G'day from the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne

19 posts / 0 new
Last post
Silvereye
Silvereye's picture
G'day from the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne

Hi all,

I have always been interested in birds but have become more and more so over the last five years or so. I am also an entomophile and find insects and bugs fascinating too! 

As much as I love photographing small things like butterflies, spiders and beetles, I am finding taking photos of birds fascinating and not quite as taxing  lately. I would classify myself as a beginner when I see the number of species of birds just in Victoria, let alone Australia, but I do know most the birds around our area. However, the population has changed a lot in recent years and I am seeing birds not normally seen around here which is exciting!

I have a fascination for the tiny birds I hear 'peeping' and see flitting in and out of foliage in the trees and bushes and finally yesterday managed to capture a shot of what I believe is a Brown Thornbill. I knew they weren't Silvereyes which we have here also but had no idea until I got a shot to look at what they were. I've added my photo so others can see and help with ID.

Now, I plan to put more native plants in my garden to provide a better habitat since at the moment, the small birds do not have many places to hide here and mainly pass through. 

I look forward to learning and sharing with you all! 

Kim 

Woko
Woko's picture

Hi Kim. That looks like a brown thornbill to me, too.

Do you  have any thoughts on why you're seeing birds in your area that you haven't seen before?

And good on you for providing habitat for smaller birds. Indigenous understorey is often neglected when people are planting natives.

Silvereye
Silvereye's picture

Hi Woko,

Thanks for the confirmed ID. 

I am not sure but I guess urbanisation and climate change might be part of the reason why we are seeing new birds. When I was a teenager, it was exciting to go to Queensland to the Currumbin bird sanctuary and see all the Rainbow Lorikeets; now they are common birds around much of Melbourne suburbs including here. 

The Little Corellas are one that have moved into our area enmasse and I can only assume it is for food and maybe water since we had the drought. They go to local parks during the day and feed and drink there then often I see and hear the flocks pass over late in the day and early evening to go whereever they roost for the night. I am quite excited because I saw two pairs going in and out of natural cavities in trees at the park so with luck, will be able to see them when the have a family there! 

The others I've seen recently that had never had in the area are the Currawongs and they had great feasts on a large supply of casemoth caterpillars that we had over spring and summer. It was great watching them catch them and try to take them off each other too. Also seeing Grey Butcherbirds around now too.

And finally, one I have never seen before anywhere but have identified as a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike has been in the surrounding trees twice now. 

So you can see with all those larger birds around, the little ones need some protection! :)

Kim

Melbourne – South-East

Araminta
Araminta's picture

Hi Kim, welcome to the forumyes

I live in the outer east of Melbourne, (Gembrook), I have lots of tiny birds in my garden, but also Magpies and some Currawongs during the breeding season, they turn up to snatch the odd eggs or hatchlings.(sorry to say, they also eat my daughter's chook eggs))

I have not seen any Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike yetcrying

As to why you might be seeing more birds you haven't seen before, it might be because the more you getting to know your area, the more you notice. People that come to visit me always say: where do you see all those birds you take photos of? The truth is, the more you look, the longer you stay in one spot, the more you see.

M-L

kathiemt
kathiemt's picture

Hey Kim and welcome. I'm also the same side of town, in Selby.  I agree with M-L about what you're seeing. I found that in the second year of where I live, I noticed a lot more birds than I did in the first year. Because I was looking more, and listening more.  Even now (4 years down the track) I'm still seeing the occasional bird I'd not noticed before.  Love it!

Kathiemt
Selby, Victoria
 

Silvereye
Silvereye's picture

Hi Araminta and kathiemt,

I agreee that I see more now that I am looking more but I have been a fairly observant nature lover in the past and would not have missed the Currawongs or Corellas when they come in flocks. 

The small birds, I know I am seeing because I am more interested and take notice. I have become quite in tune with the sounds birds make and even when talking to other people will still notice bird calls. I might be getting obsessed! wink

It is just the same with insects; most people don't even notice what insects are around unless they are doing damage to their garden but I am tuned in to them as well so tend to see lots even in winter. I found a salticidae (jumping) spider with a fly on my orange tree yesterday. Glad I had a camera with me at the time. smiley

We have Magpies too Araminta; a pair and their young ones hang around our street. I noticed when they fledged and took photos of them on the powerlines begging for food. 

Interestingly the Common Myna which seemed to have not been around much at all is back lately and I am not sure what caused that occurence. 

We always have Blackbirds breeding in our garden too and they seem to have had a successful season last time so there seem to be more young Blackbirds around too. I do like them toot-tooting around the garden. smiley

Kim

Melbourne – South-East

kathiemt
kathiemt's picture

How long have you been where you are Kim?  I love listening to the birdsounds and I am definitely obssessed. So much that I miss what someone is saying to me sometimes because my ears picked up a sound I'd not heard before, or perhaps need/want to get a better picture smiley

I have to force myself to going back to listening again.

I'm sure you're going to fit in here just fine!

Kathiemt
Selby, Victoria
 

Silvereye
Silvereye's picture

kathiemt, I've been here for 33 years now but I guess I wasn't as interested once upon a time as I am now. I think a trip around Australia got me started about 6 years ago when I saw how many different birds there are away from home. We saw so many waterbirds in the Northern Territory at Fogg Dam and LaBelle Billabong and I got quite fascinated with them as well as the Black Kites that were like seagulls in behaviour in Normanton, Queensland. I have never seen so many birds of prey hanging around a town! 

