I don’t do much night photography but it’s always fun. Last night, a brief visit to Rotunda Park produced a suite of opportunities to observe and photograph some of the resident Brush-tailed Possums.
The abundance of ‘brushies’, along with Ring-tailed Possums, Sugar Gliders and rabbits is a good reason for the Barking Owls to stay around over the summer.
Brush-tailed Possum, Rotunda Park Newstead, 17th November 2017
Barking Owl, Rotunda Park Newstead, 17th November 2017
While it was a quiet weekend with the camera I did manage to get out for a couple of brief jaunts.
Here is what I saw.
Barking Owl, Rotunda Park Newstead, 11th November 2017
Grey Shrike-thrush incubating, Rotunda Park
Little Eagle over Mia Mia Track
Musk Lorikeet in downtown Newstead
Male SuperbFairy-wren, Loddon River, 12th November 2017
The Laughing Kookaburra is well-known as a co-operative breeder, with the offspring of previous generations working together with the parents to raise subsequent broods.
The set of images below were taken within 30 seconds of each other and show three different individuals, all taking food to a nest in a large River-red Gum.
The nestlings are enjoying a real smorgasbord.
Laughing Kookaburra with earthworm, Rotunda Park, 31st October 2017
This one has a large cockchafer grub
And this one a huntsman spider
The nest site
It’s been some time since I’ve wandered across to Rotunda Park – one of the best birding spots in the district.
A flock of White-browed Babblers allowed me to enjoy extremely close-up views, while the Common Bronzewings were taking advantage of some scattered seed.
White-browed babbler, Rotunda Park, 10th September 2017
Male Common Bronzewing
Female Common Bronzewing
I’d never observed a Red-capped Robin at Rotunda Park … and, until today, I’d never observed a Rose Robin locally.
The Red-capped Robin, a male, was moving in a mixed flock with a few thornbills, honeyeaters and a Golden Whistler. As I’ve seen ‘Red-caps’ just to the north in the Muckleford bush (near Fence Track) this was not entirely a surprise.
Red-capped Robin, Rotunda Park Newstead, 30th April 2017
The Rose Robin however, really stopped me in my tracks. I noticed it chasing insects in the lower foliage of in a large Yellow Box near the shelter. I watched it foraging for a few minutes and noted its habit of dropping its wings and then tumbling in a slightly erratic fashion pursuing insects. This species spends the warmer months at higher altitudes, nesting in the cool, tall forests of the Great Divide. Like the Golden Whistler and Eastern Spinebill, it disperses to the foothills during winter, with a few birds seen along the Murray Valley corridor. This one was a male, possibly immature, as the rose-washed breast was not that vibrant.
Over past weeks our local Yellow Gums have started to flower … but not the heavy blossoming that I was hoping for.
Rotunda Park is notable for its magnificent veteran Yellow Gums and in the past these have lured Swift Parrots to feed on the nectar during April as they arrived back on the mainland from their Tasmanian breeding grounds. In years of bountiful flowering the birds remained right throughout winter.
I fear that once again this year the paucity of flowering won’t be sufficient to encourage the parrots to pay anything more than a fleeting visit. With the Easter break promising excellent weather I’m hoping a few ‘swifties’ might be about.
Juvenile Red Wattlebird, Rotunda Park, 11th April 2017
Yellow Gum buds
Silvereye feeding on Box-thorn
… that the first Eastern Spinebills arriving around Newstead are almost all juveniles, products of summer breeding in the high country to our south.
The adults are not far behind – I’m expecting to see them in about a week or so. I’d be interested to know if other readers have noted a similar pattern.
Juvenile Eastern Spinebills, Rotunda Park Newstead, 3rd April 2017