Weekend Wanderings – Banyule Flats Bird Life
As I said yesterday the weather here has been really good and it has been nice to be able to get out into the local parks and get some photos where the sun has been shining. This last week I went out with one of the members from the Warringal Conservation Society, another keen photographer, but also a keen bird watcher. She knew all the birds that were around, and has been able to identify them for me. I took the Sigma 150-500mm lens that I am borrowing at the moment to see if I could get some good photos of the birds with that. We went into Banyule Flats, parkland near Heidelberg, in the cities north east.
Banyule Flats has a very active bird life, and every time I go there, there are birds everywhere in the water. More and more of the water weeds are growing, so a lot more birds are coming to the swamp. I never really thought of myself as a bird watcher, but I really enjoy seeing them all down there. It is like a bird metropolis within another metropolis.
The one thing that everyone is watching down there at the moment are the Black Swans and their babies, not black, but grey. I was so happy to see the two of them again, the last few times I’ve been down, there has only been one, and I was hoping the other was on the nest. They are the talk of the Flats, and a lot of people are going down there to see them and make sure they are okay. Apparently there were 5 signets, but one has been lost, or killed.
The swamp isn’t the only place to see the birds, we also went for a walk along the Yarra River, which is right next to the swamp, and we saw the above Darter swimming in the river and then she got up onto the branches to sun itself. Beautiful bird. When I first saw it in the river I thought it was a snake, the way its head stuck out. Then the woman I was with explained it was often called a snake bird. Apparently this one is female, because the males are all black.
Everywhere you walk around the parks, all you can hear are the birds, and the ones that stand out are the Kookaburras as they laugh at us, or each other, I don’t now.
This was my favourite find, the Tawny Frogmouth. A native here, and very hard to find, not because there are few of them, there are lots of them, but because they are nocturnal, they hide themselves well. We had been told where this one was and so were able to find it. There were two others we were told about, but we couldn’t find them at all. They make themselves look like limbs on a tree, so that makes them harder to find.
I am going to put together a gallery for you now. All the photos were taken with the Sigma lens, and I tried to get some shots of other things. Though I went out again yesterday with a wider lens, and got some images of the area with that, which I will show you tomorrow. I have tried to get all the birds identified, but I missed out on a couple, so if I find out what they are, I will add them. I hope the weather is great where you are and you have a splendid weekend taking photos.