Nunniong State Forest

Our Bairnsdale ‘campsite’ was not one you will find on Wikicamps. In a special family arrangement our caravan, with a view to the creek, was situated in a lovely garden belonging to a dear brother of mine and his equally dear wife. The creek is quite navigable for small craft and it was easy to launch the Avocet – not so easy to paddle once the wind blew I discovered!

‘The boys’ having a bit of fun while Allen got the feel of the Avocet.

As it was several years since the four of us had spent any time together we discussed the possibility of a day out. Allen just happened to mention our desire to find an Olive Whistler and so our destination was picked!

From the Bentley Plain boardwalk – wonderfully varied landscape

We finally pulled up at Bentley Plain picnic area ready to stretch our legs and enjoy a coffee. The air was considerably cooler outside the car and some less hardy members of the group were very pleased to have lots of warm layers! Wandering around the picnic area we heard and saw a number of bird species including several Honeyeaters and many Thornbills teasing us with their quick flits into the undergrowth.

Brown Thornbill

While I may have been distracted taking a few scenic shots I did notice a female Robin taking material to her nest and Allen, who was of course very focused on the birds, managed a couple of photos.

Female Flame Robin still collecting material for the finishing touches to her nest.
Female Flame Robin on her well concealed nest
Flame Robin – male which I presumed was the partner of the aforementioned female only because of his proximity. He did not appear to be playing an active part in the nest construction.
Swamp Heath Epacris paludosa

I find the heathland vegetation very appealing and admit to some frustration at my lack of plant species knowledge. However, I decided to just concentrate on enjoying the beauty of the day and the company. Not being at all familiar with local species in the high plains I’m not attempting to label many photos but I think I may have the one above correct.

After lunch we drove slowly up the road past Moscow Villa hut with the windows down so we could listen for bird calls. Success! Dickie recognized the call and we spent a while watching a female Olive Whistler moving occasionally from one camouflaged position to another. Good views with binoculars but too hard to get a clear photo – evidence below.

An elusive Olive Whistler

We will, I have been informed, have more opportunities to see an Olive Whistler and although they are known to be somewhat elusive we are up for the challenge.

A forest floor of Dicksonia antarctica also known as Soft tree fern or Man fern.

We continued along the scenic Bentley Plain road and returned ‘home’ via Swifts Creek. A lot of driving but we all enjoyed the day immensely.

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