Last week I looked after my nephew and niece for a couple of days during the school holidays and on one of those days we went for a picnic at Birdsland Reserve The reserve or bushland park as it is sometimes referred as, was originally owned by a farming family by the name of Birds and the area was known locally as "Bird's Paddock". It was sold in 1984 to the then Shire of Sherbrooke and opened to the public for picnicking, bush walking and sightseeing. It is also a popular place for joggers, bike riders and dog walkers.
There are two main water storage areas, a large lake at the west end and a lagoon at the eastern end. Monbulk creek flows through the reserve and the waterways are managed by Melbourne Water.
|The lake, west end.|
|Of course where there is water, ducks will always be found.|
|Nice day for a bath!|
|These Coots were happy to eat grass around us while we were eating our lunch. The blue smudge on the left is my nephew's jeans.|
I'm fairly certain the bird in the tree below is a Darter (Anhinga melanogaster).
They swim in the water very low with only part of their long neck and head out of the water. We tried to take a photo of it in the water a number of times but it went under each time and staying under water for a good 30 seconds if not more. Each time it came up to the surface it was in a different place and immediately went under again.
|The round piece in of land you can see in the lake in the centre of the photo is actually an island, a safe haven for nesting birds.|
|The lagoon on the east end.|
|The walking track that takes you to the lagoon, lake and walking trails.||+|
As we were walking along this track we saw these Superb Fairy-Wrens. They are a bit hard to see in these photos.
|You can see the blue tale of the Superb Fairy-Wren in the centre of the photo. This one is probably a male juvenile and his colours aren't fully developed yet.|
|This one is harder to see. It's sitting on the long branch with it's tail up in the air.|
The reserve is a very important link for locally rare Platypus and the Yellow Bellied-Glider. I've not seen a Yellow Bellied-Glider but I have seen Platypus at the Healesville Sanctury, they are gorgeous and a lot smaller than you'd expect.
In February 2009 a large bushfire swept through the Birdsland Reserve area covering an area of around 300 hectares. This followed just two weeks after the devastating 2009 Victorian bush fires. The fire caused much damage to facilities, tracks, and fences and consequently some walking tracks have been closed to allow for re-vegetation and as a safety precaution. Fortunately work has been undertaken to build new fences and gates in the car park area. Other facilities in the reserve, the sustainably designed education centre with solar panels, composting toilets and rain water tanks were not affected.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing this lovely tranquil area near where I live.