This is no paradox

The area around Tangey’s and Pound Lane is a local hotspot for birds, especially the ‘feathered five’ – Hooded Robin, Brown Treecreeper, Jacky Winter, Painted Button-quail and Diamond Firetail. I’ve seen all five species at this location over recent weeks.

The habitat is the key, a compelling combination of deep leaf litter, fallen wood, large old trees and terrific understorey, including a local keystone species, Hedge Wattle Acacia paradoxa. This species is special, providing nesting and roosting sites for small birds – the spikes provide a degree of protection from predators and it often grows in large clumps enhancing its value as a refuge. Patches of Hedge Wattle are also favoured by seed-eaters such as pigeons and quail over winter when food can be scarce.

Yesterday I encountered a flock of Diamond Firetails amongst the Hedge Wattle – there were about ten birds in the flock and they happily let me observe for a short while under dull skies.

DF2

Diamond Firetail on Hedge Wattle, Pound lane, 6th July 2016

DF3

Diamond Firetails – a nice half-dozen!

DF4

Female Diamond Firetail (with the narrower chest-band at top) and male below

DF6

Sentinel bird

DF5

Male Diamond Firetail

DF1

II

6 responses to “This is no paradox

  1. Lovely to see the Diamond Firetails, hoping they return to mine at Yandoit when I get a new round of Hedge Wattles in.

  2. Wonderful! A lot of thought must have gone into ‘designing’ such a beautiful bird.

  3. francescincotta

    Hi Geoff, have you observed pigeon and quail finding seed on the ground under Hedge Wattles in winter? The seed ripens and sheds over the last 2 weeks of December and from my observation it does not stay on the ground for long – ants usually carry it away.

    • Hi Frankie – while I haven’t actually seen them with wattle seeds in the bill, I recently came across both foraging under Hedge Wattle on Pound Lane so jumped to an obvious (but unsubstantiated) conclusion! … your comment has prompted me to try a little experiment … stay tuned!
      Cheers, geoff

  4. Thanks, a new spot to check out next time we are in Newstead!

  5. Geoff, I was very interested to read your comments about what makes a habitat attractive to certain species. Whilst Kilmore shares many birds with Newstead, our environment is quite different, more urban, more agriculture, so different and less varied bird life.

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