Coronavirus lockdown: Park birds

Well, our world is getting smaller. During the Coronavirus restrictions (in Victoria at least) we're requested not to travel unnecessarily. So my birding expeditions are restricted to Hays Paddock or other nearby dog walking parks. I can go to Chelsworth Park in Ivanhoe or up the Koonung Creek trail.

I’ve been watching a White-faced Heron over the last couple of weeks. Each morning it patrols two ovals where I walk my dog. The ovals are watered overnight, and this leaves the ground quite wet. In turn, this brings creepy-crawlies to the surface where the Heron can nab them.

A week or so back there was a second Heron there, but I’ve only seen the two on a couple of occasions.

The same watering regimen seems to attract other grazing birds to the ovals. A couple of weeks ago there was a medium-sized mixed flock Australian White and Straw-necked. Ibis, particularly the White, are famous bin chickens, and in Sydney they’re quite a problem for people eating their lunch in parks. Here in Melbourne, they’re not so cranky, thankfully.

I have to say that Ibis aren’t exactly the most aesthetic birds I’ve ever seen.

Much better looking, the Nankeen Night-heron is a rarer visitor to the park. I got a photo of one a while back, but I haven’t seen one here in the last few months. For all I know, there’s one resident in the reeds, but they’re quite secretive and I haven’t fallen over one, which is the way you normally see them.

There are a number of other birds that can be seen in the local park. The Kookaburras I’ve got here are very common, although you normally hear them rather than see them.

But of course, the most common bird in the park is the Noisy Miner. Strangely enough, I don’t have a photo of them here – I just can’t bring myself to get a photo.

Expect more updates from my dog-walking while the Coronavirus restrictions are in place, and remember, if you don’t need to be out of the house, don’t be out of the house.

Stay safe!