I know what you mean, kathie. I have to force myself to concentrate and what I find strange is that no-one else seems to notice! smiley

Thanks for the friendly welcome! ♥

Kim

Melbourne – South-East

kathiemt
kathiemt's picture

Yes, very true, no-one else seems to notice. My youngest says it's a 30+ thing. She's 26.

It was a blue-banded bee that actually got my started into serious nature photography and from there I began discovering all the different types of birds.

Kathiemt
Selby, Victoria
 

Silvereye
Silvereye's picture

I think kids that age often have no interest in nature but it depends on the individual of course. My older one would not notice things like that at all really but the younger one sends me a text saying he's seen a bird & gives description expecting me to ID it that way! surprise He's almost 26.

I love Blue-Banded bees and have only seen them once when I was at Bonnie Doon visiting my sister who lived there then. I love the way they hang on to stalks by their mouthparts! We don't seem to have them here closer to Melbourne but that is my other plan for the garden; to provide nesting sites for solitary native bees to encourage them into my garden also. smiley

I'm so over the suburban garden with neat lawn and garden round the edges! Time to make more garden and less lawn! Just haven't told my husband that is what I'm doing yet. He is traditional when it comes to lawns! Not sure why since he is the one who mows them! laugh

I already have 3 small ponds and we get Pobblebonks calling in the warmer weather from there. I think we had some small frogs as well but I am suspecting the Banjos took over; they probably ate them! However, I like the sound they make and love seeing them around which we do more and more. 

Do you post your photos somewhere online Kathie? I mainly use Google+ because there are so many like people there who are happy to interact about the stuff I enjoy. I haven't come across that many nature lovers from Australia on there though so this is great! yes

Kim

Melbourne – South-East

kathiemt
kathiemt's picture

Where are you situated Kim? I've missed that.  I'm in Selby and we have blue banded bees here in the Salvia sometimes. I've got a few shots of them. They have a different buzz to the regular bees.

I'm waiting for hubby to put in a pond in our home. I've had one in every place I've lived in and we've been here nearly 4 years already smiley

Yes, I have my images online at Flickr.com and also my own website. Just google Dandenong Ranges Photography and you'll find me and there's a link to my Flickr account on the site.

Graham and I have set up a Melbourne Bird Photographers group at meetup.com if you're interested. We discuss it on another thread. So we can meet with a group of people to take photos. We have a meetup planned for mid August and have about 10 people or so on the group already.

Kathiemt
Selby, Victoria
 

Silvereye
Silvereye's picture

I live in the Glen Eira/Bayside area of the south-eastern suburbs so it's very suburban and high density living. We are not too far from the beach which is great for photos as well. 

Thank-you for all the information Kathie. yes

I have joined and RSVPed on the Melbourne Bird Photographers site as you will see. I may still bring someone but will let you know if so.

Sounds like a great place to photograph birds! I'm looking forward to it immensely! smiley

Kim

Melbourne – South-East

Araminta
Araminta's picture

In summer my husband and I often go for walks along the Promenade in Bayside. We always come down North Road and park in Chatsworth Ave. Nice walk past the dog park.

M-L

Silvereye
Silvereye's picture

Yes Araminta, it is a lovely walk down there. I take my dog to the dog beach in finer weather too. It's a 5 minute drive for me so is very handy! smiley

Kim

Melbourne – South-East

Woko
Woko's picture

Thanks for your thoughts, Kim. I'll be interested to see how your garden develops & how many different small bird species you're able to attract. I find it fascinating that small birds turn up in ecologically restored places when there seem to be no natural corridors for them to use in getting to those places. Even larger birds like spotted crakes have turned up in a local wetland when I haven't any idea how they would have got there.

Silvereye
Silvereye's picture

Yes, Woko, I find nature amazing also. Not just for populations returning to restored areas but also many species resilience in making the most of man-made changes. Tim Low gives many examples of this in his book, "The New Nature" 

Plants are especially good at taking advantage of changes made my people and some do much better in those places in fact. 

I got a few more photos of the Brown Thornbill today;some from behind which is always useful in being able to make a correct ID and it does have the reddish-brown patch on the rump. I just love those little birds and can't believe it is one of the medium Thornbills when it is such a little bird!

This shot was taken at the end of the day so the sunlight is casting an orange hue. 

Kim

Melbourne – South-East

Annie W
Annie W's picture

Welcome Kim!  Thornbills are one of my very favourite LBB's (Little Brown Birds) wink, but then there is also the...no, I won't start laugh  Really look forward to more of your posts & pics.

NW Tasmania

Silvereye
Silvereye's picture

Thank-you Ruby! smiley They are such cool little birds but I had no idea what I had until I got some photos; they are just too darn quick!

I have heard that term and LBJ (Little Brown Jobs) from English people. My friend calls them Peebles! A term she used when she was doing zoology at Uni and they had to do bird surveys....Another Peeble! :D

Kim

Melbourne – South-East

Quiet Miner
Quiet Miner's picture

Hello Kim,

I've been a passive visitor on here lately, so only just seen your post. I look forward to seeing what other LBB you can accumulate in your photo collection. I'm just as bad with them as I am with shorebirds.

Thanks for joining the meet-up group and I look forward to meeting you soon. Apologies for the false-start with Altona Coastal Park - the unpredictable weather really had me in two minds and it's not the best place after rain - or during it for that matter! I'll see you soon I'm sure.

- Graham

 and @UrbanBirdsOz  @birdsinbackyards
                 Subscribe to me on YouTube