Magic moments

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

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Ruling the roost

After having Rainbow Lorikeets dominate the bird baths for a month or so in late summer, the local residents have resumed ‘normal service’. The smaller honeyeaters, mainly Brown-headed and White-naped Honeyeaters, visit in ones and twos throughout the day, with Spotted Pardalotes and Weebills the other common visitors.

Red Wattlebirds though, rule the roost, arriving at pace to move on the smaller birds whenever they’re spotted slaking their thirst.

Brown-headed Honeyeater @ the bird bath, Newstead, 14th April 2017

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Red Wattlebird arrives …

… and is now

… ruling the roost!

Autumn eclipse

We enjoy the company of a family of Superb Fairy-wrens in our home garden – a mob of five or six that can be seen bobbing around happily most days.

At this time of the year the adult male loses its spectacular garb and moults into an eclipse plumage for a few months before regaining its full glory in late winter. The male can be distinguished by the black bill and blue tail, while the females have a chestnut bill and mask.

Superb Fairy-wren (male in eclipse plumage), Newstead, 14th April 2017

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Adult female

Not what I was hoping for …

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

White-throated Treecreeper

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

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The lesser lights of the Mia Mia

After chasing some of the cryptic and rare species along Mia Mia Track in recent days I thought the ‘lesser lights’ deserved a chance to shine.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Mia Mia Track, 8th April 2017

Brown Thornbill

Buff-rumped Thornbill

Female Scarlet Robin

Male Scarlet Robin

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Varied Sitella

Female Superb Fairy-wren

Footnote: The rare and cryptic include – Red-capped Robin, Chestnut-rumped Hylacola, Speckled Warbler, Hooded Robin, Crested Bellbird and Spotted Quail-thrush.

Further evidence…?

Every year in the recent past we’ve had Spinebills spending winter around our home (likely enjoying of the native plantings we’ve had from Frances). First it was just one bird, but last year we had quite a few, there were at least four here for a while.

After being absent over summer, the first individual turned up yesterday, and it was… a juvenile.

Juvenile Eastern Spinebill

Hope this observation contributes evidence to your theory, Geoff. And apologies for the poor photo, it was taken in low light through the front window!