Three birds at Wyperfeld NP, Victoria

With the travel restrictions lifted, I decided to go for a couple of nights to Wyperfeld National Park, near Hopetoun in Victoria. It's a pretty hefty drive, and with stops, it took me about seven hours to get there. But if I don't get out of the city regularly I get a bit testy.

Wyperfeld hosts the terminal lakes of the Wimmera system, and I've been coming here regularly since 1976, when it was properly flooded. The desert birds here are wonderful, partly because they're different to the ones we see in Melbourne, and partly because they're impressively tenacious.

The three birds I wanted to see here are Redthroat, Mallee Emu-wren and Shy Heathwren. All hard birds.

Shy Heathwren

Mallee Emu-wren

They're all "allegedly" possible on the Discovery Walk to Lake Brambruk. So early in the morning, I dragged myself out of my tent and set off. The last ridge before Lake Brambruk is the spot.

My birding friends call me "Bill the Dipper". I think it's because the White-fronted Dipper is the Norwegian national bird. They may disagree...

In any case, I dipped on all three birds. I'd seen them all before, so it's OK. I've even got attached my record (bad) photos. In fact, I've seen two at Wyperfeld before. I'll post what I did get in the next few days.

Along the way I put my bins down into some sand. Picking them up, I noticed some had stuck to the objectives. I assume there was a bit of grease or moisture on the lens which was acting as the adhesive. 

Here, it's very important not to be tempted to brush it off, as this can scratch the lens coatings. I left them where they were. Most of them dropped off on their own, but when I got home I blew the last bits off with a blower and then used the soft brush of a Celestron lens pan to gently dislodge the last grit.

I decided not to wash the lenses this time, my rule is that if it isn't obvious looking through the binoculars, it's best left alone, as every time you touch your lenses there's a risk of scratching. I'll wash them properly when it gets bad.