I decided to explore the Wychitella region a bit. The area has an amazing cross section of habitats including mallee scrub
and Box-Ironbark sections. Having already been through large amounts of Mallee, I headed to a place called 'The Granites' which
is a granite outcrop akin to the You Yangs or the Terricks. The usual suspects were around, Rufous Songlarks, Restless Flycatchers, Spiny Cheeked Honeyeaters and a couple of Diamond Firetails calling in the distance. The standout bird however, was a couple of Painted Honeyeaters
that were feeding low in the mistletoe around the granite boulders. This was a god send, since the only other times i'd seen Painted Honeyeaters, they'd been
in tall ironbark trees and near impossible to get a descent photo of. At 'The Granites' however, they spent a majority of their time feeding in the mistletoe and only
occassionally would they take a vantage point in the taller trees. It certainly made my day! The end of 2005 seemed to have an influx of Painted Honeyeaters into Southern/Central
Victoria, with other reports from the Terricks and even in Angleasea in Victoria. So I made the most of this opportunity in case I didn't see them again for a few years.
There were also plenty of Mistletoebirds visiting the mistletoe, and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters close by in the vegetation. A Sacred Kingfisher had found a small lizard for its lunch,
and produced an interesting silohette even if it was too dark for a descent photo.
On the way home, I made one last stop near Paddy's Ranges, when I thought I saw a Square-tailed Kite fly over. A Straited Thornbill, posed for my last photo of the trip and then it was
straight home for a well deserved rest. I'd thoroughly enjoyed my trip and got a swag of new birds and photos, plus experienced some great aussie landscapes.
People tend to think of the north as being the heart of the outback, but Victorians (and every other state for that matter) only have to look over the border to find a slice of outback paradise.