Latest News Deniliquin area

Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
Patricia Maher


2 September 2018: Baillon's crake observed in Gardens.

17 May 2016: One powerful owl in its regular cypress today, female not sighted. The RBG has put up a nesting box somewhere in the Gardens.

12 & 13 May 2016: The powerful owl pair sighted in the same trees in the New Zealand section as 6 May.

11 May 2016: One powerful owl seen in the same area as last week's sightings.

5 & 6 May 2016: Excited to see a male powerful owl in his old haunt in the New Zealand section of the Royal Botanic Gardens. A gardener said he'd been around for about a week. The next day I was surprised that he was still in the same tree (different limb).Then I noticed his mate, close by but in a different tree. In twenty years of observing powerful owls in the Gardens, I have never seen one on consecutive days.

27 November 2015: Several rowdy yellow-tailed black-cockatoos in the Children's Garden early this morning, one poised on the tip of a slim cypress.

26 November 2015: Not in the RBG but not far away up river at the boat sheds, a pair of black swans has hatched four cygnets that are at best a couple of days old. Good to see that Melbourne Council workers or someone else has erected a barrier around them. It was a hive of activity at the boat sheds and on the river in preparation for the Head of the Yarra event this Saturday. School girls, on seeing the cygnets, were having a similar reaction to what I'd expect if they saw Justin Bieber — an excited if slightly hysterical, 'OH MY GOD!'.

26 November 2015: What is possibly an eastern rosella escapee was quite the picture when he and his red-rump parrot friend flew into a flowering jacaranda in the Gardens this evening. The female red-rump demonstrated a constancy that was endearing if somewhat misguided.

13 November 2015: On dusk, a red wattlebird chased a yellow-tailed black-cockatoo out of a tree on the Tan in front of the Observatory area. The cockatoo circled above Birdwood Avenue with the wattlebird in hot pursuit before landing in another tree across the road. There were three or four yellow-tailed black-cockatoos already in that tree.

13 November 2015: Koels heard calling for the last three weeks.

4 November 2015: A loud and persistent koel's call coming from somewhere to the front of Government House. Heard from the Tan.

29 October 2015: Common koel calling

24 October 2015: Two sacred kingfishers flying over the lake.

23 October 2015: A pair of common koels flew into a tree near the herbarium.

22 October 2015: Common koel calling.

8 October 2015 7.15 pm: Fifteen or more cacophonous yellow-tailed black-cockatoos settling in for the night.

23 August 2015: Powerful owl in the same tree as the 19th August sighting. More obvious today.

19 August 2015: There was evidence of a powerful owl in the RBG when I returned from the Iron Range tour late July but it was today that pellets and copious wash led to seeing a powerful owl back in the New Zealand section in front of the fern gully. (That and a gardener looking for and finding it up high). Four-year old Olivia collected up the pellets and took them home - her grandfather is proud of her.

19 June 2015: Last date the freckled duck was seen in the Gardens (by me).

14 June 2015: The freckled duck was still in his tunnel in the morning but at 3.30 pm was sitting out on a submerged branch. It was nice to see this bird, which is usually observed stock-still with his head tucked under in his tunnel, preenng in the sunshine.

13 June 2015: Freckled duck still in tunnel. While there's a healthy population of hardhead ducks in the Gardens, it was unusual to see fifteen or more gathered together down one end of the lake.

11 June 2015: With binoculars in hand, we returned to the Gardens to check out the freckled duck, which seems to have made the far left tunnel his own, having occupied it for three weeks (assuming he did occupy it while we were away).

10 June 2015 PM: Walking through the Gardens on our way back from town, we checked out the spot we saw the freckled duck before we headed off on our Top End tour on 21 May. While we didn't have binoculars with us, we were quite certain that the duck in the 'tunnel' was a freckled duck.

20 May 2015 AM: The freckled duck is still on the island where he was seen on the morning of 18 May. He is positioned in the 'tunnel' at the far left. There were black ducks in the 'tunnels' to the right of him.

