John Newman writes:
On recent trips to my block at Wensleydale I have been taking some lesser roads to look for flame robins. On the morning of 26 April I started along Dickins Road turning west from Freshwater Creek and following it right to its junction with Hunts Rd Moriac. Some 500m from that junction, I stopped in the drizzle in likely territory and found 12 or more Banded Lapwings in a paddock. 23 Flame Robins were counted, x2 silent White-plumed Honeyeaters, 10 Gang Gangs in the Allocasuarinas overhead and a Southern Boobook flushed from the same dense Allocasuarinas much to the dismay of the Willie Wagtails. It was my first Banded Lapwing record in this part of the world for over 10 years. At least one was an immature.
Buoyed by the experience I continued along the various dirt roads and stopped at Willowite Rd Freshwater Creek outside the agroforestry block with many Spotted Gums and other flowering eucalytps. To my amazement and delight, at least 2 Crescent Honeyeaters were calling continuously from the flowering Spotted Gums and 5+ Weebills. To make sure I was not going mad, I played the Weebill call on my phone and 5 birds flew down to a sapling 3m away for a wonderful look. Many honeyeaters were making the most of the flowers. I also found a dead brown Flame Robin that will be passed onto expert hands. It would be worth more time as the flowers flourish.
Loutitt Bay Rd near Hendy Main Rd also looked enticing with many flowering eucalypts along the side of the road and an hour there provided sunshine and 34 species inc 6 honeyeater sp, White-plumed again inc, and more Flame Robins.
It was a good lesson that many of these roadside areas that we zip along en route to 'somewhere else' provide some great sightings esp at this time of year when things are on the move.
... John Newman