Monday, 16 December 2013


Australian Magpie
Yesterday I visited the Melbourne General Cemetery for a spot of birding.  This is not one of Melbourne's top birding spots - no, it does not make it into my best 100 sites - but it suits me to go there.  It is an interesting place to walk around, lots of historic headstones to admire if the birds don't perform, and I have seen some good birds there.  For example, I've seen Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos, Tawny Frogmouths and a Little Eagle.  I wasn't quite that lucky yesterday.

The first bird to greet me as I entered the gate was a Red Wattlebird.  'Kwok!' he asserted and I agreed.  Wattlebirds were the dominant bird of the morning, mainly red ones, but also Little.  I suspect that Little Wattlebirds are extending their range.  I lived in this vicinity for twenty years and they were not commonly seen then.  Today they are easily observed.

The next most common bird was the Little Raven.  Flocks flew overhead, cawing.  They played in the cyprus trees and on the ground.  I lost count of how many I'd seen.  I tried to check out each bird to ensure that they were all Little Ravens, and no Australian Ravens had crept into their ranks.

Then, came magpies.  Two families had full size young begging constantly.  There were also a couple of free flying, apparently unattached males, soaring overhead, calling occasionally to make sure I noticed them.

I did not see anything particularly startling yesterday.  However, I saw my favourite bird (Willie Wagtail) so I was happy.  I always see Yellow-rumped Thornbills, Rainbow Lorikeets and Welcome Swallows and I usually see Galahs, Crested Pigeons and New Holland Honeyeaters.  Yesterday I was surprised to miss out on Superb Fairy-wrens, White-plumed Honeyeaters and Silvereyes.  I managed 18 species in about 45 minutes, which is okay for a site without water so close to the city.  Anyway, I was happy.  I'm always satisfied if I see a Willie Wagtail.

1 comment:

  1. Ravens seem particularly appropriate for a cemetery!! And birding in the cemetery would be a complete change of pace from Werribee - we had our first visit there earlier this year! An intriguing spot!!