The predominant vegetation types in the ‘bush’ around Newstead are Box-Ironbark Forest and Heathy Dry Forest. This latter ecological community is characterised by an understorey of shrubs, including Daphne Heath and Gorse Bitter-pea, with an open canopy more typical of a woodland. It usually occurs on rocky, infertile ridges and is favoured by a distinctive suite of birds – Chestnut-rumped Hylacola, Painted Button-quail, Brown Thornbill – and my favourite, the Speckled Warbler.
Speckled Warblers forage for insects almost exclusively in the ground layer, picking their way through the leaf litter amongst the shrubs, grasses and forbs, in pairs and often with other small birds. This pair was showing strong attachment to a small area north of Fence Track, suggesting that they had an active nest or were feeding young.