Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Roos & Rosellas

Here is a final "wrap" following a recent afternoon visit to Candlebark Reserve on the Yarra River in Templestowe, one of Melbourne's bushier suburbs.

The trail passes between the Yarra River and Petty's Orchards. I was surprised to find a large mob of wild Eastern Grey Kangaroo lounging among the rows of apple trees.

With the impressive scientific name Macropus giganteus Eastern Grey Kangaroo may feel they have every right to recline wherever and whenever they like!  

iPhone shot of a wintry day in the orchard 
"But where are the birds?"
"Yeah, where are the birds?"
"There are usually birds here somewhere."
"There's one over here mate!" pointed out a massive male roo gesturing towards a Magpie-lark
And there was certainly plenty to interest a birder on this slightly grey day (see also two other posts from this same afternoon featuring Rainbow lorikeets and Australasian darter). Rosellas in particular were providing some colour...

Eastern rosella (I suspect the male at right), also in Paddy's Orchards but taken from the Yarra Trail 

Eastern rosella enjoying seeds from winter grasses
Crimson rosella. Unclear from this photo but "left-handed" is usually the case!
Read more about "handedness" in birds here.

Crimson rosella developing adult plumage (will lose the green and become a magnificent crimson and blue parrot) 

Australian king-parrot
Next are some images of the many Common bronzewings that I came across. I was getting frustrated as I kept inadvertently flushing these guys without seeing them first. Finally I started getting a few shots shown here. The last two are more in keeping with the adult male plumage (small thumbnails, but some nice colours here if you care to click for the larger versions).

Noisy miner on the orchard fence
A young-looking Grey butcherbird 
I don't think I've held my camera to the introduced European starling before - but my, what colour!
Back to the river for some water birds. We have here Little black and Little pied cormorants, Wood duck and Dusky moorhen (swimming with the milk bottle).

A large feral domestic duck-thing and a Chestnut teal

This bend appears to be a favoured roost for cormorants and darter.
I have also seen Azure kingfisher here. I will be back!!
The remaining shots show a little of the locale. The trail is part of the Main Yarra Trail which caters for pedestrians, dog walkers and cyclists. Yes, there is company!

The views depict the good and not-so-good of suburban bushland. One continually comes across rubbish (particularly in the river), weeds, and erosion. On the other hand there is evidence of improvements to accessibility with good trails (including boardwalks) and areas with fresh plantings of native vegetation.

Wombat hole at left (there were many!). Yarra River at right

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

Bird on!


  1. Such a lot of young parrots, the king parrot is a young one too. When I see kangaroos in those numbers, I am not really static. We have a population explosion of them on the farm since we planted lots of trees. Now we can't keep the sheep in their paddock, the roos have wrecked the fences and also attacker our dog. Odd how 'tame' the bronzewings are, here one hardly sees them and when one does, it is after dark as they whirr off the road.
    Great shots all round and I particularly liked the black cormorants.
    Where does the trail start, in case I get to Melb. later in the year.

    1. Hi Arija,
      Sorry to hear about the plague proportions of troublesome roos in your area. I am aware they can be quite a problem. I wonder sometimes about whether things would be better if they were more accepted as a meat source!
      I start this walk at a car park where Fitzsimmon's Lane crosses the Yarra (officially in the suburb of Templestowe). Then head upstream.

  2. The Bronze-wings are frustrating like that but they are also predictable and if you remember where they like to hang around, you can often find them in the same place next time.

  3. A terrific post! I love kangas! Rosellas are gorgeous birds.

  4. Wonderful photos! I love the rosellas, they're gorgeous birds.

  5. Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  6. Well, there's a weekend walk sorted! Pdf downloaded, ready to go.

    Great pictures.

    Cheers - Stewart M - (elsewhere in) Melbourne!

    1. Worth a look Stewart! I do enjoy relevant pdf files on the phone!

  7. I'd be back too for the azure kingfisher Pete; lovely series; interesting to see the Crimson Rosella in it's juvenile plumage too. What a lovely spot, that 'bend in the river'

  8. Hi Pete Just discovered your site through WBW and am delighted that I have. Your photos are all great and it brings back many happy memories in Australia. I still go there as I have a daughter and her family living there but it is only once a year or two. I miss it terribly. So between Stewart adn yourself, I will not feel as home sick. I live in Northern Ireland so it is a long way away. I have now joined your site and look forward to see a lot more photos. Margaret