Category Archives: Migrants

Not to be outdone

While female and immature Flame Robins are not nearly as striking as the male, they are gorgeous birds nonetheless. This series of portraits were gathered late this afternoon near the Newstead Cemetery.

Female (or possibly an immature) Flame Robin, Newstead Cemetery, 12th July 2018



Adult male Flame Robin

Flame Robin portraits

The adult male Flame Robin is described in most field guides as having slate-grey upper parts and an orange-red throat, breast and belly.

As you can see from the images below, an individual spotted in the Mia Mia on Sunday, there are often some subtle ‘imperfections’. Firstly, the underparts contain areas of lighter orange – not a uniform orange-red, with these areas becoming visible as the bird turns in to the light. Secondly, the crown is suffused with faint but easily discernible traces of orange. This is difficult to see at a distance but close up the detail is evident. What a glorious bird!

Flame Robin (adult male) Mia Mia Track, 1st July 2018





Honeyeaters up close

Nice views this afternoon of two honeyeaters … the Eastern Spinebills (at least three different individuals) are paying regular visits to the Grevilleas in the front yard.

Again, late this afternoon, a Blue-faced Honeyeater arrived in our street, its calls drawing instant attention. I’m pleased to have got my best local shots of this bird.

Blue-faced Honeyeater, Wyndham Street Newstead, 16th June 2018


Eastern Spinebill (adult female)

Eastern Spinebill (adult male)


A cloudy day at Joyce’s Creek

A visit to the Joyce’s Creek arm of Cairn Curran on Monday was a bit of a desperate attempt to satisfy the bird photography addiction (aggravated by the acquisition of upgraded lens and camera) on a cloudy and unpromising day. While I was delighted to see a party of five male and one female Flame Robins, they were a bit reluctant to pose for the paparazzi, as were the many Black -fronted Dotterels.Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus) on the shoreline was more accommodating, but still a little coy.

Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus)

Red-kneed Dotterel

A group of five Yellow-billed Spoonbills (Platalea flavipes) perched in an old dead River Red Gum were considerably more obliging. A little bit of light breaking through the sombre clouds at the right moment was even better.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

Yellow-billed Spoonbill looking rather cool.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

And perhaps tiring of the fool with the big lens

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

Time to move on

As I wended my way back to the car, the Flame Robins were still shy, but a Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) clad in formal attire was happy to pose on a suitably corroded picket.

Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus)

Superb Fairy-wren


Just tricking?

I spent some time observing a party of White-winged Choughs this morning in the Mia Mia.

Interestingly one of the adults left the main group at one point and proceeded to sit in a nearby nest – it shifted from side to side a few times, perhaps to shape the lining. I suspect this is a form of pre-nuptial behaviour.

The other notable sighting was a Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, with at least one other heard calling. This is evidence of either over-wintering or a very early arrival. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has seen or heard this species locally in recent weeks.

White-winged Coughs, Mia Mia Track, 10th June 2018


The bird perched on the nest edge after a brief spell of ‘sitting’ – the nest looks quite fresh.

More of the same!

Our gardens birds are predictable and abundant at present!

The assortment of colours are a wonderful addition to winter days.

Adult Crimson Rosella, Wyndham Street Newstead, 9th June 2018

Immature Crimson Rosella

Pied Currawong

Eastern Spinebill

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Superb Fairy-wren

Eastern Rosella

Right outside the front door …

What a privilege to be able to walk out the front door and be immersed in nature.

Eastern Spinebills are ubiquitous in the garden at this time of year … Varied Sittellas much less so. I’ve only observed them in our street on one other occasion, also in late autumn. A common local resident, small flocks roam more widely in the cooler months in search of food.

Eastern Spinebill, Wyndham Street Newstead, 27th May 2018



Varied Sittellas in the garden … quite a treat!