While at Bartley’s Block recently I tracked down the lovely tinkling call of the Western Gerygone. (The same species that made a rare guest appearance in my local area during winter) . The block is well known for the variety of bird species, especially the smaller birds. I found a pair of Gerygones (pronounced “jereg-oney”) building a very large elaborate nest made of soft bark, moss, lichen and spider webs. It was shaped like a long tube that will eventually have a globe shape in the middle. I had to look up what the final nest would look like – I had not seen anything like this before.
On a nearby tree I found a group of black catapillars that I used to see as a kid living in Sydney. It always freaked me out to see these and when I used to poke the mass with a stick it would react with a protective wave motion and a nasty smell. Freaky stuff. Some recent research showed me that these are actually the larvae of the Spitfire Sawfly – not a butterfly or moth but a wasp. When disturbed they emit a acrid smelling fluid from their mouths. (they still freak me out and always seem to be at head height)
It would be fascinating to see the fully built Gerygones nest!
I would like to see it too…problem is, it is 3 hours drive from Melbourne. I go each year so maybe I will see one next year…