18 May 2015 AM: The freckled duck had moved to the island behind the (being rebuilt) William Tell Rest House; best seen from Picnic Point lawn looking to the right toward the Rest House. It was not there in the afternoon.

14 May 2015 A.M: The freckled duck is still in the same position as yesterday, being kept company by a hardhead and a coot. There was a nice lot of small birds around the Clematis Pavilion including a lovely male golden whistler, a couple of eastern spinebills and brown thornbills and several white-browed scrubwrens.

13 May 2015: The freckled duck seen on 8 & 9 May was seen again this afternoon in pretty much the same spot as reported four days ago.

8 & 9 May 2015: A much searched for freckled duck, initially found by a birder last weekend, was finally re-located on the western side of Ornamental Lake, just off Baker Island, in poor light in the late afternoon Friday and again in good light Saturday morning. It was viewed from Dog Flat. There has been an increase in the numbers of waterbirds in the Gardens in the last couple of weeks. A group of five Australasian grebes was seen often this week whereas, while not actually looking for them, I hadn't seen any for a while despite walking in the Gardens most days. Five nankeen nightherons seen earlier in the week.

13 January 2015: The pair of pink-eared duck has left the Gardens, which was expected after the great inland rains that have fallen in the last week. Interesting to note that the day they disappeared, a pair of pink-eared duck was recorded downriver at Banyule wetlands.

10, 11, 12 January 2015: Pink-eared ducks seen each day.

8 & 9 January 2015: Pink-eared pair moving from the Terrace Cafe area down to the east point of the lake and back again. Both down at the eastern end standing on rocks close to the edge of the lake last night (8th).

7 January 2015: Walked by the Ornamental Lake at 8.40 this evening and could see, in the fading light, the pair of pink-eared ducks together again over the far side of the lake from the Terrace. Two nankeen nightherons were up at the end of the lake around the rushes where the pink-eared duck was this morning and the great egret in breeding plumage was feeding in the middle of the lake, off the Terrace.

7 January 2015: Arrived at the Terrace Cafe this morning to check on the inseparable pair of pink-eared ducks. Alarmed to find only one and it was well west of where the pair normally hang out. The other one (I'm supposing the female) was located a couple of hundred metres to the east of the cafe standing on a wire waterplant enclosure next to some spiky rush. Except that it's not an inland flooded river, it looks like a good place to nest (if not for the rats and the cats).

2, 3, 4, 5, 6 January 2015: The pink-eared ducks seen both morning and evening each day except for the 6th when they couldn't be found in the morning but were back in front of the Terrace Cafe in the evening.

1 January 2015: The pair of pink-eared ducks are still on the Ornamental Lake; just off the Terrace Cafe. Seen this morning and after sunset this evening. Also two nankeen nightherons circling the eastern end of the lake this evening.

31 December 2014: A pair of pink-eared ducks was doing circle work on the Ormamental Lake early this morning. A first for us in the Gardens and possibly a first for the Gardens' list*. Also, a male eastern koel flew over the lake while another was calling.
*Aparently not so, pink-eared ducks have been recorded in the RBG in 1997, 2002 & 2013.

30 December 2014: A great egret in full breeding plumage was at the eastern end of Long Island.

7 December 2014: A koel calling in the Gardens, somewhere west of the fern gully.

5 December 2014: A koel calling this morning in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Seemed to be coming from behind the restaurant, Jardin Tan.

27 January 2014: A sacred kingfisher was seen over near the lake closest to the eastern corner of Gardens (Gate A).

9 January 2014, 8.30 p.m. Two of this morning's hobbies still around the Lych Gate this evening. The seeminly juvenile bird was flying around and calling continuously. The other bird was sitting at the top of a tree over the fence in Government House grounds.

