tannin.net.au

images of australian wildlife

Roadside

Roadside

It is easy to drive straight past grassland, thinking there is nothing of interest to be seen, but think twice before you do. This looks like terrible habitat but despite it being cleared and cropped and full of imported weeds, it still provides a home to many native birds. Obviously, there is no chance of meeting most of the original (and now threatened) open woodland birds that would once have been common here: Brown Treecreepers, Hooded Robins, Speckled Warblers, and so on. But a few hardy grassland specialists remain. On this particular hot summer day there were six or eight Singing Bushlarks foraging near the roadside and sheltering from the wind in the bush at right. (Even that isolated shrub is valuable: it is probably no coincidence that the bushlarks were close to the only shelter for quite a distance.) A little further north on the same road we have seen a dozen Banded Lapwings, and of course there are pippits everywhere.

Native grasslands, if you can find one, often produce interesting birds: finches and Singing Bushlarks, for example, are usually found where there is native grass cover. But even pasture grasses are worth looking at, especially if there are scattered trees to provide nesting sites and shelter.

Boort district, Vic

February 2007

Canon 20D

Canon EF-S 10-22

82° 13mm 200i

f/6.7 1/2000th