Views from Mt Barambogie Fire Tower

Spring Bird monitoring highlights from Richard Loyn

Highlights included a pair of Western Gerygones at Kelly’s Reserve (where they nested last spring) and another at Bryce Blair; two Painted Honeyeaters and a male White-winged Triller on the rail trail, and a few Rufous Songlarks, Rainbow Bee-eaters, etc.  In subsequent weeks I saw a Pied Butcherbird and another White-winged Triller near Cemetery Road, Painted Honeyeater on our place and lots of Scarlet Honeyeaters in Beechworth town: they’ve also been seen in gardens in the Burgoigee Creek area.  More birds than usual on the Bryce Blair reserve this time, and fewer spiders (they were prolific for much of last year, with few birds).

Birds eye views

These two photos are taken from the fire tower at Mt Barambogie in Chiltern Mt Pilot national park. The tower is 80 ft high and can be seen from the Chiltern Beechworth Road, it has an extraordinary 350 degree view.

Working as a fire tower lookout, primarily in the Stanley fire tower, one has a privileged position in being able to observe all of the birdlife at a height above the forest. Last week in the Stanley tower I arrived for my 8 hour shift and unbeknown to me disturbed Stanley forests’ resident Peregrines. Though I often hear and see them from the tower, this was an encounter to remember. I’d only been up in the 60ft tower a short time when, with its distinctive shriek, a Peregrine came hurtling towards me on the tower verandah. Eyeballing me at 50 meters out, it swerved and dived toward the ground, circling the tower twice and shooting straight through a gathering of hill-topping butterflies, disappearing into the trees and then reappearing a few seconds later at least 100 ft above the tower. What a moment and how lucky we are to live in such a paradise.