9 January 2014: Up to three hobbies recorded over near the Lych Gate in the most northern point of the Gardens early this morning, close to Government House. First we heard one calling, which we then saw heading northeast. Another one flew to the very top of a cypress with a mouse and was calling continuously. Given the way it was flapping about, it could have been a young bird. Then a smaller bird flew to the top of a nearby cypress and was still there when we left. These birds may have used the little raven's nest in a nearby eucalypt

The koel near the Herbarium was calling this morning.

Two eastern spinebills seen over in the northeastern corner of the Gardens.

22 December 2013: A koel still calling most days in the Gardens, generally over in the Morton Bay fig trees near the Herbarium.

4 November 2013: A koel, calling incessantly in Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens, over towards Government House.

22 January 2013: A collared sparrowhawk chasing and being chased by laughing kookaburras. Two sacred kingfishers recorded.

26 June 2012: A white-throated treecreeper was calling in the Gardens this morning. This is the first time we have recorded this species in the Gardens; they do however move around in the winter. This one probably came up the Yarra River.

18 January 2012: A collared sparrowhawk did a sortie over the Gardens this morning, causing a great commotion among the moorhens.

29 December 2011: A three-quarter grown water rat seen from the bridge at the northern end of Ornamental Lake. Eastern koel calling over near Government House.

28 December 2011: A tawny frogmouth back near Gate C; koel calling on the southern side of the Gardens and then later in Government House grounds. We didn't see the great crested grebe.

27 December 2011: The great crested grebe is still on Ornamental Lake.

26 December 2011: Eastern koel calling and an adult great created grebe on Ornamental Lake; a first record for both species (for us) in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

2 December 2011: Three tawny frogmouths on the Anderson Street side of the Gardens.

18  January 2011: One or two tawny frogmouths are now being seen most days near Gate C.

16 January 2011: After an absence of at least six months, it was good to see two song thrushes today on the Picnic Point lawn.

15 January 2011: Could only see an adult tawny frogmouth near Gate C today.

13 January 2011: Nice to see the tawny frogmouths back in their favourite haunt near Gate C. A parent and a young one were there today. (Patricia)

24 October 2010:Tawny frogmouth on a nest in the southern corner of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

30 May 2010: Again, a lone yellow-tailed black-cockatoo flying over the Gardens this morning; the probable female collared sparrowhawk, first seen on 10 May, still favouring the same eucalypt as an early morning surveillance perch.

28 May 2010: There was boobook owl in a eucalypt in the Rotary Remembrance Park, on the corner of Anderson Street/Domain Road/Birdwood Avenue (SE corner of the Botanic Gardens), seen perched around 7.15 pm; seen again around 8 pm, flying. (Philip)

25 May 2010: A single yellow-tailed black cockatoo flew over this morning; and a large shrub was amass with silvereyes. (Patricia)

16 May 2010: Probable female collared sparrowhawk seen this morning in exactly the same position it was seen a week ago. The mystery of the headless ringtails and accompanying entrails has been solved: a cat.  (Patricia)

10 May 2010: Early this morning, one probable female collared sparrowhawk high in a eucalypt just over the fence in the grounds of Government House on the north-western side of the Gardens and another (definite) male sparrowhawk in flight on the south-eastern side. An eastern spinebill also seen. (Philip Maher)

9 May 2010: An eastern rosella was seen in the Gardens early this morning; could have been a wild bird but it was alone and rather quiet so perhaps an escapee. We saw a pair of crested pigeons feeding on King's Domain when we were looking around the Domain for likely powerful owl roosting trees. However, our owl bingo moment came around midday when we spotted a powerful owl as we walked through the Gardens en route to the city. While we have seen evidence of a powerful owl in the Gardens of late and Trisha saw one cross Linlithgow Avenue a few weeks ago, this is the first powerful owl we have seen in the Gardens for about three years.  While we were walking back through the Gardens late afternoon a hobby circled overhead.

