Day One Hundred and Ninety-five 14/9/2013. Today’s foray was to the south-west of Melbourne, to the Victorian government-run Serendip Sanctuary, which has operated for over 50 years as a wildlife research station, and has been open to the public since 1991. And it’s free! We arrived at 10.30am, and ours was the only car in the carpark. It’s an unusual set-up, with just a path leading away from the carpark into a lightly-wooded, ex-farmland landscape. Following the path took us across a bridge above a Musk Duck exhibit, and then to the unattended information centre, which had some interesting signage and an apparently empty frog tank. Outside was a duck pond (I think the birds on it were captive Chestnut Teal and other wild ducks), and then the first of four trails. The first trail was the Wildlife Walk, and this included most of the captive animal enclosures. First was a walkthrough Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Emu enclosure, also inhabited by the ubiquitous Cape Barren Geese, which were everywhere. Next was a nice Brolga exhibit, with a very active pair that appeared to be courting. This was followed by a series of hides that looked out over various wetlands, each occupied by a variety of birds, some captive, some wild. Next were a series of aviaries, the first for Masked Owl, the next few for Freckled Ducks, and the last for Spot-tailed Quoll, within a walkthrough wallaby/Pademelon exhibit. The final exhibit here was a large walkthrough aviary, the first section containing White-faced Herons, Banded Rails & Black Ducks, and the second with Tawny Frogmouths, Bronzewing Pigeons and Red-rumped Parrots. The rest of the sanctuary was made up of three different trails, which lead to various wetlands, which contained wild or perhaps semi-captive waterfowl. Most of the wild birds I saw were fairly common Victorian species – fairy-wrens, wattlebirds, standard waterfowl, although there were also some species I hadn’t seen before (at least wild). There are also a number of Emu in the sanctuary grounds, and watching these running through the woodland was pretty cool. After completing the three trails, the exit path led past the breeding pens, which were set up for Magpie Geese, Cape Barren Geese, Brolga and Australian Bustards. The Bustard set-up was especially interesting, the females were able to move between pens and therefore select the male they wanted, but the males could not leave their pens, which was quite a clever way to mimic nature. New Species: Australian Bustard, White-winged Chough.