Birds of the Loddon Photographic Exhibition 3-11 October

Published on 24 September 2015

THE Rainbow Bee-eater is not rare, but it is beautiful.

Found in all mainland states, the bird is spectacular, with its green, blue, chestnut and yellow plumage, slender curved bill and distinctive streamers that extend from the end of its tail.

The only species of bee-eater in Australia, it flies south in summer to breed by digging long tunnels into sandy banks to create a nesting chamber.

This is just one of the many species of birds to be found in the Loddon Valley, a region which delights local and visiting birdwatchers each year with their chance sightings in the skies and on the waterways.

A first-time event, “Birds of the Loddon Region”, will celebrate this rich diversity through photographs, digital displays, pictorial competitions and twice-daily information sessions as part of the 2015 “Naturally Loddon” Spring Festival.

Planned for 3-11 October, the program will be based at Mulwarrie Studios in Bridgewater, owned and operated by Robert Scholes and partner Roberta Foster.

“I do a lot of local photography and started to get interested in birds about 12 months ago,” Mr Scholes said.

“Since then, I’ve built up quite a detailed collection of images of local birds, covering more than 100 different species.

“This will be the first time we’ve actually displayed them, though we do have a blog site where we’ve put up quite a bit.

“Various areas of Loddon Shire are well known for their birdlife – Kooyoora State Park, for example, and up around Boort wetlands. 

“In the Shire as a whole, there would probably be about 240 species and there are several operators actively running commercial bird tours.

“That list includes rare and endangered species such as the Plains-wanderer up at Terrick Terrick National Park, where, I believe, they also see the Swift Parrot coming through.

“Here at Bridgewater, depending on seasons, we can, for example, catch sight of the Rainbow Bee-eater, which migrate from the Australia tropics and New Guinea to nest in Victoria before returning north.”

Mulwarrie Studios backs on to the Loddon River and Mr Scholes has photographed about 70 different species from his own garden.

“If people want to bring their own cameras, they can wander around our property and take their own pictures,” he said.

“We’ve spent some time this year working on the garden to introduce more bird-attracting plants.”

The entry fee of $5 for adults (children under 16 free) includes admission to exhibitions, information sessions and notes, plus free tea and coffee.

One quarter of all moneys received will be donated to men’s cancer research and awareness programs.

Registration for information sessions is preferred, due to limited facilities.

http://www.loddon.vic.gov.au/Lists/Events/Naturally-Loddon-Birds-of-the-Loddon-Region 

or robertscholes.wordpress.com or Facebook/ Mulwarrie Studios