Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Few Victorian Birds

We are in the midst of winding down from a massive year. Our year list of birds seen as a couple officially ends this Friday 19 August at midnight. It has not been a "big year," although we kept a list for a year. There are many examples over that time when we did not go for the tick. We did not go by and tick the Barham Ostriches although we passed fairly close to where they are when we went for the Laughing Gull. We did not go out and get the Pheasants on Rottnest Island. We NEVER got to the Strzelecki Track, even though we really had time to do so in the last weeks. There are more examples than I care to think about of things we did not do, but we did do a LOT and I will be focusing on that. I am very grateful.

I will write briefly about the year, the travel, and this winding down in the next blog entry. We are not likely to add any more to the list, but we will see. Much of it will all eventually (soon-ishly) be written as a “book.”  It was an amazing year and a hell of an accomplishment, and it is a story that I need to tell. I will write it.

At present, Lynn and I both have sore throats and head-achy congestion. Maybe it’s colds; maybe it’s pollen. Stuff is beginning to bloom around here. It is odd that after almost a year of traveling around this entire continent without a sniffle, we are both feeling poorly back here. My abdominal issue of last week “seems” to have normalized (at least normal for me, which still ain’t right) but I am grateful for that. I do believe with all my heart that I am healthier when traveling. For me, travel is life (with very necessary occasional pauses!).
Lynn birding in the You Yangs.
I just took some ibuprofen, so I hope to finish with the photos and get this written and posted. Thanks to our dear friend, Philip Peel, we found an excellent spot for Speckled Warbler. This was a lifer for Lynn! I had only previously seen one, and that was several years ago in the You Yangs. At Phil’s spot just up the road in Eynesbury, VIC, we quickly found them and had wonderful views of this sometimes difficult bird. I am grateful.

Then also at his suggestion, we drove over to the Werribee Open Range Zoo where we found a beautiful Buff-banded Rail for the year list. This one is missing a foot, but seems to get around just fine. I will call him Stumpy.

Lynn's lifer Speckled Warbler, Eynesbury, VIC

There were lots of Tree Martins nesting in the area.
There were Brown Treecreepers around as well. We saw several there.
Buff-banded Rail on the Werribee Zoo grounds. I shall call him Stumpy and he will be my friend.

Gorgeous Little Eagle flying over whilst we were in the Zoo car park.       
And just because I like those feathers, here's a Great Cormorant from a few days ago on the Great Ocean Road.
Sending love and peace from the Surf Coast (as this area is called). I will keep y’all posted.

Peace. Love. Birds.

RB AUS Life List: 671
Lynn AUS Life List: 654
Couple’s AUS Year List: 638


  1. Should have told me when you were at Parkes, there was speckled warbler just down the road. Glad you found that Buff-banded rail. This was the one I mentioned but there are others there besides the injured one, also at WTP at the moment.

  2. We thought you only mentioned the BB Rails at Serendip recently (the ones in the aviary), didn't know you had mentioned Stumpy. Yes there are other BBRs on the Werribee zoo grounds, but I like Stumpy!
    I've often seen them at the WTP, but heard it was slow for rails and crakes at present.


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