Some positive news this season with evidence of successful breeding by the few remaining Plains Wanderers hanging on in Northern Victoria. Sightings on regular surveys have jumped, with 80 percent of the birds located being juveniles. With the species recently upgraded from vulnerable to critically endangered this is a welcome reprieve.
Mid-winter birding has its up sides despite the cold and shorter days. Australasian Bitterns are a feature of the southern swamps in winter, and a number of birds are hanging out at swamps close to Melbourne.
As they usually do, most Swift Parrots are wintering further inland in the box-ironbark belt and cruising these woodlands in winter checking for patches of flowering trees and Swifties is a real treat. Some years small numbers remain close to Melbourne and this year a flock of around thirty of these endangered birds have made the outer suburb of Macleod their temporary home.
Pelagic trips have been highly successful off Victoria and Tasmania in recent weeks with Blue Petrels, Grey Petrels and Sooty Albatross being some of the highlights.
Being past the shortest day, the resident birds are already preparing for spring, even if it does feel some way off for us mere humans. One or two spaces remain on the upcoming 8 day Victoria "Off With The Birds" tour in November which aims to connect with as much of Victoria’s amazing birdlife as possible at the very peak of the spring season. Many of the states rarest breeding species will be targeted.