Avian encounters along the Maribyrnong River Trail

Friday 18 September 2020. This afternoon I took a few moments to go for a quick ride along the Maribyrnong River Trail with camera in tow in search of willing avian subjects. I rode through Footscray Park and soon arrived at Newell’s Paddock Conservation Reserve. The afternoon was sunny so the river trail was well patronised, but as usual Newell’s Paddock was a comparative oasis of solitude. Near where the woodland lawn meets the reed beds a White-plumed Honeyeater was waiting on a branch with its head cocked, as if posing for its photograph. It stayed still for just long enough. So did a Superb Fairywren before flitting off again. Around by the lake, the Black Swan family were lazing on the grass again today, with the cygnets noticeably grown. Further around a Great Egret moved leisurely about, an obliging subject for my camera. I then rode back along the river trail to Burndap Park’s south wetlands, particularly to see the Australian Wood Duck family, the progress of whose young ones the Handels have been following. The ducklings are now fledglings, looking just like miniature versions of Mother Wood Duck. The colourful, quirky Australasian Swamphens demanded to be photographed too. Riding back to Handel HQ through Footscray Park presented an opportunity to photograph the magnificent wisteria, now in bloom. A hyperactive New Holland Honeyeater was taking full advantage, as were the bees.

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