5 May 2010: The silhouettes of two tawny frogmouths were seen in a large eucalypt in the Children's Garden at around 7 o'clock this evening (seen from the Tan).

2 May 2010: Again the entrails and fur of a possum on one of the paths in the Gardens this morning. Given this possum met his demise after dark, I assume this is the work of a powerful owl rather than the goshawk (see 16 April) although again, may be a fox. The masked lapwings remain in the Gardens on the Picnic Point lawn. (Patricia Maher)

18 April 2010: two masked lapwings on the Picnic Point lawn this morning; I don't recall seeing lapwings in the Gardens before. (Patricia Maher)

16 April 2010: A powerful owl has returned to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Wash has been evident this week under one of the old, regular roosting spots in the New Zealand section and tonight, at 7.15, a powerful owl flew out of King's Domain, crossed the Tan and Linlithgow Avenue and glided low through the trees behind the Janet Lady Clarke Memorial rotunda in the Queen Victoria Gardens.

Like something out of a horror movie, a headless ringtail possum with its entire entrails lying beside it greeted me on the western side of the Gardens early this morning. Perhaps the work of the goshawk that is sometimes on top of pine trees on that side of the Gardens. Perhaps a fox?
(Patricia Maher)

12 April 2010: about a dozen yellow-tailed black cockatoos sailing low through the trees early this morning in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne (Patricia Maher).

28 February 2010: a pair of tawny frogmouths is still roosting in the trees close to Gate E, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.

16 January 2010: one or two tawny frogmouths have been seen regularly in their roosting spot near Gate E, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, since New Year's Eve. We presume that the third bird seen that day was the young one and has moved out of its parents' territory.  Some decent November rain prompted the dusky moorhens to breed and they seem not to have drawn breath since with young of all sizes including tiny chicks still seen on the lakes. The songthrushes, usually seen down in the Chinese section in the north-east of the Gardens, have been up in the New Zealand and rainforest sections of late and today we found a broken songthrush egg in the rainforest — a beautiful duck-egg blue with small black splotches.
Philip & Patricia Maher

31 December 2009: found three tawny frogmouths this morning roosting not far from Gate E, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. Patricia Maher

27 December 2009: around 7.30 pm we searched for and found last night's two tawny frogmouths while they were still roosting not far from Gate E.

26 December 2009: two tawny frogmouths seen in a Moreton Bay fig, just inside Gate E, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, 9.15 pm. Philip Maher / Patricai Maher

26 November 2009: Tawny Frogmouth, 8.30 pm, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra.

5 February 2009: buff-banded rail, Long Island lagoon, Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens this morning. (Patricia Maher)

19 January 2009: one or two Baillon's crake among reeds in the Long Island lagoon, Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens, seen off the bridge. (Patricia Maher)

23 January 2009: a buff-banded rail feeding along the edge of Long Island lagoon, Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens this morning. (Patricia & Philip Maher)

29 November 2008: a tawny frogmouth feeding a juvenile, seen from the Tan on Birdwood Avenue at dusk near Gate E. (Patricia Maher)

Incidental sightings (non-tour and away from the Deniliquin district)

17 December 2016: I was surprised to see a Latham's snipe curled up on the edge of the Numurkah Lake at sunset. There's also a small colony of royal spoonbill that has almost fully-grown young on an island in the lake.

29 November 2016: A dozen or so yellow-tailed black-cockatoos flying over the Hume Highway out near Craigieburn.

Mid October 2016: A painted buttonquail alongside the Shepparton to Barmah Rd (C358),near the turnoff to Nathalia.

19 December 2015: One glossy ibis in the same part of Kinnaird's wetlands as last week's Latham snipe. An intermediate egret also present, as well as the waterbirds mentioned last week but no snipe seen.

