Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sunday Drive to the Hills

Sunday drives are in my blood, my genes. Mother has always been taken out for a Sunday drive, by my father and then step father. We will do it occasionally for her. Since I have none of them left, I did not know it was Father's Day.

We collected Mother and ABI Brother and took them to Grants Picnic Ground at Kallista. We heard a bit about ABI brother's overseas adventures and an awful lot more about Mother's medical problems.

I may have been to Grants Picnic Ground before, but I can't remember it. R tells me it used to be where the public fed Crimson Rosellas and there was a homely little tea shop where you can buy Devonshire Teas. Parks Victoria banned the feeding of the birds, but no one took much notice, so they have relented and offer signposted advice, such as washing your hands after feeding the birds.

Nowadays Sulphur Crested Cockatoos outnumber the Crimson Rosellas by about three to one. There were a good few Galahs too. The cockies only want sunflower seeds and the rosellas are quite content with the left overs. The Crimson Rosellas are truly beautiful birds. I hope I have a good snap of one.

We had Devonshire Teas in what is now a very decent cafe, which of course comes with much higher prices. But the food and service were good. While it was too cold to sit out on the decking, I expect it would be lovely on a warm day. There was good information about walks from the park too. I always read these signs, never do the walks though.

Mother came out of the gift shop proclaiming everything they sell is Australian made. The gift shop was quite good. However, I noticed that the caps while designed in Australia, were made in China.

Superbly tall Mountain Ash trees surrounding Grants Picnic Grounds.

The crowd feeding the three different types of birds.

The cockies are quite heavy when sitting on your arm.

A Crimson Rosella. They are more shy than the cockies.

Cockies are very destructive birds at times.


  1. I must jott this on into the calender of trips for the school break coming up :)

  2. Apparently these 'Australian made' labels can be terribly misleading, sometimes simply meaning that the packaging the goods come in was made in Australia.

  3. aw I haven't been there in YEARS! Last time I was there one of my group got bitten by a massive goanna that wanted our food! He had big tooth wounds in his finger.

    The cockies used to do that sort of damage to our window and door frames when I lived in the Dandenongs. I forget what we put on them to discourage it. We'd get 20+ of them arriving at once wanting to be fed! Buggers.

  4. Cazzie, any excuse for a drive in the Dandenongs is good.

    Victor, product and produce labelling is a nightmare. How powerful are the vested interests that we can't have clear labelling?

    They can be shockers Fenz. I believe they especially like Western Red Cedar. They never used to be in abundance in the Dandenongs.

  5. oh i dunno Andrew, i lived up there nearly 20 years ago and they were certainly there in the 10 years before I moved. I think it depends if you encourage them, we used to put seed out for the rosellas until they invaded!!

    But the way people are clearing up there i'm not surprised they're more obvious. But don't get me started on that topic ;)

  6. I just had a thought, you know cockies live for umpteen years right? Well, I wonder if one of those that you got to see was either a)swearing b)asking for a VB or c) singing the North Melbourne Footy Club theme song out loud? My Great Grandma lost her cockie when I was about 11 years old..perhaps he is up there having devonshire teas and being fed by tourists now, LOL (just kidding).

  7. Sometimes we used to end up there for Devonshire tea on Sunday drives with Nana when I was a kid. Last time I went a few years ago it seemed more popular than ever, had to park ages away and there seemed to be bus loads of Chinese tourists.

  8. Have whooshed past in recent years in buses, will alight now knowing there are walks :P

  9. I think I'd love that place. I love parrots. They're probably my favorite thing about the Royal Botanical Gardens...that and the bats.

  10. I am still sad for all the wild forest birds that died on 7th feb.

    the cockatoo is heavy because ...
    it gets so well-fed!

    What a thrill it is to have a wild thing's trust, even for a minute,
    and even for a bribe.

  11. Ok Fenz. You would know better than I do. I saw a kookaburra in the work car park last week. Never seen one in Melbourne before.

    Stranger things happen Cazzie. I had a great aunt who had a sixty year old galah.

    One bus arrived while we were there Ben. It was not so busy. There is another car park that may have not been there when you were last there.

    Worth it Jayne, if only to stare up into the trees.

    Dina, are they in Sydney's RBG? Our RBG has plenty of bats.

    The number of which we will never know Brownie. Suppose it is obvious about the cocky weight. Certainly heavier than I remember.

  12. Another lovely day - I love going for drives - we used to do all the little roads we came across with not much thought as to where we would end up - Amazing to hold a free wild bird in the hand.

  13. That can be great fun MC. My father was like that and got us into some hairy places at times.