Bird Watching Group



Updated
9 June  2020

Updated
14 July 2020

Updated
24 February  2020
Updated
24 February  2020

 

Session 4: Tuesday 14th July Castlemaine Botanical Gardens

In accordance with U3A policy, our monthly bird watching wanders were cancelled for April and May. For July we were limited to 10 members.

Nine U3A Birders met at 9 am to repeat the June bird walk. After checking around the north end of Lake Johanna, where a Great Black Cormorant was seen again, we crossed the bridge after passing a group of Common Bronzewings, and headed up into the Nature Reserve section, where we all had good views of a stunning male Rose Robin. Further on, two Rainbow Lorikeets were sighted inspecting a hollow high in a eucalypt – looking for a nesting spot?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Session 3: Tuesday 9th June Castlemaine Botanical Gardens

In accordance with U3A policy, our monthly bird watching wanders were cancelled for April and May, but policy changes allowed us to start again in June, provided social distancing was followed, and with a limit of 20 members. Since car-pooling remains an issue, we chose the Botanical Gardens for June. We hope to meet again on July 14th.

Thirteen warmly clad U3A Birders met at 9 am on a freezing but sunny morning, not expecting many birds. After checking around the north end of Lake Johanna, where a Great Black Cormorant was seen, we crossed the bridge and headed up into the Nature Reserve section, where we crossed paths with the U3A Dog Walkers. As the temperature rose, birds emerged, and by the end of the session, 27 species had been sighted. The highlights were a pair of Collared Sparrowhawks, and a small flock of Sitellas. An excellent morning for birds, while enjoying the opportunity to meet up again with fellow birders.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Session 2: Tuesday 10th March Vaughn Springs

On a fine sunny morning, twenty members gathered at Vaughan Springs, which is one of the most reliable bird watching sites in our region. Even when the Loddon is not flowing, there are deep pools to provide water for the birds. We were welcomed by Superb Fairy Wrens as usual, and saw 35 species through the morning, the highlight a splendid male Golden Whistler. Most of us climbed up the hill to follow the Goldfields Track a little way north, looking down on the Loddon. Many New Holland Honeyeaters were rushing around, some feeding in the flowering mistletoe. And down in the valley below us, a small brown bird with red on its head was identified as a European Goldfinch. As we sat around for morning tea wrens came very close, seeking crumbs – or photo ops!

NOTE: In accordance with U3A policy, our monthly bird watching outings are suspended for the time being. We will be in touch when our sessions can resume. In the meantime, if you see some unusual birds around the garden or in the bush do let us know, and send in any interesting photos. We can use this website to share reports of birding observations over the next few months.
Rosemary ad Peter

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Session 1: Tuesday 12th February Campbells Creek

We welcomed 7 of the 12 new members in this year’s group, among the 22 who gathered at the Octopus. Despite earlier forecasts of rain, the morning of our first walk for 2020 was fine and sunny. We parked at the top of Honeycomb Rd, for a repeat of last year’s February walk. After the recent rain, the mistletoe-laden trees near the cars were full of active birds, mostly New Holland Honeyeaters. We walked down the track to join the Campbells Creek Track, and north to Campbells Creek Landcare Group’s excellent information board. Nearby we watched a Red-browed Finch repeatedly pick up long grass stems, then fly to a thick Hakea shrub. On checking later, the bird guide books tell us that this busy finch was probably renovating the communal roosting structure – not preparing for the Spring breeding season. There were two large groups of Red-browed Finches along the track. Afterwards, some of us drove to the park opposite the hardware store for morning tea and the bird list – 24 species.