14 December 2015: A pair of Latham's snipe was seen this morning at the fast drying out Kinnaird's Wetlands. Not so many waterbirds now seen from the hide but over the fence, to the right of the hide, is some deeper water that had a mass of waterbirds this morning including the pair of snipe. Several yellow-billed spoonbills, a few royal spoonbills and pelicans and lots of great egrets, white-faced and white-necked herons and other assorted waterbirds.

13 December 2015: A Horsfield's bronze-cuckoo's plaintive call heard from the road going to Kinnaird's Wetlands.

10 December 2015: This bird (below) was in a plane tree at the Spencer Street end of Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD. The tree stretched into the grounds of St Augustine's Catholic Church. Philip, who has only seen this terrible iphone photo, believes it is a female koel.

30 November 2015: One magpie goose viewed from Kinnaird's Wetlands birdhide. Lots of waterbird species present — great egrets, white-faced herons, white-necked hereons, purple swamphens, straw-necked ibis to name the most plentiful.

28 November 2015: A pair of superb blue fairywrens has raised two young in the garden of the front unit where my father lives in Meicklejohn Street, Numurkah. Isobel, who owns the front unit, has an English cottage garden with lots of dense shrubs suitable for a fairywren family. The young birds are out of the nest and attempting to fly to the top of a high fence like their parents but can't scale that height yet. It is not uncommon to see superb blue fairywrens around the gardens in town.

16 November 2015 Numurkah: Running through Kinnairds Wetlands last night , I noticed, as I approached the entrance/exit, something on the ground up ahead that looked like blue-green silk. Sadly not fabric but an injured dollarbird. It didn't want to be caught and I wasn't equipped to catch it anyway, and as the light was fading I left it and returned early this morning (still not equipped) to find it just outside the entrance, being dive-bombed by one of a pair of sacred kingfishers. I had googled wildlife rescue Numurkah and had called the 1300 number when I first found the bird last night but the Wildlife Rescue office was closed. This morning I texted a mobile number and soon after spoke to Deb, a wildlife carer who was some distance and time away. Running back to my father's, I got his landing net and car and drove back to Kinnaird's, netted the bird and met Deb back at my father's place. The bird was emaciated and I don't hold out much hope for him (I've decided it is a him). He was going to be offered meal worms. Such a magnificently coloured bird; the colours of India. Hope he makes it but I doubt, if he does survive, he'll ever be a wild bird again. (Patricia)

4 November 2015: The pair of tawny frogmouths along the Broken Creek in Numurkah, first seen yesterday, has at least two babies in the nest that are too cute.

3 November 2015: A pair of tawny grogmouths in a tree by the Broken Creek, one on a nest and the other sitting in the fork of the tree. They were lucky to hang on to the nest after Sunday's wild storm here.

27 October 2015: Only six magpie geese on the lake today

26 October 2015: A large red-bellied black snake stretched across the path at Kinnairds Wetlands. A skun knee, elbow and palm are the result of hitting the brake on the bike a tad hard in an effort to avoid running over it, and subsequently skidding in the gravel. The snake gave a 'what the ...' look at the human projectile hurtling towards it before calmly moseying over to disappear into the channel. (Patricia)

26 October 2015: Eleven magpie geese on Numurkah lake; probably flown in from the Kyabram Fauna Park. Several pelicans and black swans, a couple of darters and the usual assortment of waterbirds on the lake. Australian reedwarbler calling.

19 October 2015: Kinnairds Wetlands is looking great after a delivery of environmental water in the winter. Kinnairds comprises almost a 100 hectares under the auspices of Trust for Nature. Lots of frogs calling, about twenty yellow-billed spoonbills sweeping the water, sacred kingfisher, reedwarbler ...

31 August 2015: About half a dozen superb parrots feeding in ironbarks in a small park and a few more in redgums along the Broken Creek in Numurkah.

18 August 2015: A freshly dead boobook owl in the car park behind the ANZ bank in Numurkah; no doubt fallen off a bullbar.

