Frost Hollows to Aranda Bushland

Wed 21 May 2014 09:00am

Martin Butterfield

Meet at 9am in the Black Mountain Reserve parking area off William Hovell Drive.

Post event report

Twenty members and guests negotiated the traffic on William Hovell Drive to get to the foggy start of the outing.

Following the markers across the aptly named Frost Hollows we found a good array of birds.  Both smaller species of Cormorants, Little Black and Little Pied, were perched on a dead tree by a dam while 4 Purple Swamphens grazed beside the dam, much to the surprise of members.

A good range of bush and grassland species were observed as the boundary to the bush area was approached.  These included the first two Scarlet Robins and, right on the boundary, a Speckled Warbler.  On the far side of the fence 2 more Speckled Warblers were noted.  Our first Buff-rumped Thornbills and Grey Fantails were flittering in the bushes on the far side of the fence in the vegetation remaining after a conflagration.

We moved up the hill, noting the decline in numbers and diversity of birds as we moved away from the boundary area.  Numbers and variety of birds increased as we descended the hill, perhaps suggesting that elevation rather than degree of incineration was determining the diversity.  On the Caswell Drive side of the slope we noted more Scarlet Robins, White-plumed Honeyeaters (surprisingly far from water), Brown-headed Honeyeaters and Golden Whistlers.

Crossing back into the grassland a Collared Sparrowhawk caused much consternation and then some members found a large mixed flock including a Yellow Thornbill.

We totalled 39 species – several in both habitats.

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