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.
Western Gerygone, Bartley’s Block, Chiltern
Western Gerygone’s partially built nest
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)
Spitfire Sawfly Larvae, Bartley’s Block, Chiltern
Posted in Bird Behaviour, Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australian Birds, Bartley's Block, Bird Photography, Chiltern & Mt Pilot National Park, Nature Photography, Photography, Spitfire Sawfly Larvae, Victoria, Western Gerygone
I like to visit the Chiltern area (North East Victoria) at least once a year and try to time it to Spring when the birds start to migrate south from the warmer states. One of the best spots for a good variety of birds is Bartley’s Block, a few kilometres north of the small township of Chiltern. When staying in the area I will visit Bartley’s twice a day: early morning and early evening. While a regular at Bartley’s Block, the Speckled Warbler is a difficult bird to photograph. It is busy and always on the move, hunting and patrolling its territory. On my last visit I finally found a warbler at the top of the scrub in the centre of the block. The Warbler was singing its heart out but stopped to watch me and make sure I moved on before it resumed singing.
Speckled Warbler, Bartleys Block, Chiltern National Park
Watching the intruder in his patch
Posted in Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Bartley's Block, Bird Photography, Chiltern, Chiltern & Mt Pilot National Park, Nature Photography, Photography, Speckled Warbler, Victoria