Tag Archives: Eastern Bristlebird

The Rufous Bristlebird of Point Addis

There are two species of Bristlebirds found in Victoria – the Rufous and the Eastern. The Rufous can be seen along the Great Ocean Road from Anglesea to the border, while the Eastern Bristlebird is found in only a few areas of far eastern Victoria. I have attempted to photograph these species 6 times in the last few years and while I was successful the first time I tried for the Eastern I have not had much success with the Rufous. I have glimpsed it a few times at various locations but I have not got a good look at it or managed to even get close to taking a decent image. It is a shy, ground feeding bird that hides for much of the day. The photographs below were taken on my last trip to Point Addis. I finally worked out where they can be easily photographed and scored a few nice images.

Rufous Bristlebird, Point Addis, Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria

Rufous Bristlebird, Point Addis, Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria

Rufous Bristlebird, Point Addis, Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria

A furtive bird with some interesting colours and feather patterns

Rufous Bristlebird, Point Addis, Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria

The Bristlebird hunted along the ground and allowed us to get quite close – as long as we stayed low as well. 

Rufous Bristlebird, Point Addis, Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria

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Rufous Bristlebird, Point Addis, Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria

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Rufous Bristlebird, Point Addis, Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria

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Rufous Bristlebird, Point Addis, Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria

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Rufous Bristlebird, Point Addis, Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria

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A journey into the wilderness

As part of of my recent stay at Mallacoota, I had planned to drive into the Cape Wilderness area and look for the Eastern Bristlebird – a rare bird on the Victorian side of the border. A location known to have a small population is Howe Flat, a coastal paperbark swamp near the wilderness coast. To find your way into the right area you need to drive into NSW and then loop back into Victoria via long narrow bush tracks. The area is not far from Mallacoota as the crow flies but it is on the other side of the inlet with no easy or direct access. It can take several hours of tough AWD/4WD driving through rainforest and tall trees. The last part of the track is quite narrow but winds through some beautiful country. I actually found a Bristlebird on the NSW side of the border while looping back into Victoria  They have a distinctive call, but can be quite shy. It ran in front of the car, called a few times and then disappeared.

Arriving at Cape Howe Flat, I found the bird along the track to the coast fairly quickly – it was quite shy and stayed back in the vegetation but I did get a few shots.

It was a long but very rewarding day.

Cape Howe Wilderness vehicle track

Cape Howe Wilderness vehicle track – I had to drive through several creeks and rainforest gullies to get to Howe Flat.

Cape Howe Wilderness vehicle track

Cape Howe Wilderness vehicle track

Driving through creeks to get to the Cape Howe Wilderness Area

Driving through creeks to get to the Cape Howe Wilderness Area

Driving through creeks to get to the Cape Howe Wilderness Area

Cape Howe Wilderness, Howe Flat

Cape Howe Wilderness, Howe Flat

Cape Howe Wilderness, Howe Flat, track to the coast and Eastern Bristlebird

Cape Howe Wilderness, Howe Flat, track to the coast and Eastern Bristlebird – the area was a bit swampy, the track under water or muddy in many parts.

Eastern Bristlebird, Cape Howe Wilderness Area

Eastern Bristlebird, Cape Howe Wilderness Area

Eastern Bristlebird, Cape Howe Wilderness Area

Quite a vocal bird, with a lovely distinctive call

Eastern Bristlebird, Cape Howe Wilderness Area

Eastern Bristlebird – a nice view of the layered tail feathers

Cape Howe Wilderness Coast Line

Cape Howe Wilderness Coast Line

Southern Emu Wren, Cape Howe Wilderness Area

On the way back from the coast, I came across a little colony of Southern Emu Wrens – a very nice surprise. I did not know that Wrens were found here as well. 

Southern Emu Wren, Cape Howe Wilderness Area

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