Friday, April 4, 2014

Black honeyeater, Cockatiel in the wild, Goschen Reserve

Black honeyeater, Goschen Bushland Reserve (Dec 2013)
Goschen was gazetted to be a town. Streets were planned. A hall was built, a tennis court asphalted, a cricket oval marked out.

Goschen seems to be in the middle of nowhere, in the Victorian version of the outback, now miles and miles of wheat fields. The gazetted area is now a small bushland reserve, an oasis of dry country bush in a "desert" of wheat fields.

I visited Goschen for a few hours in December 2013 and was amazed at seeing birds I had not known you could see in Victoria. Highlights were "lifers" Black honeyeater and White-fronted honeyeater. While I "dipped" on Budgerigar and Pied honeyeater I was more than happy with other friends not often seen in Victoria (by me): Grey-crowned babbler, Rainbow bee-eater, Hooded robin, Spiny-cheeked honeyeater, Singing honeyeater and White-browed woodswallow.

Black honeyeater
The closest I have been to Cockatiel ever, Goschen (December 2013)
A slightly different angle and a little sun & blue sky … Cockatiel (Dec 2013, Goschen, Vic)
Another small group of cockatiel can be just made out in a dead branch, two thirds of the way up the picture centrally. 
and here's a close up!
Hooded robin can be vary obliging. This one seemed to follow me (it also seems to have a thing for cockatiel)!
Singing honeyeater
White-browed babbler
Distant view of a Rainbow bee-eater
Awful picture of a White-fronted honeyeater makes the post only because it was a LIFER!

Some Goschen scenes to put you in the picture:

The dilapidated hall

The old tennis court was surrounded by flowering gums
The edge of the reserve with adjacent wheat field
Same location as above looking out from the fence along the lines of stubble. 
I will definitely be back!

Bird on!


  1. Great pictures. They make me appreciate just how utterly different our avifauna is.

  2. Wonderful photos, Pete, full of birds I could only dream of seeing (except Bee-eaters, which are a dime-a-dozen in Brisbane). It's strange how the smallest reserve can be a liferaft for some bird populations - I spent this morning in tiny urban regeneration patch that was teeming with interesting things like Bronze-Cuckoos, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes and Black-faced Monarchs.

    I hate to be "that guy" but I spent time with Grey-crowned Babblers up north last year and your bird looks a little different. Maybe check out White-browed Babbler and see what you think? I'll trust your judgement though - it was only my first time seeing a Babbler myself!

    1. Well spotted Christian, No "judgement" was involved - just a brain fade as I was typing (White-browed it is)!

  3. Great set of birds - I need to get up into Northern and Central Vic more.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  4. Looks like a great spot with some excellent birds. I'm so envious of your Black Honeyeater. I got a glimpse of a couple back at Christmas but failed with the camera. Striking little birds.

    1. Thanks Russell, "little" they certainly are!

  5. Great shots here Pete, especially of the Black Honeyeater, not an easy one to get out in the open in my experience so well done, the White-fronted Honeyeaters are complete buggers to get close-ups of. Did you get confused between the Black HE and the Hooded Robin at first? or did the sounds give them away? BTW, the "Hobart" post seems to have disappeared. Cheers, Richard