Just before Christmas, we headed to Beechworth for a few days, en route to Wagga...the weather was splendid, the birds were out, and we thought COVID was going to give us a break...it was a delightful trip. We chose to stay a short distance out of Beechworth at the Serena Cottages, Wooragee. New territory for us.
There are two cottages on the property, and we thought ours was splendid, inside and out. Very comfortable and spacious inside, and surrounded by a fabulous garden that was home to - you guessed it - an interesting array of birds. More on that shortly.
Also, we could wander through the lower gate and amble around the next door paddock, which gave us close access to a strip of trees and natural bushland. Likewise, the front of the property was native bushland.
Now, back to those birds - we're pretty sure we saw a little friarbird, and definitely we saw a satin bowerbird, a kingfisher (just down the road), and several rufous whistlers.
The real fun though was sitting outside at sunset and capturing the eastern spine bills and the New Holland honeyeaters enjoying the red hot poker plants.
And that was before we ventured out. There are many fine places to go, with the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park on the doorstep, as well as Reed Creek and Woolshed Falls (where we were really thrilled to see two koalas in the wild).
We also drove through Chiltern - looking quite jolly and buzzing for Christmas - and spent some time in the bush at Bartley's Block and at the Honeyeater Picnic are. The latter didn't live up to its name, but we did enjoy seeing (more) rufous whistlers at Bartley's, as well as white-plumed honeyeaters, a black-faced cuckoo shrike (we think), and few roos. It was a great walk through accessible bush - often through masses of golden flowers - to the waterhole. We drove in to Bartley's, parked a couple of kilometres off the road, then walked across to the waterhole - next time, we'll park on the main road, and get to the waterhole that way.
We recommend Serena Cottages if you're interested in a peaceful, secure stay with access to birds. We're already planning our next trip - well, some time in the future when COVID actually does give us a break!