A Bush Walk

Michel wanted to take us on a walk from his place. It sounded for all the world as if he was determined to find [and where Michel is concerned, determined really does mean determined] a Human Hovel. ¿Que? Don’t ask. We were happy to be led and entertained.

A short distance from Michel’s pad is Cook Lane which pretty soon becomes a rough track through the bush. Given all the trees and undergrowth in which to hide, though I did spot a few insects, once again it was the bird life which held my attention most.

For identifications, though Michel does have a book of Australian birds, I was quite reliant on iNaturalist for help (and I wanted to record my sightings, anyway).

Eastern Yellow Robin, StanleyFirst up was this little cutie, an Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis). Well, it has a coloured breast so maybe that was the naming inspiration.

Red Wattle Bird, StanleyA little further along the track this character settled in a tree close to me. Unfortunately it settled a bit too high up but I was able to get a recognizable picture. This is a Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) – the red wattle being just about visible beneath its eye.

Hume and HovellEventually we broke out of the interesting bush to join a less than interesting road. We tromped along it anyway until Michel found his target. The target turned out to be a modest brick monument to “Hume and Hovell”, who passed this way in 1824. Ah ha, “Hume and Hovel” not “Human Hovel”. These were two explorer chappies who mounted a famous expedition – famous if you’re an Australian, anyway – in search of new grazing land in the south of the new colony. Naturally, once having heard “Human Hovel”, this is all it could now be to us.

Human Hovel found, we headed back on our return trek, which began a little differently. It was getting quite warm now, though, topping 30°C, so by mutual agreement we cut short our return detour to re-join the main outbound track.

Rhipidura albiscapaI’m very glad we did because I was next entertained by this lovely little chap with white eyebrows, a Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa). Grey Fantail? It couldn’t possibly be called a White-eyebrowed Fantail, could it? No, of course not. Such are common names.

Austroaeschna multipunctata, StanleyI finished with a star, though. Quite unexpectedly, there being no visible water nearby, a larger dragonfly zoomed across the track in front of me. Even more unexpectedly, especially given its Hawker-like appearance, it settled on a tree trunk beside the track. It remained long enough for me to collect a series of decent pictures. It was a Multi-spotted Darner (Austroaeschna multipunctata) and another new one for my collection. Excellent!

This had been quite a lengthy walk in the heat and definitely required a few cold Hazy IPAs to slake the thirst.

Posted in 2024-01 Australia