RECENTLY a bird-watching friend told me he had heard that a scarlet honeyeater had been seen in the Wonthaggi Wetlands so of course I had to go down and find out for myself. This species had not been seen previously in the Wonthaggi area so finding one would be quite significant.
It was a beautiful clear spring morning with little wind; perfect bird-watching conditions.
The wetlands were full of various waterbirds – Pacific black ducks, chestnut teals, coots, grebes and purple swamp hens – and the surrounding bushland was swarming with grey fantails, grey shrike thrush and wattlebirds.
Something special was the sight of bright blue gems (superb fairy wrens) darting from bush to bush at eye level. Also I had the fortune to come across a pair of spotted pardalotes flying in and out of their nest in an old dead tree.
There were ravens, galahs and corellas overhead and magpies and mudlarks scattered across the newly mown grass areas.
People were walking with dogs and little kids, some on tiny bikes. I sat on one of the seats for a while and was joined by an elderly gentleman who lived across the road at the Coal Fields park. He told me he loved the place and walked there every day.
I had a great walk. But although I saw many honeyeaters of various species and had my bird app open to identify calls, I didn’t manage to find a scarlet honeyeater.