Passing through

I can’t recall seeing a Fan-tailed Cuckoo since late in the spring. They’ll have been around in small numbers, but remain silent once breeding is finished.

Yesterday afternoon in the Mia Mia they were everywhere. Over the course of an hour I must have seen at least a dozen birds, an indication that their northward migration has commenced. A few remain during the cooler months but they are rarely observed. A fellow north-bound traveller  is the Olive-backed Oriole – this immature bird was in convoy with cuckoos.

The true highlight however, was a brief encounter with some Chestnut-rumped Heathwrens. Over the past year or so I’ve occasionally heard this cryptic and elusive songster without so much as a glimpse. This species is resident all year in the Muckleford Bush, but is something of a maverick, shifting locations from year to year to meet its particular needs.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo, South German Track, 19th February 2021

Not calling … just hot!

Juvenile mouthing into adult plumage … I think!

Olive-backed Oriole

Chestnut-rumped Heathwren … the elusive one


3 responses to “Passing through

  1. Geoff , Thankyou for your wonderful posts. I have always loved observing birds but in no way with the knowledge you have and I am astounded as to the variety of birds you see, many of which I have never seen and some I have never heard of. I live in MontAlbert North backing on the the Eastern freeway reserve and there are some lovely birds BUT over the past two years the Noisy Miners have increased in numbers and I have not seen the Eastern Spinebill or the Grey Fantail in my Grevillias or on the fence. Are the Noiseys driving out these smaller birds.
    any thanks

  2. Geoff, Thank you for your informative info and superb Photos. I am a very keen Bird photographer concentrating mainly on Whipstick birds. We have found that the Chestnut-rumped Heathwren has deserted it usual haunts up this way and this past season I have been unable to locate, as you say “The Elusive One”. Would it be possible for you to suggest an area or areas down your way where they may be found.

    Graham Hill

    • Dear Graham, Best to send me an email ( and I can help with some potential areas. Cheers, Geoff

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