1 July 2015: While visiting Olga Cohn's fairytree in the Fitzroy Gardens, Olivia and I saw fifteen or more yellow-tailed black cockatoos. They have, by all accounts, been around for a while and it's thought that there are about thirty present some days. Patricia

28 & 29 June 2015: Broken Creek and the lake at Numurkah had an unusually high number of waterbirds. A flock of thirty or more of what I believe were hoary-headed grebes were on the lake. A low Broken Creek had three royal spoonbills, lots of pelicans and black swans and assorted other waterbirds including white-necked heron, white-faced heron and great egret. There were at least a dozen lorikeets in a eucaltypt between the showgrounds' cricket nets and the creek. They were mostly, if not all, musk but there may have been little and purple-crowned there as well. Philip has seen all three species togehter in that area. I didn't take my binoculars to Numurkah so was at a disadvantage. Patricia

29 July 2014: A dozen yellow-tailed black-cockatoos flying over the highway on the north side of Heathcote (Victoria).

9 June 2011: Three brolga (a pair and a fully grown juvenile) at the Moodie Swamp between Katamatite and Benalla. Also a lot of black swans on the water, probably close to a hundred.

9 June 2011: Two intermediate egrets on the Winton Wetlands (formerly Lake Mokoan). Unusual sighting as this species has usually departed for northern climes by now. Quite a few flame robins around the wetland's periphery. and one pair of scarlet robins. A brown goshawk seen interacting with a wedgetail eagle.

November 2010: spotted quail-thrush with young (Thomson Dam area) (Philip J Maher).

8/9 June 2010
: spotted quail-thrush, wonga pigeon, superb lyrebird, gang gang cockatoo, satin bowerbird (Philip J Maher)

Eildon Dam area, Victoria
5/6 June 2010:
two wonga pigeons, white-tailed nightjar, and owlet nightjar calling. (Philip N & Philip J Maher)

Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park
27 April 2010
: Another brisk (two-hour) walk this morning in Chiltern Mt Pilot NP produced the following highlights — three male turquoise parrots feeding on saloop Rhagodia hastata; heard two initially and then saw a group of five swift parrots feeding on flowering ironbark; two little lorikeets; two olive-backed orioles; black-chinned honeyeater (one heard); restless flycatcher (one heard); two groups of white-browed babblers and about six dusky woodswallows. Tracks walked were Mt Pleasant, Depot, Tuan and Wallace Gully.

26 April  2010: On a three-hour fast-paced walk in Chiltern Mt Pilot NP this morning Trisha and I saw or heard 23 species. Most regular species are still present, albeit in much lower numbers than in pre-dought times.

Hightlights were golden whistler (six birds in total), white-bellied cuckoo-shrike; crested shriketit (two adults and two immatures in one group and one adult female in another location); one white-naped honeyeater; one yellow-faced honeyeater; three pairs of scarlet robins, small group of little lorikeet; group of white-browed babbler and a group of six varied sitella. The tracks walked were Slaughterhouse Gap, Ryan's, Greenhill's and Klotz.

26 November 2009: Powerful owl seen at 7 am and song thrush before dawn, Wilson Reserve, Ivanhoe (Victoria).  Patricia Maher

24 October 2009: only female powerful owl seen today at Wilson Reserve, Ivanhoe. (Patricia Maher & Susan Bull)

22 & 23 October 2009: three powerful owls at Wilson Reserve, Ivanhoe (suburban Melbourne), parents and juvenile.  (Patricia Maher)


10 January 2009: a small flock of budgerigars, Northern Highway, near the turn-off to Elmore (Patricia Maher).

12 & 13 December 2008: about six plum-headed finches at Copeton Dam south of Inverell in the New England area of north central New South Wales. Also double-barred finches, black-chinned, striped and spiny-cheeked honeyeaters, white-breasted sea-eagle and a stunning great-crested grebe.

About ten white-throated needletails near Bingara, north-west of Copeton Dam
(Philip Maher)