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  • Writer's pictureTerry

Winter 2019

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

The creeks are dry except for a few shallow pools. We set up a sensor camera on one of these refuges and watched it disappear. The wildlife visiting this small waterhole was extraordinary. A great number of birds, a water dragon, giant water spider, many Red-necked Wallaby’s, a feral cat and feral pigs!

Here is the link to "Kookaburras At Water Refuge".

A neighbour observed a dead Rakali (Water Rat) in a dry creek bed. They reckon it "ran out of habitat”. Sad.

Large-billed Scrub-wren

The creek water refuge has now disappeared so we put a container of fresh water in the bush and set a camera. What we are seeing is an amazing recording of bird life in the bush. We use the term "Spying On Birds", we've also sighted several new species to add to the Istari list.

Here is the link to "Spying On Birds Part A".

Little Friarbird

Late May, we experienced a most vicious frost. Many plants and small trees were greatly affected. A lot of these plants were yet to recover from last years brutal winter. The bush now appears very open and has a definitive autumn/winter feel. The Caladenia catenata are in bloom as are the Coastal Banksias. What would the bush be without these blooming banksias!

We’ve invested in a new super zoomy camera which has greatly enhanced our ability to identify the smaller birds like this Brown Honeyeater, another new discovery for Istari.

Brown Honeyeater on banksia flower

An extraordinary event has occurred with the Plumed-whistling Ducks. They have become regular visitors. Their numbers arriving at dawn exploded. From an average of eighty arrivals it jumped to 180 birds, the next day 220 arrived and the day after that 230! An amazing sight and sound. We’ve several interesting sound recordings of their departures. Now their numbers have settled down to a constant twenty to forty ducks a day. Today there are no ducks! I wouldn’t want to bet on how many arrive tomorrow! We do keep a record. N.B. as many as 327 ducks arrived one morning!

Plumed Whistling Ducks

We’ve now seen this group of nine Glossy Black Cockatoos several times. They interact as a flock, lots of squabbling and synchronised flying, then pair off and go in different directions. The odd one out we believe is a juvenile.

Despite the desperation out there, the bush is surviving.


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