|Banyule Flats Reserve|
I walked to the river and was surprised at the lack of Bell Miners. There has been a colony of Bell Miners here for as long as I've been coming here, and I know precisely when my visits to Banyule began. It was in November 2001 when a female Australian Painted Snipe turned up. Melbourne birders all flocked to Banyule, and most were rewarded with excellent sightings of a very beautiful bird.
There was nothing as exciting as snipe today, Latham's or Painted or anything else. I did hear my first Rufous Whistler for the season and my first Olive-backed Oriole. I had a very pleasant walk, clocked up 36 species without trying, and went home lamenting my lack of snipe. My mood changed immediately when I learnt that a Franklin's Gull had been seen at Paynesville. There was no question of whether I would go to Paynesville, it was a question of when I could set off. As I write, I am packed and plan to go in the morning. I have good vibes about this Franklin's Gull.