09 November, 2011

Branching out - more Moorabool meanders

Today I was once again back at the Moorabool River Reserve and on this occasion was treated to the sight of several species of birds I have not so far seen along the banks of the Barwon River. That being the case, I will use this blog to post a few photos of today's finds.
Purple-crowned Lorikeet
This little fellow - yes, I believe it is a male - was quite obliging and happy to sit and pose for me. It took a bit of hunting around to discover his identity, but I believe he is a purple-crowned Lorikeet. Wikipedia informs me that these little lorikeets are found only in the south of West Australia, the south east of South Australia and the west and central districts of Victoria.
My next exhibit was a little less obliging as it kept its distance and was back lit to such an extent that it was hard to see colour. None-the-less, I believe this was a Sacred Kingfisher and one of a number in the area. It seems these birds are common across most coastal regions of mainland Australia, although I have not seen them elsewhere.
Sacred Kingfisher
There were many other species around including a Black-chinned Honeyeater which I had not seen before. Unfortunately I was unable to get close enough for a clear shot of it. Also present were a multitude of Red-rumped Parrots and Eastern Rosellas - more than I have seen in any one location prior to this.
The following photo is included purely because I liked the shot and it was a very pretty section of the river, with water trickling over a little set of rapids. It is probably also worth noting that the ancient  rocks over which the water is falling, are part of the same outcrop of granite as the nearby Dog Rocks which date back to the Devonian Period of the Paleozoic Era some 350 million years ago. Remembering of course, that the Otways where the headwaters of the Barwon rise date only to the Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era, some 145 million years ago. These rocks are really old!


  1. This is a great spot for walking and for bird watching. One of the reasons this area is so good is that there are many older Eucalypts with hollows in them that are used by birds and other animals for breeding. Eucalypts are hardwoods, so can support large tubes or hollows for decades, providing invaluable nesting and hence breeding oppurtunity. Softwoods such as the deciduous trees planted along or growing wild along the Barwon and Moorabool Rivers cannot support hollows for long, hence they are poor providers of breeding habitat, which is very important when about 15% of native wildlife needs tree hollows of some variety to roost and breed in. even more important when you consider that all the research states that it takes at least 120 years for a eucalypt to develop a true hollow that can be used for shelter or raising young in! For a really big animal such as a Powerful Owl, it could 450 years to develop a tree hollow big enough for them to use. Check out anything written by David Lindenmayer.

  2. the photo of the tree claiming to be a canoe tree is wrong. it is a scar caused by a branch failure. the branch failled tearing bark from the tree. i estimate by the callus growth that the wound occured within the last 10 years.

  3. Thanks for the explanations Robert. I've removed the material from both posts.