November 2018

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.

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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.

Winter 2018

The shortest day is suddenly approaching, mid winter, generally the quietest time of year, however there is much to be seen as these sightings go to show. Bird tallies will be down a little on spring and summer, but many of our endemic specialities are resident in Victoria - click on photo below to see more

Mallee rarities

Back from a very successful 6 day tour around the mallee country of west and north-west Victoria as well as the vast plains of the riverina country this week with travelling companions Karen and Darryl chasing some rare and tricky target species.

Late summer at Werribee

The vast wetlands at Werribee’s Western Treatment Plant have been teeming with birds all summer.

January 2018 tours

After a massive 2017, 2018 has started with a great haul of over 200 bird species on a 3 day tour of southern and central Victoria.


Late spring into early summer is a fantastic time in Victoria. Some breeding birds have fledged young out and about, whilst the later spring arrivals and some more southerly resident birds are in peak breeding mode.



In the bird world spring starts early. Although the weather remained icy until mid-September, our birds were well and truly gearing up for spring as soon as the winter solstice was out of the way. With local species nest building and becoming territorial, the various cuckoos need to be around and watching what is going on. This year’s influx has been significantly greater than normal.

Winter 2017

Winter 2017

Despite the shorter days and colder weather, there is plenty to keep the birding interesting here in the deep south of Australia. This photo of the beautifully cryptic Bassian Thrush found near Melbourne this week proves that a winter walk can be very rewarding. Albatross numbers reach their peak off the coast in winter and may be readily seen from land. The occasional Brown Skua and Giant-Petrel can add some spice.

May 2017

May 2017

. Some wetlands in the north are still holding large numbers of waterbirds following the bumper summer. A very high count of 870 Freckled Duck was exceptional at Lake Cooper, and a report of 16 endangered Australasian Bittern at Cullens Lake was also a very high count for one site.

APRIL 2017

In the course of a number of bird tours and reconnaissance trips across southern and northern Victoria in the last few weeks a mighty range of birds have been encountered.