That’s different!

Great Egrets are a common sighting at Cairn Curran – I’ve seen individual birds regularly over the past few months.

Great Egret, Cairn Curran Reservoir, 26th May 2017

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Their smaller relative, the Little Egret Egretta garzetta, is an entirely different story. Over the past ten years I can only recall seeing it once, and adult fishing near the dam wall at Tullaroop Reservoir. Yesterday afternoon after photographing the Great Egret (above) I spotted a small, white ‘heron’ feeding in the shallows – sure enough it was a juvenile Little Egret. This species is renowned for its quick, dashing movements when feeding – I was fortunate to capture few images before it flew off across the lake. I certainly hope to spend some time with it soon in better light.

Little Egret … only the second I’ve seen locally in the last ten years!

The hunter and the hunted

A fortnight ago I went searching for Autumn Greenhoods Pterostylis revoluta along Mia Mia track … without success. By late May I had expected their season to have finished so it was lovely to find a few on a walk in the same area earlier in the week. This magnificent orchid is common in the Newstead bush.

Autumn Greenhood, Mia Mia Track, 22nd May 2017

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It was a marvellous morning for birds – Buff-rumped Thornbills, Weebill, Varied Sitella, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Chestnut-rumped Hylacola (calling) and the highlight – a party of Speckled Warblers! The arrival of a male Collared Sparrowhawk triggered a pause in proceedings as a mixed feeding flock shifted from foraging to ‘freezing’ in an instant.

Male Collared Sparrowhawk

Speckled Warbler … looking slightly nervous!

Spinebills in the garden

In recent days a few adult Eastern Spinebills have been visiting the front garden attracted by the bird bath and the flowering grevilleas. It is my ambition to capture an image of a hovering spinebill sipping nectar from one of the flowers … stay tuned!

Adult Eastern Spinebill, Wyndham Street Newstead, 20th May 2017

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‘Buff rumps and Browns’

Two of the common species of thornbills to be found locally are the Brown Thornbill and the Buff-rumped Thornbill. Both can be fund in the same location, but they tend to utilise different habitat strata.

The Buff-rumped Thornbill generally feeds on or close to the ground while the Brown Thornbill favors the shrub layer – especially areas with Gorse Bitter-pea and Rough Wattle. Both are inquisitive and engaging little birds.

Buff-rumped Thornbill, Bruce Track, 22nd May 2017

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Brown Thornbill

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Along Mia Mia Road

This set is from an interlude on Mia Mia Road at the weekend.

Despite the grey, overcast conditions the birds were especially active around a patch of Blackberries and Sweet Briar … common woodland birds don’t read the script about the importance of habitat quality I’m afraid!

Also spotted but not photographed were: Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Red-browed Firetail, Grey Currawong and Grey Fantail.

New Holland Honeyeater, Mia Mia Road, 20th May 2017

White-naped Honeyeater

Welcome Swallow

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater

Lake views

This set is from a visit to the lake a week ago … what the camera didn’t capture was a pair of Great Crested Grebes and a White-breasted Sea-eagle. You’ll have to take my word on the more exotic sightings!

Black Swan, Cairn Curran, 13th May 2017

Grey Teal

White-faced Heron

Whistling Kite

A winter visitor

In recent days I’ve heard the melodic song of a Golden Whistler in the home garden. This winter migrant is currently sharing the local area with our resident Rufous Whistlers, also beautiful songsters. The bird pictured below is a female most likely – the pale lemon wash on the vent is just discernible.

Female Golden Whistler, Wyndham Street Newstead, 14th May 2017

Crimson Rosella feeding on Yellow Gum flowers

Male Superb Fairy-wren in eclipse plumage

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