Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Doongalla beauty & a 100th birthday

Yellow-tailed black cockatoo, Doongalla Reserve, The Dandenongs
The last time I posted from Doongalla was in early September (a Spring morning). Last Sunday afternoon the feel was decidedly different as we had our first warmer day of the early Summer. Birds could be heard but seemed harder to spot. Golden whistler in particular seemed to have retreated to the canopy perhaps less interested in courting than they were in Spring.

It was during a birding walk away from the main group that my companions Richard and Moses pointed out my birding highlight of the afternoon (see Moses video of the YTB and a Crimson rosella at its nest here):

Richard then located this cheeky Golden whistler that had been teasing us for several minutes.

Golden whistler
I can claim that I located the White-browed scrubwren and Fan-tailed cuckoo unassisted!

Dreamy Doongalla
This botched out-of-focus iPhone shot does actually convey the dreamy feel of the afternoon!
(added a blurred vignette later on)
The birding ramble was an aside for an interested trio - the main event was a family 100th birthday after-party! In the photo below we see our 100 year old "Greatie" seated second from left. Her siblings, all seated, had travelled from Sydney for the party the day prior and witnessed the Queen's letter etc. Her two daughters, one who had travelled from Finland for the occasion, are standing.
If we forget about the two ankle-biters at the back, we have 370 years of sibling experience in this one picture!
A further 98 year old sister couldn't make the trip from Sydney.
The Doongalla homestead burnt down, the land reclaimed by government and the bush allowed to re-grow but at the time of Greatie's birth Doongalla apparently looked like this.

Bird on (for many a year)!

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday


  1. That cockatoo is fabulous! And that's a wonderful family photo!

  2. You certainly come of strong stock! Is it the Finnish connection? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all could make it to become centenarians and still be as well preserved as these golden oldies and what a grand place the homestead is as well.
    Love your shots of the yellow-tailed black, they used to come to my garden in spring to do their courtship dances and leave a trail of new pine shoots that they delighted in using for the purpose.
    Nice to see the secretive little guys as well, they are so hard to see in a rainforest.

  3. What a special and, no doubt, wonderful family celebration. Times have certainly changed!

  4. I love the cockatoo and the old photo of the homestead. A very special family event.

  5. a grand finale; congratulations on the 100 years there! Nice to have family gathered around for it too. The yellow-tail photo is fabulous - you got so close! I love the golden-whistlers!! I have a 'yellow' post coming up this afternoon

  6. What a fabulous bird! Doongalla looks like a wonderful place to spend time bird watching.

    Of course congratulations to the centurion..... fabulous

  7. I do love the little bird photos and the cockatoo. So peaceful and cute. I guess nature is the one thing we can count on. Congrats on your family celebration. lovely cheers Nora.

  8. Wonderful pictures and a heart-warming story too.

  9. Great pictures and a nice story.

    I tend to ignore the fact that Magpies are associated with that AFL team! Its just not right.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  10. Doongalla looks great and superb yellow tail pictures. I remember when I was a kid discovering a beautiful little golden bird in front of my house with a unique whistle. I wasn't surprised what it was called when I found it in the bird book and have never forgotten it.