Wednesday Walk to Red Hill

Wed 19 September 2018 09:00am

Martin Butterfield Lindell Emerton

Meet at 9:00am on 19 September at Buxton Street Deakin.

Post event report

16 members (I don’t think there were any guests) gathered at the foot of Red Hill for a lap of the Western element of Red Hill Nature Reserve. The day was quite warm but a vigorous wind was blowing.
We followed pretty much the traditional route for exploring this area but birds were very hard to find. Song was almost entirely absent. We thought this could be due to a number of factors including:
• The wind causing birds to seek shelter;
• Overgrazing by kangaroos resulting in there being little shelter to be had due to lack of understorey; and
• The presence of quite a lot of Noisy Miners – whose presence may be explained by the lack of understory.
The greatest diversity of birds was a in a small copse of mixed shrubs on the top of the ridge. This included a Speckled Warbler; several Silvereyes; 2 Spotted Pardalotes excavating nest tunnels; a Grey Shrikethrush and 2 White-browed Scrubwrens. All of these were addiions to our trip list.
In addition to the Spotted Pardalotes breeding activities were mainly displayed by larger birds: female Australian Wood Duck visiting probable nest site; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (ditto); and Crimson Rosella coming from a nest box and interpreted as occupied nest.
Surprising missing in action were thornbills (0 of 5 possible species seen); Cuckoos (none seen although 5 species have been reported around the broader area) and smaller Honeyeaters. In total we recorded 28 species shown in this eBird Checklist.

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