Our Sacred Kingfisher has paid us its regular springtime visit this year. It makes an appearance each year at about this time. The distinctive swift & direct flight of a small bird through the trees immediately identified it as a kingfisher. It landed in a small Red Gum & remained there for some time, diving to the ground every few minutes, then returning to the branch to eat something. Its prey was too small to be identified, probably insects as there are no lizards at Brookfield. It usually stays at Brookfield for a week before disappearing. Past records & photos appear to indicate that this (or another) kingfisher arrives in Melton in late October each year.
It is usually either in the small Grey Box woodland remnant where we have been planting understory, to the right of the track & beside the village fence; or in the big old trees in the middle of the reserve, to the left of the track. As there are no lizards or large insects there is not much food there, but there must be something for it to keep coming back, year after year, at about the same time. It must have some type of accurate body clock! It has been appearing about 24th – 28th October the last couple of years. Almost like clockwork. A kingfisher usually appears in Melton South gardens also at about this time. It also seems to hang around the neighbourhood for about a week, before disappearing. Perhaps kingfishers use Arnolds Creek (& other Melton creeks) as a corridor through which to migrate through our region.
The same week a Sacred Kingfisher was found in Melton Botanic Gardens also.
Shortly after the honeyeaters suddenly began causing noisy mayhem, then suddenly becoming deathly quiet. Sure enough a Hobby was circling about. Hopefully it didn’t find our kingfisher. We more usually see either sparrowhawks or goshawks along Arnolds Creek. Reed Warblers are now calling loudly from reedy wetlands around Melton, including the Cumbungi in Arnolds Creek at Brookfield.