Cold and windy winter conditions but still some interesting sightings!
Birding in cold weather always has its challenges – but the birds have to live in it, so we know they’re out there – seeing them is another thing though, especially when the weather is a little breezy as well.
So replicating our previous surveys we started at the north western corner of this tiny National Park and walked along the eastern perimeter and then most of the southern one, recording everything in a 500 metre area search, which you can see in Birdata here.
This Olive backed oriole (above) Oriolus sagittatus was seen at quite a distance and to the naked eye, as it was mainly in silhouette, looked like it could have been a Grey shrike thrush. But even a photo which you would otherwise think was poor quality has immense value in helping obtain a positive identification. Photo credit: Sue McIlwraith.
15 species were seen in total, which is a bit a low but understandable under the conditions.
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike – Coracina novaehollandiae
Eastern Whipbird – Psophodes olivaceus
Golden Whistler – Pachycephala pectoralis
Grey Fantail – Rhipidura fuliginosa
Grey Shrike-thrush – Colluricincla harmonica
Laughing Kookaburra – Dacelo novaeguineae
Lewin’s Honeyeater – Meliphaga lewinii
Musk Lorikeet – Glossopsitta concinna
Noisy Friarbird – Philemon corniculatus
Olive-backed Oriole – Oriolus sagittatus
Red-browed Finch – Neochmia temporalis
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo – Cacatua galerita
Superb Fairy-wren – Malurus cyaneus
Variegated Fairy-wren – Malurus lamberti
White-browed Scrubwren – Sericornis frontalis
The highlight was the two Musk lorikeets inspecting a nesting hollow – which is right out of season for them, but the weather has been so weird this year why not!
Other highlights were the family groups of Fairywrens.
Above are two Superb fairywrens taken by Tony Bond. The female is on the left and male on the right (the male was actually taken later in the day at Scot’s). Distinguishing female Fairywrens can be very difficult, particularly as different species will form mixed flocks.
In our area Superbs, Variegateds and Red-backed fairywrens can often be found in the same area, as was the case on this day, and telling apart the females from each other and some of the non-breeding males can be very tricky.
Below is a Red-backed fairywren (either a female or non breeding male) photographed by Sue McIlwraith. The finer points that can be used to distinguish between them all is the subject of another blog entry (to come), so I won’t got into them here.
After Geham National Park we all then adjourned to Scot’s place where there was a warm fire and a delicious round of scones cooked by Jenny, as well as a great showing of Eastern yellow robins, Superb fairy wrens, Jacky winters, Red browed finches and an Eastern spinebill in the front garden.