Saturday, 27 October 2012

Wilson Reserve, in Ivanhoe, is about ten kilometres from central Melbourne.  I think it is about the best place close to the city to see Eastern Yellow Robins and Common Bronzewings.  On Friday, I dodged the rain, and enjoyed a pleasant walk beside the Yarra River at Wilson Reserve.
Eastern Yellow Robin

Someone had recently mown the grass and it smelt wonderful.  As soon as I parked the car, I was welcomed by the melodious fluting call of Grey Butcherbirds.  A Pacific Black Duck in the car park was unsure whether I was friend or foe.  Rainbow Lorikeets squawked overhead and Brown Thornbills chattered in the undergrowth.  Several Grey Fantails danced around and Willie Wagtails chattered happily, just pleased to be alive.  Along the track, a large flock of Red-browed Finches played with Superb Fairy-wrens and White-browed Scrubwrens darted amongst the bushes.  Nine (yes, nine!) Australian Magpies foraged on the grass in one spot and Bell Miners tinkled in the trees.  I met some friendly locals who were walking their dogs and nearly stepped on a water rat that ran across the path in front of me.  I didn't see anything extraordinary, but I had a very pleasant walk and clocked up 27 species without trying.  That doesn't count the Little Grassbird that sang loudly from the reeds, but wouldn't show himself, or the Spotted Pardalotes high in the canopy that stopped calling the minute I raised my binoculars.

A beautiful male Common Bronzewing was quite unfazed by my presence and sat, unconcerned, allowing me to approach quite close.  Several pairs of Red-rumped Parrots were looking for nesting holes and Crimson Rosellas sat quietly above, looking down on me.  I didn't want to leave without seeing a robin, and I wasn't disappointed.  An Eastern Yellow Robin flew across the track, then sat looking at me with her intelligent sparkling black eyes.  What a beautiful little bird!

I returned to the routine of daily suburban life with my batteries recharged.  How lucky to have such a welcome slice of bush so close to Melbourne.

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