Perhaps a little earlier than in recent years, a few Flame Robins have arrived in the Mia Mia.
I was surprised to see three different individuals come in to drink at a small dam along Mia Mia Track. I’d never photographed an orange-washed youngster before, so this was a highlight. The birds love this spot in the Muckleford bush, areas of open country adjacent to the more heavily wooded ridge-line provides ideal foraging habitat. I’ll look forward to seeing some adult males in coming weeks.
Flame Robin (immature male), Mia Mia Track, 15th April 2017
Flame Robin (immature)
Flame Robin (immature or female?)
Enjoyed a few magic moments beside one of my favourite waterholes along Mia Mia Track. This Eastern Yellow Robin posed beautifully for the camera, the lure of a drink and bath proving irresistible.
Its companions included the seasons first Flame Robins, the usual honeyeaters (White-naped, Fuscous, Yellow-tufted and Yellow-faced) and an aggressive Red Wattlebird. With Diamond Firetails ‘mewing’ in the background it was a wonderful interlude indeed.
Eastern Yellow Robin, Mia Mia Track, 15th April 2017
Not much to report this week as bush outings have been minimal. This White-throated Treecreeper, a male, was seen last weekend along Mia Mia Track. The male lacks the small ochre neck marking of the female.
This one was incredibly confiding, foraging within a couple of metres in a copse of sapling Grey Box.
Male White-throated Treecreeper, Mia Mia Track, 8th April 2017
I’ve been visiting the same spot along Mia Mia Road over the past week. All four visits have yielded Red-capped Robin, Scarlet Robin, Crested Bellbird and Speckled Warbler, while I’ve seen Chestnut-rumped Hylacola twice and this morning heard a Spotted Quail-thrush. It’s a real hot-spot!
On each visit a small group of Speckled Warblers have been hanging around the same general area, a pair of adults with what I think is an immature bird, which earlier in the week was spotted following one of the adults carrying food. This morning I observed the female carrying what appeared to be a downy feather … could it be that they have raised a youngster and are now constructing another nest?
Speckled Warbler carrying food, Mia Mia Track, 5th April 2017
II – with immature bird at bottom left
Male Speckled Warbler
Female Speckled Warbler, 8th April 2017
II – with nesting material?
Also observed this morning: White-eared Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-throated Treecreeper, Crested Shrike-tit, Golden Whistler, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Little Lorikeet, Fuscous Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Brown Thornbill and Grey Fantail.
… a Red-capped Robin, in this case a juvenile male.
While not as boldly striking as the adult male there is a particular magic about the youngsters, especially when captured in the golden hour before sunset. It’s great to see evidence of local breeding too!
Red-capped Robin (immature male), Mia Mia Track, 6th April 2017
Roll on spring …
I had a brilliant hour in the bush last evening along Mia Mia Track … still air, golden light and a touch of autumn warmth made the birding sensational.
Speckled Warbler, Crested Bellbird, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Rufous Whistler, Red-capped and Scarlet Robins and Chestnut-rumped Hylacola were just some of the highlights. The webs of Golden Orb-weavers made it a task to pick my way through the bush – a moist spring has made for another good season for this magnificent spider.
Golden Orb-weaver, Mia Mia Track, 5th April 2017
Male Red-capped Robin
Female Red-capped Robin
Here’s that magnificent orb-weaver again
Australasian Grebes have enjoyed the conditions over summer, with many pairs breeding on the small bush dams scattered through the local forests and farmland areas. On this small dam in the Muckleford bush there have been at least three breeding attempts, the first in early spring.
Last evening I encountered two striped youngsters, duck-diving repeatedly as I circumnavigated the dam. The parents were nowhere to be seen.
A ‘pair’ of herons – the more common White-faced Heron and less usual White-necked Heron were feeding in the shallows before I disturbed them.
Australasian Grebe (juvenile), Bush dam on South German Track, 12th February 2017
Remains of Australasian Grebe nest