Yesterday afternoon I walked in the Mia Mia … hoping to get a drenching from the promised thunderstorms.
The rain stayed away, but thankfully we received 20mm overnight.
The good sign was a juvenile Red-capped Robin, found in the Rough Wattle to the west of Mia Mia Track and in the company of Buff-rumped Thornbills and Superb Fairy-wrens. Juvenile robins, like quite a number of the songbirds, are distinguished by blotchy patterning that serves as excellent camouflage. Young ‘red-caps’ are much paler, smaller and slimmer than juvenile Scarlet Robins which breed regularly in this area but then appear to depart over summer.
Nearby I spotted an adult male Red-capped Robin … with a couple of puzzling features, firstly the gape colour (yellow rather than black at the base) and also the general appearance of the head feathers (quite pale ear-coverts and light brown overall rather than the usual jet black).
Immature male Red-capped Robins resemble the female (see here), often with a reddish wash across the breast – young birds are known to breed in this plumage. The adult male pictured here is, I think, more likely to be an older bird (some adults retain a pale gape) showing signs of feather wear and possibly moulting into fresh plumage.
List: Crested Bellbird, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Fuscous Honeyeater, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Striated Thornbill, Weebill, Peaceful Dove.