Birds at Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

At last we get to the birds. I’m told there are 178 species at the gardens and counting but I only had a limited time and not the best light to capture images of all those I did see. So here are a few I saw during my visit there.

Sacred (Australian white) ibis flying overhead. We also saw a much larger flock but they were very high and a further distance away.
Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Blue (male) Superior Fairy-wren who literally came to my feet but I had a long lens on so had to stick with images of him a bit further away from me.
Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Wood swallow. I hadn’t seen one of these before.
Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

New Holland Honeyeater. There were lots of these in the formal gardens.
Visit to Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

We also saw swallows, kookaburras, a variety of honeyeaters and other small birds in the bushland area. Couldn’t capture decent pictures of them all, this time round.

The Brolgas are dancing

Well, they aren’t really, but every time I hear the word it reminds me of the Christmas Carol, the Carol of the Birds. I learnt it in primary school and it has stuck with me all through my life.  The carol is written by John Wheeler and in the first verse it starts “Out on the plains the brolgas are dancing, Lifting their feet like warhorses prancing…”

I’ve never seen a Brolga dance but can imagine it.

From Wikipedia: The Brolga, formerly known as the Native Companion, is a bird in the crane family. It has also been given the name Australian Crane, a term coined in 1865 by well-known ornithological artist John Gould in his Birds of Australia. The Brolga is a common, gregarious wetland bird species of tropical and south-eastern Australia and New Guinea, It is a tall, upright bird with a small head, long beak, slender neck and long legs. The plumage is mainly grey, with black wing tips, and it has an orange-red band of colour on its head. It is well known for its intricate mating dance.

Brolga

Brolga

Brolga

The two pelicans

Thought I’d share with you more shots I took the other day when I saw the two pelicans at Birdsland Reserve. They seemed to just glide through the water with very little movement – you could hardly tell they were moving for quite some time.

I was on the other side of the lake when I first noticed that a lady with her dog had stopped to watch these large birds on the lake.

Watching the pelicans

I moved as quickly as I could to the other side to get closer shots, without disturbing the birds.

A tale of two pelicans

A tale of two pelicans

Documenting Birdsland Reserve

I’ve been spending the past month walking at Birdsland Reserve, Belgrave Heights, and gradually photographing all the birds I’ve been seeing there.  I thought it would be good to create a gallery of the bird life there.  I hope you agree.  You’ll find the gallery here.

This is a male Australasian Darterbird.

Australasian Darterbird

And this is a female. Their feet almost look jelly like. Quite amazing.

Australasian Darterbird

This is the first time I’ve seen one of these in flight.

Darter Bird in flight

Cattle Egret

I’d mentioned how I’ve noticed different birds at the lake lately.  When I was walking the other day I saw two white birds take off from the flock of seagulls at the edge of the lake. I’d assumed, at first, they were gulls too, but when I noticed their shape and colour when flying, and the way they glided, I knew they weren’t seagulls after all. Never seen these at the lake before.

The Cattle Egret is found in grasslands, woodlands and wetlands, which will explain why I saw them at Lysterfield Lake Park. They also use pastures and croplands. Will also forage at garbage dumps, and are often seen with cattle and other stock. There are paddocks near to the park with stock on them so they may have come from there.

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret