Wild South East

a nature blog of south-east Victoria, mostly Gippsland

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Bird is the word

A selection of bird pics from the last week or two..

Scarlet Robin, Munro

This is a juvenile male who is still developing his red plumage on the chest. He still even has some of his down feathers. Very cute.

Scarlet Robin (juvenile). Munro, Vic. Grassy woodland 13.4.17 (1)


Superb Fairy Wren, Wonthaggi

This male was along side a popular walking track in Wonthaggi and seemed very used to humans and not worried much at all.

Superb Fairy Wren. Wonthaggi. May 2017 ©Craig Boase


Golden-headed Cisticola, Wonthaggi

These guys are often seen briefly perching on vegetation surrounding swamps and are usually heard more than seen. Their harsh buzzing and whistles are very distinctive in wetlands.

Golden-headed Cisticola. Wonthaggi,Vic. 23.5.17 ©Craig Boase.


Dusky Moorhen, Wonthaggi wetlands

Dusky Moorhen. Wonthaggi, Vic

For any of you wildlife photographers in Gippsland (or anywhere for that matter) I’ve recently created a facebook page Gippsland Wildlife Photographers. Feel free to join up. The more of us networking and sharing pics the better!



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Wetland frenzy coming to an end

With summer now ended and autumn started Golden-headed Cisticolas are starting to call less and less as the breeding season is coming to a close. The bird’s incessant buzzing and chirping in spring and summer signifies these warmer times of the year as much as the cicada does. In wetlands and nearby grasslands during these months males are commonly seen perching and calling on the tops of tall grasses, reeds and sedges or conducting elaborate flights while calling to nearby females.

Female Golden-headed Cisticola

Female Golden-headed Cisticola at Wonthaggi

This tiny species is common along the coastal and nearby regions of eastern and northern Australia but during the cooler months it can be quite hard to spot, mainly due to its size and habit of concealing itself amongst wetland vegetation.

While photographing these birds I came across a few other little critters on my travels.

Orb Spider- Eriophora sp

Orb Spider- Eriophora sp

These large Orb Spiders Eriophora sp. are a common sight amongst reeds west of Wonthaggi and some can grow quite big.

The Striped Marsh Frog Limnodynastes peronii with its distinctive sharp and loud “tok” call is one of the most common frogs in the region and can be found in a wide variety of habitats but requires a reliable water source to lay its foaming mass of eggs in the water amongst vegetation. For the most of the year the males can be heard calling, usually while half-submerged in water.

Striped Marsh Frog

Striped Marsh Frog

Dragonflies mating

Dragonflies mating

This pair of dragonflies, most likely Australian Emperors Hemianax papuensis , was mating in the middle of the pond but the female (in the water) seemed like she was having a whole lot of trouble keeping her head above water. The female usually has to extend her abdomen up in order to successfully mate with the male but she was more preoccupied with her own survival. The male finally gave up and they both flew away separately.

The frenzied activity surrounding wetlands may be drawing to a close in readiness for the winter downtime but there’s always something interesting to find.