Had a great session at Jells Park today, with lots of birds to see and hear. Definite highlight was seeing two pairs of Pink-eared Ducks, not all that common - so lovely to see.
The children were real bird enthusiasts today and one young 'twitcher' sighted his 200th bird today, so that was fantastic to be part of that! He had been recording birds since January this year at home, while on holidays and at our session today. All new faces today at our session which was great and it was just a lovely day to be out watching birds in the winter sun. Off to the Little penguin colony tomorrow night - we can't wait!
Our second 'twitchathon' started off on a very chilly Melbourne morning! We had a small but dedicated team of budding ornithologists today from a 5 month old baby to a very keen 7 year old 'twitcher'! They all helped and did a fantastic job ticking birds off our list and adding to it as well! First off we learnt how to use our binoculars, then we were off to explore two different habitat types in the coastal heathland then to rock pools on the beach.
The birds we ticked off our list included Eastern Spinebill, Little Wattlebird, White-browed Scrubwren, Silvereyes and Brown Thornbills. We did some call playback so the children could learn the call of the Silvereye, then heard them calling back to us - this also brought them in closer so we could get a look at them.
We were on the trail of a cheeky fox for a little while, finding footprints in the sand and scats along the tracks, he remained elusive, but the kids were intrigued to know that foxes (unfortunately!) roamed the area!
We then made it down to the beach where the kids learnt the difference between a Silver Gull and a Pacific Gull, and saw some lovely Little Pied Cormorants perched on the rocky shelf.
We then completed the session by finding a little birds nest that had been abandoned on the ground - this gave us inspiration to create our own nests and make a bird feeder too.
One of the children made a love heart shape with his bird feeder and said "that's how I feel about birds". Couldn't of said it better myself!
Next session is at Jell's Park in Wheelers Hill on Tuesday 7 July, we will be exploring the world of bushland and wetland birds, should be a good one! Email to book in or find out more: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
We kicked off our school holiday 'twitchathon' today at Westerfolds Park in Templestowe. It was a great start with lots of enthusiastic kids and parents! We first learnt how to use our binoculars to get a closer look at birds and then we were off on our bird hunt. We had a great look at many common birds that frequent Westerfolds Park, including a boy and girl Australian Wood Duck, Australian Magpie, Rainbow Lorikeet, and the Laughing Kookaburra (which we observed on the ground trying to pry out some lunch from a log), a couple of Eastern Rosellas and four or five King Parrots came and checked us out and let us get a great view of the colour differences between the bright red boys and green girls - what a treat!
We then made a bird feeder (which is only a 'treat' for the birds), we explained that it's better to plant indigenous plants in your garden and allow birds to come in naturally, rather than regularly feeding them food that isn't part of their natural diet. It was also a good fine-motor skill for the kids too! We each made a 'nest' out of recycled materials and natural materials we could find around us. There was some great nature play and risk taking on some large old logs and many new friendships were made.
We are now re-setting our gear and getting ready for our next birding session at Green Point in Brighton on Friday 3 July at 9:30 am - still spots available so book in now: mailto:email@example.com