Bell Miners in Cranbourne Botanic Gardens

2007 Victorian trip report #3

After leaving the home and garden of our friends we drove the short distance to the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne. We didn’t have enough time to visit the special new section in the park, so we went to the old picnic area. We had visited this spot on two previous occasions and had enjoyed both visits. That was many years ago.

One disappointment on this occasion was the state of the older bush section of the park. In recent years this area has been sadly neglected and has deteriorated badly. A controlled burn last year turned into a disaster when the fire got out of control. A large section of the natural scrub was burned.

Bell Miner, Cranbourne Botanic Gardens

Bell Miner, Cranbourne Botanic Gardens

As we parked the car I could immediately hear a good variety of birds all around the picnic area. I was surprised to hear and soon see dozens of Bell Miners. I was not aware that they occurred here. I knew that there had been a small population in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne for many years. I had also recorded this species on several occasions on the nearby Mornington Peninsula. A few minutes later I spoke to a staff member working nearby and he commented that this population had moved into this area as recently as six months ago.

It was a nice species to add to the trip list seeing I’d missed seeing them in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Even better was a reasonable photo of one. Less pleasing was the fact that they are becoming a pest species in this locality.


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