On most visits to the ‘pool’ at the Rise and Shine a Willie Wagtail will turn up at some stage to drink and bathe.
Largely unconcerned by my intrusion each visit is enjoyed, by myself and the wagtail!
Willie Wagtails are in the same genus, Rhipidura, as the fantails, but are a significantly larger bird. Grey Fantails weigh between 7 and 10 grams, while Willie Wagtails come in around 20 grams on average.
Willie Wagtail, Rise and Shine, 7th February 2020
A follow up to yesterday’s less than definitive post regarding a ‘mystery’ honeyeater. The considered opinion of a number of experts is that it was most likely a Fuscous Honeyeater, not a Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (which does appear in small numbers locally at this time of year). A ‘true’ Fuscous Honeyeater is pictured below, a non-breeding adult that arrived to drink just after the Willie Wagtail departed.
As I’ve remarked many times on this blog, being up close to wild birds is a privilege and a joy.
Today’s note is a follow up from yesterday’s on Eastern Rosellas … this time at the water and no more than ten feet from where I quietly sat.
Eastern Rosella (immature), Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, 27th January 2020
Eastern Rosella’s have different temperaments – ‘town dwellers’ are confiding and often comfortable in the presence of people, while the ‘bush dwellers’ tend to be wary and reserved.
At this time of year, after a reasonable breeding season, mixed groups of adults and juvenile birds can be readily seen throughout local woodlands, adjacent towns and farming areas. The youngsters have yet to learn about life’s hazards.
Earlier in the week as I sat by my pool in the ‘Shine’, a succession of Eastern Rosellas arrived in the trees around the water. While the adults kept a safe distance, the juvenile birds happily drank and bathed in the receding pool.
Eastern Rosella, Rise and Shine, 27th January 2020
About a week ago the Newstead area (and much of central Victoria) received a welcome dose of summer rainfall. Locally, falls ranged from 20 to 40 mm, providing some useful run-off into dams and leaving standing pools of water throughout the bush. A visit to one of my favourite spots in the Rise and Shine was amply rewarded, with a procession of birds arriving for a drink as dusk approached – Fuscous, Brown-headed and Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters, Eastern Rosella, Eastern Yellow Robin, Diamond Firetail, Willie Wagtail and Peaceful Dove.
I was concentrating on some Dusky Woodswallows, adults and juveniles, gathering above the pool, when a different bird slipped in for a drink. It was an immature White-winged Triller. In late spring we had an influx of White-winged Trillers and I observed some nest building before the summer heat really kicked in. It’s great to see a result in the form of a young triller!
The adults, very vocal while breeding, have been largely quiet over recent weeks. This is typical of many woodland birds, migrants and residents alike. No point advertising your presence when breeding is done.
Dusky Woodswallow (adult), Rise and Shine, 27th January 2020
Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow
White-winged Triller (immature)
There is an ancient Yellow Box in the Rise and Shine that I’ve photographed a few times over the past decade. Sadly the last few leafy branches were lost around three years ago and the tree died.
The living tree was not only old and gnarly, it displayed the most amazing spiral pattern in the bark. This has likely occurred as a result of the growing tree’s differential access to moisture and nutrients (e.g. more abundant on one side) or a prevailing wind affect on what is a very exposed site. Despite its passing the old Yellow Box continues to provide life, a Yellow-footed Antechinus searching for insects delighted us on an early morning stroll … as did the Black Kite, observed sunning on our return trip to home.
Yellow-footed Antechinus, Rise and Shine, 26th January 2020
Enjoyed the morning with some old friends at the Rise and Shine.
Seen also but not pictured here … Sacred Kingfisher, Dusky Woodswallow, Fuscous Honeyeater, Black-chinned Honeyeater, Crimson and Eastern Rosellas, Brown Treecreeper, Tree Martin and White-winged Chough.
Australian Owlet-nightjar, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, 25th January 2020
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike … just missed the shot!
I visited the Rise and Shine (Zumpe’s Lane area) last evening – my first trip there for several weeks.
The reserve was virtually devoid of bird song when I arrived and I was feeling a little downcast, until a pair of Peaceful Doves started calling!
Things brightened up considerably as I moved west along Zumpe’s Lane and I finished up with a reasonable list for a one hour stroll. Along with the Peaceful Doves and a flock of Varied Sittellas I also ‘ticked’ – White-naped Honeyeater, White-browed Babbler, Little Eagle, Dusky Woodswallow, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Fuscous Honeyeater and Grey Fantail.
Peaceful Dove, Rise and Shine, 21st January 2020