By John Van Doorn
When you’re out birding, there is nothing like a beautiful sunny day where all the birds are chirping away and making themselves known and posing for you.
Today wasn’t quite like that at Police Paddocks. It was overcast with a breeze and the birds kept very quiet.
The Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve gets its name from its use as the headquarters of the Native Police force between 1842 to 1852 and then as the Horse Stud Depot for the Police Force from 1853 to 1931. It covers 499 hectares of varying habitats from wetland to forest.
Our walking loop first visited the Wetland walk where a Peregrine Falcon flew over.
Then we walked Northwards up Baden Powell Drive and then we walked back to our starting point gaining an impressive view overlooking Dandenong Creek while Kangaroos looked on.
Other interesting birds seen were Australian King Parrot, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Eastern Spinebill and Golden Whistler.
By now it wasn’t just overcast but light rain was falling. It was time for lunch so it was off to Tirhatuan Park where lucky for us there was a roofed shelter. It rained steadily for the whole lunch period and most decided they’d have enough for the day and departed.
After that the rain eased off and the five that were left had a quick look around. Some Common Bronzewings lingered and the King Parrots might have flown over from the Police Paddocks to visit.
The conditions were not easy but it was a new site for many in the group.