An 'Incidental' Bird Watcher

One of the things I like best about volunteering in the Geelong Botanic Gardens is that I actually get to walk about the Gardens in all seasons and in all weather. It is a joy to watch the changes in the Garden as  the seasons come around, although it is sometimes a little sad when an old tree friend doesn’t make it through a storm.

As an ‘incidental’ bird watcher, I occasionally get distracted by the birds who also call the Geelong Botanic Gardens home. I enjoy hearing them call as they fly through the Gardens and love watching their antics as they bathe in the top tiers of the Traill Fountain.

Just occasionally I stumble across something more unusual as seasonal visitors fly through, seeking a bit of rest and recreation on their way between their summer and winter homes. Our latest feathered tenants however appear to have set up a permanent home in and around the Gardens. If you are sitting quietly in the heart of the GBG, you may see movement under the box hedging.  Or waiting on the front steps, you could see rustling through the bushes of the 21st Century Gardens or through the grasses on Podbury Drive. If you sit quietly and are lucky, you might be rewarded to spot one and then several heads poke out to check whether the coast is clear, before scurrying in a tight group across the road or path and into the vegetation on the other side. These dumpy birds are brown quail.

A covey of quail has recently set up home in Eastern Park and the Geelong Botanic Gardens. They seem quite at home with the logistics of crossing roads andare happy to venture well into the lusher parts of our Garden. If you see a small group of birds scurry across your path, you too have experienced the joy of ‘incidental’ bird watching in the GBG.

Jenny Possingham