Thursday, 22 October 2009

Long Forest

The birdos visited Long Forest today. This remarkable area near Bacchus Marsh, not far from Melbourne, is the only patch of mallee south of the Great Divide. It's a unique remnant from drier times about 8000 years ago and the particular mallee tree here is Bull Mallee Eucalyptus behriana. Other trees present are Grey Box, Red Box, Blue Box, Long-leaved Box, Yellow Gum, Manna Gum and Yellow Box.

The leader of our excursion was Marilyn Hewish author of Birds of the Long Forest, 1889-2005. (This book is a model of how to put together a study of a particular area.) Marilyn has spent countless hours in the Long Forest and is a very entertaining guide. We had a great day.

Oh, and the birds? Nothing out of the ordinary but the ordinary birds are delightful. We heard a Speckled Warbler but even Marilyn's magic couldn't entice it to make an appearance. She found them nesting there this year - that's like saying you've found the Holy Grail. Today we saw a thornbill pinching feathers from the Speckled Warbler's nest (it's OK, they've finished with it) to line its own nest.

And, I got to try out my new binoculars. They're good, but I still haven't seen a Speckled Warbler.

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