Saturday, 19 January 2013


This morning I had a lovely walk in Willsmere Park.  The weather was perfect and there were not too many joggers and cyclists.  I'd always thought this park was in Kew, but I noted this morning that the oval is used by the Deepdene Uniting Cricket Club.  Apart from the oval, there is a small patch of remnant bush by the Yarra surrounding the Willsmere Billabong.  The whole park is adjacent to a golf course, and, on the other side of the river, just a stone's throw away, is Wilson Reserve, where I birded on New Year's Day. 

I've seen some good birds at Willsmere over the years.  Once I saw an Olive Whistler, once a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo and once (famously) a small party of Brown Gerygones, well out of the bird's accepted range.  I've often seen Azure Kingfishers, and sometimes Nankeen Night Herons and Crested Shrike-tits.

This morning, I was there for just under an hour and notched up a total of 20 species, but sadly, nothing new for the year.  By far the most numerous bird was the Noisy Miner.  The Common Bronzewing is living up to its name this summer around Melbourne.  Rainbow Lorikeets were common too, as ever, and I was aware of (that is, either saw or heard) a remarkable eight Grey Butcherbirds!  There are always Willie Wagtails, White-browed Scrubwrens and Superb Fairy-wrens.  The Eastern Yellow Robin calling from the bush refused to show himself.

I was disappointed there were no annual ticks for me, but I have absolutely no right to complain.  It really was a very pleasant walk.  And if I saw Brown Gerygones every time I visited, they wouldn't be rare any more would they?

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