In search of my holy grail

Every birder has their ‘holy grail’.

For me it’s the Spotted Quail-thrush Cinclosoma punctatum.

A walk late yesterday afternoon in the Mia Mia started uneventfully – the usual suspects were out and about – Fuscous, White-naped and Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters, raucous Red Wattlebirds and a few White-eared Honeyeaters which are welcome autumn migrants.


Fuscous Honeyeater, Mia Mia Track, 20th May 2016


Red Wattlebird


White-naped Honeyeater


White-eared Honeyeater

Then, suddenly, a dark shape shot by not far overhead – a male Spotted Quail-thrush. The bird posed briefly on a stump and then alighted to call from an elevated perch nearby. I managed a couple of dodgy photographs before it disappeared.


Male Spotted Quail-thrush


The male calling from an elevated perch

The Spotted Quail-thrush is by no means a rare bird, but locally sightings are few and far between. I’m sure some readers will be very familiar with the species in other parts of its range. I’ve certainly seen it regularly in other places, often in coastal areas of Gippsland and southern NSW.

I see them perhaps half a dozen times a year in the Mia Mia. These are my first photographs … must do better!

6 responses to “In search of my holy grail

  1. Marlene Lyell

    How exciting Geoff. That’s on my ‘list’ to get a shot of as well. I understand the thrill. Well done.

  2. Mine too, Geoff, just for a look even. your dodgy shots put mine to shame

  3. Harold and Chris

    Lovely pictures of the honey eaters Geoff and I’m glad that you were able to spot and photograph the spotted quail thrush. You may think that the photos are dodgy but most of us amachuererors would be glad to get them. Many thanks
    Harold B-B. Adelaide

  4. Congratulations Geoff – a great sighting. Love the Wattlebird photo – looks almost like a painting.

  5. Gillian Anderson

    As recent introductions to your blog, my husband and I are enjoying the daily photos of birds in your area. We are at Glenrowan adjoining farmland and busland and see a large selection of birds from our window. It s lovely to see your close up photos and then inspect our visiting and resident birds more closely. I am sure you would love a chair on our back deck, yesterday’s sightings, a flock of 5 white naped honeyeaters, 8 or 9 new holland honey eaters and a large group of fire tail finches

  6. Wonderful shots Geoff! I meant to tell you or post on BirdLine but I saw a pair of Spotted Quail-thrush – possibly the same pair! Along the Mia mia track near your ‘hotspot’. Lovely sightings as I was in the car. At one point the female had her bill open calling but the call was so high pitched I couldn’t hear it! 11/5/16 was the date.

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