Some things …

… just make the heart leap. This is one of those things.

Back in the drought years it was virtually impossible to find the Hooded Robin around Newstead. Numbers had fallen precariously and they were absent from haunts where I saw them reliably during the 1980s. To see them nesting locally again, and with an apparently rising population is wonderful.

HR1

Female Hooded Robin attending nest, Plunkett’s Road Newstead, 13th September 2014.

HR2

The female returning to incubate…

HRnest

…two eggs.

The nest was placed on the trunk of a Grey Box, with the bark prised away to create a narrow crevice for the delicate structure. It was a sunny morning and both adults were busy feeding in the area around the nest, with the female returning regularly to incubate. Incubation periods lasted about 5-10 minutes, followed by short bursts of feeding. The male wasn’t seen to visit the nest, but did patrol the general area for intruders. They were relaxed to let me watch on from a safe distance. Other birds, including a pair of Jacky Winters and Grey Fantails were  also busy constructing nests nearby.

HR3

It’s been a while since I’ve seen such a sight.

HR4

Beautifully camouflaged in an almost invisible nest.

HR5

The male was on the lookout – a number of times it chased other small birds, including honeyeaters and treecreepers, away from the general area of the nest site.

11 responses to “Some things …

  1. It’s interesting you say this, I am seeing more Hooded Robins round the Adelaide Hills than ever before.

  2. Greetings Geoff!

    I’ve been enjoying your photos sooo much. You are such a talented photographer with a tonne of patience!

    I am a beginner birdwatcher from Glen Iris but have been a frequent visitor to Newstead after following up with some of your sightings. This has been an easy thing to do as I have spent many holidays with my relatives at Maldon. The most wonderful, impressive birds that I watched at Newstead Cemetery were the Rainbow Bee eaters last year. Thanks for heads up, so to speak!

    I did visit the Cemetery and part of Plunkets Rd on Tuesday but the weather was windy and showery, which was weird, as Melbourne was smoggy and wind free. I did observe an Australian Hobby on her nest near the single Chinese grave. I also tracked down the Pallid Cuckoo. Perhaps I should have travelled along the entirety of Plunkets Rd…I intend to do that.

    I headed down to Clydesdale to the Flora and Fauna Reserve and was rewarded with a bird list of 34. A Diamond Firetail crossed my path and I watched some Olive-backed Oriels nesting. I am a real fan of all Honeyeaters, so I enjoyed myself!

    Many thanks again for sharing all you birding information, it is much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Sue

    >

    • Hi Sue – thanks for your note – apologies for the slow reply. That’s an excellent set of observations from your visit.
      All the best, geoff

  3. Great news and great shots Geoff!

  4. Thanks for the photos of the nest and the way it is set into the side of the trunk. I wonder how high off the ground this was? Beautiful photos! 🙂 Lisa

    • Hi Lisa – the nest was just less than 2 metres off the ground. They usually nest quite low down from my experience, which is limited to just a handful of nests over the years.
      Cheers, geoff

  5. That is just great news, Geoff! Wonderful pictures, and I just love that heart leaping feeling.

  6. Merry Christmas Geoff! Thank you for sharing all your marvellous, memorable photos and information with us all. Regards and best wishes, Sue

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