It's been a long time in Melbourne's lockdown again, but we're back, and so is the sun, and so is the car...hooray! Our first 'big' drive beyond the 15km bubble was to Healesville yesterday ...to the Sanctuary for some practice shots of birds (all in captivity, sadly - but at least we get to see them), and then we found a new place (for us) - Badger Creek Weir...wow! But first, the sanctuary...everyone was very chipper and cheerful, welcoming the public on their first day back. The birdies were in fine fettle too, though we saw fewer just flying around freely than we saw on earlier visits.
A highlight for us was the sacred kingfisher - we wish we could say we got this shot in the wild, but we didn't. This chap was in a large aviary, and able to fly about pretty freely among its fellow inmates. We long to find one out in the open (we know one was seen at the Royal Botanic gardens just a few days back), but now we also know just how small they are - and how dazzling - when the sun hits those wings.
And here's another one we're bursting to see in the wild: the gang gang cockatoo. We have a plan to head out on the trail looking for this one - more to come, as they say.
Another newbie for us - the black faced cuckooshrike, here seen lunching on a fat and juicy worm. It was actually being hand fed at the time...
And finally, for this visit, three more birds we will be out there looking for soon as our bubble disappears: exquisite finches, the diamond firetail and the pacific emerald dove.
badger creek weir
There weren't many birds visible to us (which doesn't mean they weren't there!) but we did see wheeling and squealing sulphur-crested cockatoos, and (below) a currawong very high up in its nest, and a crimson rosella scavenging near fellow picnickers.
It was a splendid outing - but little did we know that all this was about to be eclipsed by a visit to one of the secret gardens nearby...read on!