Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Hills are Alive with ....

The end of the year was approaching fast and I still did not have a Superb Lyrebird on my list for 2012. The only answer was for a Sunday drive to Badgers Weir and Mt Donna Buang in the hills to the east of Melbourne.

It was a beautiful day but the birds were thin on the ground, so to speak. We found a Lyrebird at Badgers Weir, a Large-billed Scrubwren, lots of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos and some of the tame King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas that come in for the free birdseed handed out by tourists.

Mt Donna Buang is a place where Melbourne people go to see snow and throw snowballs. In summer the winding dirt road from Healseville often has some nice robins and on the actual access road is a place where, in the cold months, Lyrebirds and Pilotbirds can be found.

On this particular warm summer Sunday though the hills were alive with nothing but loud cars and idiots. We pulled up for lunch in a car park decorated with circles of burn-out rubber and within minutes two cars full of "boys" arrived accompanied by loud "doof doof" music. We left so they could add to the black circles without our disapproving faces.

Further up the access road we found a pleasant place for lunch, but were soon assailed by loud car exhausts and louts sitting half out car windows screaming abuse and asinine exuberance at all and sundry.

Driving back down the narrow winding road the local village idiot in a clapped out ute tried to force us off the edge of the road as he pushed to get past.

So, if you are ever in Melbourne on a warm, sunny summer sunday and think of driving up Mt Donna Buang ... DON'T. The Hills are Alive with .... nothing but louts.

We did find some very nice butterflies, and they do have wings, and they do fly, so we dubbed them "birds for a day" and admired them and took their photos.

Macleay's Swallowtail

Macleay's Swallowtail

Australian Painted Lady

Australian Painted Lady

Common Grass-blue

Common Migrant

All images © Jenny Spry

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