By Peter Bennet
For once the weather gods (to whom humblest felicitations) did not smile upon us as they usually do, and it was into a forecast of showers that we headed.
At least those of us brave enough to do it, rumour has it that some were not up to the challenge and elected to rise late, linger over coffee, peruse the paper at a leisurely pace … no! stop it!
And so, a group of sturdy-hearted individuals met at Dyers Picnic Ground to see what (apart from mud and trailbikes) was in store. It was, admittedly, a slow start which was followed by a languid middle and concluding with a near-torpid end, at least in the matter of the birdlist.
However excellent sightings and possibly even photos were had of grey fantail (there is no truth to the scurrilous proposition that we had to wave them away to try to focus on the empty branch lately vacated by something less, how shall we say, brazen); we found a koala; and we were able to whip up some mild excitement for quite a number of seconds over a snake (Possibly a Lowland Copperhead?).
Pink robins were heard and a putative female spotted; Rufous Fantails were about, if not very forthcoming; Golden and Rufous whistlers lurked in the undergrowth; and there was a quite reasonable range of honeyeaters including Crescent, Lewin’s and White-eared. Not identified at the time but emerging from photos was a Brown Gerygone – at least the late ID saved us trying to figure out how to pronounce it.
After exploring some of the nearby tracks and an early lunch we moved on to Bunyip River Road where under John‘s authoritative leadership we found an extensive list of 2 species (yep, Grey Fantail was one of them). A hasty move then to Aqueduct Track and a pleasant stroll with such exotics as magpie (Australian) and Red-Browed finch (also Australian).
Thanks to John Van Doorn for leading the day and I’m sure it wasn’t his fault about the weather, really. Apparently it didn’t rain at all on any of the several reco trips he made …