Lynn and I rocked up in Troopi just after 8am (GOD it felt good to be doing that again, if only for the day!). There were about 45 birders at the lake taking part in Phil’s outing and I don’t think anyone was disappointed. The main targets were the continuing Buff-breasted Sandpiper and the Ruff. They were well seen by all. They were Aussie Lifers for Lynn and she had great views of them both. I got a few photos as well.
|Ruff (the big one)|
After the lovely morning at the lake, a few of our dear birder friends: Karen, James, Oakley and Alan decided to head down to the Great Otway N.P. Distillery Dam Picnic Grounds with Lynn and me. After a bumpy, dusty ride on the back roads (thanks to Oakley’s Google Maps) we arrived in the parking area of the picnic grounds by the little dam. And it was amazing.
This was just after noon, which is not usually considered a great time for birding. And yet we ended up with 37 species right there. It was a stationary eBird list! The first big thrill was when James quickly spotted a Satin Flycatcher in the small tree right over the water. It was a male and female together. I have seen these birds before, but always only high in the canopy and these birds were at eye level!
Over the next three hours we all just marveled. Gang Gangs, White-necked Heron, Spinebills, Grey Goshawk and not only were the birds awesome, but so was sharing this experience with people who truly get it! These were fun, intelligent, witty, charming and knowledgeable friends who share this deep passion for birding and the natural world. It was a bonding that was close to spiritual. I will never forget it. And then Oakley saw the swift.
|Above are Mr and Ms Satin Flycatcher (he is the blue one)|
|Gang Gang Cockatoo (male)|
|L to R... James, Oakley, Alan, me, Karen and Lynn... the joy was palpable!|
Peace. Love. Birds.