant we saw few birds.
A final visit was to a nearby large, well-vegetated and private dam, fenced off from cattle, but all the birds were in hiding…. we must come back another time! Despite seeing only a total of 25 birds out of 75 listed by Jennifer at Jinda Park, we had a delightful day.
Below are all the birds identified on this walk: