The mountainous forests east and north-east of
Melbourne are spectacular and contain almost pure stands of the world's largest flowering plant, the Mountain Ash,
Eucalyptus regnans in several pockets, and there are small patches of cool temperate rainforest in other locations. The mountainous country that contains these wetter forests recieves on average over 1000mm of rainfall per annum. Tall and straight emergent eucalypts are dominant, and under this canopy smaller trees such as Silver Wattle, Sassafras and Hazel Pomaderris occur on a declining scale in terms of size. Ferns and smaller shrubs make up the lower stratum, with fallen timber, leaf litter and humus contributing to the rich moist soil.
Some of the special birds of these areas include Superb Lyrebird, Red-browed Treecreeper, Pink Robin, Rose Robin, Eastern Whipbird, Sooty Owl, Brush Cuckoo, Black-faced Monarch, Bassian Thrush, Pilotbird, Large-billed Scrub-wren, Olive Whistler, Satin Flycatcher (summer), Crescent Honeyeater, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Rufous Fantail (summer) and King Parrot.
We travel out to spots such as the
ToolangiStateForest and Bunyip State Park. Most of the action in these areas occurs in spring and summer when birds are actively breeding and vocally advertising territories, and migratory species such as Satin Flycatcher, Rufous Fantail, Cicadabird, Black-faced Monarch and various cuckoo species are present.
Rufous Fantail (top) Pilotbird (bottom), Dec 2009 - Photography by Chris Tzaros.