Brown birds

Brown Thornbills make a nice study when observed up close.

The delicate scalloping on the crown, brick-red iris and the heavily streaked throat and breast sets this species apart from all other local thornbills.

Brown Thornbill, Rise and Shine, 22nd May 2018

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Brown Treecreepers spend the bulk of their time foraging on the trunks and branches of eucalypts but will frequently come to the ground in search of insects, especially over the cooler months.

Brown Treecreeper

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Another bush mystery

I spent lunchtime today at the Rise and Shine.

It was while I was watching this splendid male Scarlet Robin that my eye was drawn to a group of Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters congregating along the trunk of a Long-leafed Box tree. The bark along the trunk had been obviously pared away in slender strips, exposing various cracks and fissures which appeared to be the focus for the honeyeaters. Whether the honeyeaters had done this I have no idea … it may have been the work of Sugar Gliders which are common at the ‘Shine’.

I can only surmise that they were feeding on gum being extruded from under the damaged bark. There is very little flowering at present and sugary exudates such as lerp, manna and gum are an important alternative food option. A flock of Varied Sittellas passed by as I observed the honeyeaters – small bark-dwelling insects their focus.

Male Scarlet Robin, Rise and Shine, 22nd May 2018

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater extracting gum from Long-leafed Box

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Varied Sittella

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This is not a swift parrot

Adult Crimson Rosella, Wyndham Street Newstead, 19th May 2018

… but there are Swift Parrots about.

Yesterday, around noon, I spotted a small flock of seven high up in the Yellow Gums above the old Newstead Courthouse. Keep your eyes peeled!

Silvereyes in the olives

Eastern Silvereyes can be found in our garden year round although they are not the same individuals.

At this time of year they are attracted to the fruits of a variety of planted chenopods and olives. The blush of chestnut on the flanks of this individual indicates that it may be ssp. lateralis, visiting from Tasmania over winter.

Eastern Silvereye, Wyndham Street Newstead, 18th May 2018

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Autumn highlights in the Mia Mia

These images were captured nearly a week ago in the Mia Mia.

Birds are quiet and sparsely distributed at present but there is magic to be found on every outing.

Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters, Mia Mia Track, 13th May 2018

Female Scarlet Robin

Male Scarlet Robin

Weebill

Active in the garden

There has been quite a lot of activity in the garden over the past week.

Small flocks of Brown-headed Honeyeaters have been passing through, while the White-browed Scrub-wrens have been noticeably more active than usual.

With Eastern Spinebill, Weebill and Yellow-rumped, Striated and Yellow Thornbills all conspicuous amongst the small birds a short walk at any time of day is most rewarding.

Brown-headed Honeyeater, Wyndham Street Newstead, 13th May 2018

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White-browed Scrub-wren

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Old friends

What a thrill to see our Powerful Owls back again!

Breeding will commence again soon … wishing them all the best.

Powerful Owls, Loddon River @ Newstead, 13th May 2018

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