One of my friends goes birdwatching every morning. He has a routine, a particular patch that he checks out each day, and he records what he sees each day. And because he's been doing it for a number of years now the data that he has accumulated is invaluable. Part of his patch is Buckley Falls on the Barwon River on the western outskirts of Geelong.
The rest of us make spasmodic visits because it's a beautiful area and occasionally we see some really nice (by which I mean special) birds, but my friend knows where the birds nest, the size of their territories, when the migrants arrive and leave, changes to the environment. He enjoys the common birds, loves the challenge of finding the nests (although he got very frustrated last year because the nests of Crested Shrike-tits are very difficult to find). The Buckly Falls area is a very reliable spot to find Nankeen Night-herons sitting on the rocks in the daytime, and in winter the Pink Robins and Rose Robins passing through.
The falls are named after William Buckley, the escaped convict who lived with aborigines in this area for three decades before the settlers from Tasmania arrived. They've been modified by a low wall across the river, another weir upstream and a viaduct on the north side built to supply water to a paper mill in the 1800s but are still delightful. There is a Friends group doing fantastic work with planting and weeding. Picnic spots, lookouts and walking tracks have been established on both sides of the river. Suburbia is approaching from the south but a buffer zone has been negotiated.
It's easy to forget that the falls are there because they are not visible from any main roads, but they are well worth a visit.