The best places to see birds at this time of year usually involve water. Even a tiny bush dam will reward a patient observer – species that are often very difficult to observe in other situations can be seen at close quarters. Early morning or approaching dusk on hot days are the best times … but the longer you wait the better the result. A small waterhole along Mia Mia Track is a favourite of mine and yesterday afternoon it was proving a real drawcard for birds … with one absolute highlight. Honeyeaters were by far the most numerous with Yellow-tufted, Fuscous and Brown-headed all in good numbers. Eastern Rosellas can be notoriously difficult to photograph but the promise of a drink enabled the bird below to overcome its shyness, likewise for a male Common Bronzewing.
The true reward for my patience was a male Chestnut-rumped Heathwren Hylacola pyrrhopygia that ventured to the waters-edge for a drink. The habitat along Mia Mia Track is a stronghold for this beautiful but cryptic bird; along with the Crested Bellbird, Spotted Quail-thrush and a number of other uncommon woodland species.
For more on the Chestnut-rumped Heathwren see Heathwren’s Song.