Now that spring is turning into summer I am long overdue updating this page with tour news. This is the busiest time on my calendar with tours running more or less continually from September to Christmas.
A nice recent moment during a targeted tour searching for just a few scarcer species. Whilst looking for the Speckled Warbler near Melbourne, we also encountered a Black-eared Cuckoo which favours the nests of Speckled Warbler to lay its eggs. The Warbler was carrying food so clearly feeding young nearby, whilst the Cuckoo hung around, perhaps enjoying its deceitful success.
We have recorded over 340 bird species now on tour this year plus many mammals and some cool reptiles too. Recent one day trips from Melbourne are regularly recording 120 to 130 species as we hit peak bird arrivals, and recent one week trips around the state have been clocking up to 260 species.
Although it’s been a drier than average year, the birding remains excellent, with good numbers of some inland species arriving this spring, escaping drought further inland. This includes normally scarce species such as Red-backed Kingfisher, Black Honeyeater, huge flocks of White=browed and Masked Woodswallow, Orange Chats, and a vagrant Little Curlew !
Cuckoo season continues, with 8 species now present. The early arrivals of Black-eared Cuckoos from inland areas have now overlapped with later arrivals of Brush Cuckoo and Pacific Koel.
Powerful Owl young are now fledging, so families of this, our largest Owl, may be seen if you know where to look.