On Sunday hoping that the weather forecast was going to be correct and a fine day expected, I set off for Eynesbury Greybox Forest (north of Werribee about 40 kms west of Melbourne CBD)
Heading towards Ballarat in thick-fog I had my doubts but was rewarded with a beautiful but chilly start on arrival at Eynesbury. I decided to start by searching for the reported Freckled Duck on the ornamental lake and soon had found 3 roosting birds. Also present were a host of other wildfowl including Chestnut Teal, Hardhead, Hoary-headed Grebe and on the small central island at least 20 Dusky Woodswallow were ‘cuddled-up’ on a single branch.
On the advice of a notable Melbourne birder I walked to the north-east corner of the forest, initially recording many Red-rumped Parrot, Superb Fairywrens and Brown Treecreepers and an unusual caterpillar called a Hairy Mary (Anthela varia), I also heard a calling Diamond Firetail but surprisingly failed to see it though I was to find a further three more groups elsewhere. The birding definitely improved in the north-east corner and I found Brown, Yellow and Buff-rumped and Yellow-rumped Thornbill, a pair of Flame Robin, easier to see Diamond Firetails and a Jacky-winter. On my return I came across two pairs of Speckled Warbler, a bird I am very familiar with in southern Queensland but seemingly more evasive in Victoria.
From nine in the morning until two in the afternoon I recorded 61 species, a healthy number so close to a major city, a more complete list can be found on Ebird