Birds at Koonung Creek with Mickey the Lab

Before coming in to work in the mornings, I walk the dog. Mickey the Lab likes to go to different places, and we decided to go to the Koonung Creek park, along the Eastern Freeway. It was a bright day, so I took my birding lens with me as well.

The park is adjacent to the freeway, and so can be quite noisy in places, but that hasn't seemed to put the birds off. The place was quite busy that day.

The grass at the western end where we began is interspersed with onion weed. Corellas, particularly Long-Billed, like to dig the corms up. I've written about these before. However, Galahs and Crested Pigeons favour this area as well.

Because it was morning and we were walking roughly eastward, I didn't begin really looking for birds until after we turned back. There's little point photographing into the sun.

The eastern end of the park is narrow and close to the freeway, and this is where it is noisiest. I've heard that birds who live in noisy areas tend to sing poorly, but the Brown Thornbills that hop around in the undergrowth here seem normal to my untrained ear.

A couple of Magpie-larks and some Masked Lapwings were grazing on the ground near me. I was able to get a reasonable shot of the male on the ground. You can tell it's male from the eyebrow. I thought I'd leave the Lapwing alone - they can get a bit cranky.

Next, I spotted a Kookaburra perched on a gantry over the freeway itself. It was facing me, but the light wasn't the best. 

I took a few photos of it before noticing its mate was perched on the next gantry along. This one was turned away with the light on its back, so I got a very similar, but better shot.

A bit further back, I encountered an immature Grey Butcherbird. It had clearly learned the art of hunting for food, and was doing well with a number of snacks.

At that point I looked around and found that Micky had disappeared. I called a few times and she burst dripping out of the lagoon, covered in duck weed, smelling like death, and looking very pleased with herself. That’s what you get for birdwatching when you should be walking the dog!