This observation is now a week old, but noteworthy nonetheless.
This Brown Treecreeper was observed collecting nest-lining material at the Rise and Shine. I’m not 100% sure what the material is but suspect it may well be fur from a dead rabbit. Treecreepers are nothing if not opportunistic.
Brown Treecreeper collecting nesting material, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, 25th August 2020
Brown Treecreeper in profile
Mantid ootheca (egg-case)
On a visit to the Rise and Shine earlier today I observed a pair of Scarlet Robins perched above a roadside puddle. The female was begging for food, rapidly fluttering its wings as the male descended to bathe in the water below.
As I suspected there was a nest nearby – secreted in a clump of mistletoe about 5 metres above the ground. Locally, Scarlet Robins often choose a site like this and over the years I’ve found numerous nests similarly concealed. Rufous Whistlers often adopt the same strategy.
Female Scarlet Robins incubate the eggs alone, departing the nest for short periods to forage or to accept an offering from the male.
Male Scarlet Robin bathing, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, 8th August 2020
The nest site in a Box Mistletoe
Female Scarlet Robin incubating
A close-up of the male
The ground carpeted with Yellow Gum flowers – a sure sign that nectar-loving parrots are about.
This time it was Little Lorikeets, feasting on the eucalyptus blossoms at the Rise and Shine. The smallest and perhaps the scarcest of our local lorikeets (Purple-crowned Lorikeets would rival them) are delightful birds.
Yellow Gum flowers on the woodland carpet, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, 24th July 2020
I enjoyed Patrick’s post from yesterday featuring Cassinia sifton, and his observations of some newly arrived Shining Bronze-cuckoos. I’ve known this local native species, formerly Cassinia arcuata, under various common names – Coffee-bush, Drooping Cassinia and Chinese Scrub. The great local website Wild plants of the Castlemaine district has some terrific information on the species.
During my visit to the Rise and Shine last weekend I came across a small flock of Silvereyes foraging in a copse of Cassinia sifton.
Flame Robins and a pair of Hooded Robins were then observed nearby along with my first Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo of the season (heard but unseen).
Silvereye in Cassinia
Flame Robin (adult male)
Hooded Robin (adult female)
Golden Wattle has been flowering for a couple of weeks now … a clear sign that spring is just around the corner.
Golden Wattle, Rise and Shine, 17th July 2020
It provided the backdrop for a nice selection of birds at the Rise and Shine on Friday evening … a small flock of Swift Parrots zipped through, a lone Fan-tailed Cuckoo calling and a pair of Hooded Robins the complement for those featured below.
Varied Sittella acrobatics
There is a definite hint of spring in the air with a run of sunny days this week.
In the Rise and Shine the birds are responding. Eastern Yellow Robins are keeping close company and I’m sure the first nests of the season will be underway. Likewise, Peaceful Doves are showing early signs of courtship activity.
Peaceful Doves, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, 15th July 2020
Eastern Yellow Robin
Also observed yesterday afternoon: Spotted and Striated Pardalote, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Black-chinned Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, Fuscous Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Little Eagle, Crimson Rosella, Eastern Rosella, Grey Shrike-thrush and Brown Treecreeper.
Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, 9th May 2020
Autumn Greenhoods Pterostylis revoluta
A nice collection from a visit to the Rise and Shine at the weekend.
Jacky Winter, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, 18th April 2020
Male Rufous Whistler
A cavalcade of visitors to a lovely waterhole at the Rise and Shine last evening.
White-naped Honeyeaters were in good numbers, after being virtually absent for most of the summer. Flowering Grey Box is, I think, encouraging a slight uplift in bird populations.
Fuscous Honeyeater @ the Rise and Shine, 20th March 2020
Crimson Rosella (immature)
Bird numbers in the local woodlands appear to slowly recovering, although it’s what I’m not seeing that is more notable at present – Red-capped Robin and Hooded Robin are conspicuous by their absence.
A lone Jacky Winter at the Rise and Shine on Friday evening was a highlight. This species favours open woodland and farmland edges and is usually easy to find in a number of locations close to town. This is the first individual I’ve seen since Xmas.
Crimson Rosella, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, 13th March 2020
Peaceful Dove pair