Despite the inclement weather, and looking more like a stock-riders convention than a bird watching party, more than a dozen people from the SCLG and the Murrindindi Birdwatchers gathered at Coonans Reserve in Flowerdale to do a (wet) dry-run of the Aussie Backyard Bird Count to be held later in the month.
After years of work by the Landcare group, Coonans Reserve (on the corner of the Upper King Parrot Creek Road and the Broadford-Flowerdale Road, for anyone who is interested) is now a haven for birds. The recent track extensions and removal of blackberry from the creek-side (primarily by Don and Dave) has made even more parts of this small but stunning reserve accessible. On Saturday morning during an hour long ramble over 30 species of bird were identified (see list below).
The highlight again this year was the sighting of our iconic species, the Crested Shrike-Tit. The award for sheer entertainment went to the flock of White-naped Honeyeaters (above right) feeding in the Pussy Willow (sorry birds, those trees won’t be there next year!). And the most elusive bird prize went to the Eastern Whipbird – clearly heard but only occasionally glimpsed in the dense thickets of Tree Violets.