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.
. 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.
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.
Breaking news is of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Lake Murdeduke near Winchelsea, west of Melbourne.
After a long cool and wet spring, summer is definitely here in Victoria. Rare waders are popping up, the first White-throated Needletails have been sighted, and there are young birds of most species everywhere after such a good breeding season.
Sightings of Plains Wanderers between April and June on the northern plains of Victoria. Unfortunately conditions for this bird deteriorated through spring after high rainfall.
The dry of summer continued on into autumn, with finally some good rains arriving in the south of the state in early April, but the mallee missed out, as it often does.
A lot of action this summer has been focussed around the coastline, especially Werribee, and scarcer coastal waders.
The annual eight day "Off with the Birds" Victorian Megatour has been highly successful once again with 232 bird species recorded as well as 14 mammal species. See attached for a detailed trip report.
Some positive news this season with evidence of successful breeding by the few remaining Plains Wanderers hanging on in Northern Victoria.
7 days and two hundred and eighteen species around Victoria
Recent tours around the Melbourne area have once again proved what a world class destination it is for wildlife viewing.