Tag Archives: Eastern Yellow Robin Nest

A home of grass and spider webs…

Taking a long slow walk around the Baldry Circuit at Green’s Bush, I am still finding many birds hard at work building nests and feeding young. Some of the early starters like the Pardalotes, Rosellas and the Eastern Yellow Robins are just about done with many new juveniles now flitting amongst the branches waiting for a free feed from their parents. Another group are just starting their breeding duties. A pair of busy Grey Fantails were flying in and out of the lower branches of an Acacia. The material they were collecting was a mix of finely shredded dried grass and spider webs interwoven into a small goblet shape that the Fantail could barely sit in. A fantastic little structure fit for purpose for just a few months and then will disappear.

Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Grey Fantail building a nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

II

Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

III

Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

IV

Grey Fantail, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Off for more spider-web

Further around the track I found another Eastern Yellow Robin’s nest that appeared to be done for the season. It was empty inside and I waited for a while nearby to see if any Robins visited but none appeared. It is also made up of finally stripped bark and spider webs as well as decorated with bits of moss and lichen – great camouflage. The nest was in plain sight (if you could recognise it) next to the the path in a low prickly bush.

Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

Eastern Yellow Robin nest, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic

More Moorooduc Magic

Moorooduc Quarry is fast becoming one of my favourite places to bird. It is a compact site with a variety of vegetation and landscapes and many bird species.

On the latest visit to check in on the Yellow Robin family I found the Robin now sitting on eggs in the nest.

Brooding Eastern Yellow Robin II, Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve

Brooding Eastern Yellow Robin.

Brooding Eastern Yellow Robin II, Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve

Keeping a careful eye on me – I kept my distance

I also found a few regulars and a new one for my site records – a Bassian Thrush – a speckled bird a little larger than a blackbird that loves to forage in the understory of thick cooler forests. While I was trying to photograph the Yellow Robins it popped out to see what the fuss was – posed for a few moments and then dashed back into the thick scrub. I have rarely seen a Bassian Thrush and this is only the second time I have been fast enough to get a photo.

Bassian Thrush, Moorooduc Quarry

Bassian Thrush, Moorooduc Quarry

Bassian Thrush, Moorooduc Quarry

II

Grey Butcherbird, Moorooduc Quarry

Grey Butcherbird watching the antics of the Galahs

Galah, Moorooduc Quarry

Female Galah watching the nearby group of male Galahs, Moorooduc Quarry

Galah, Moorooduc Quarry

Male Galah enjoying some dandelion seed heads.

Moorooduc Woodlands Flurry

In a follow-up visit to the Moorooduc Quarry to check on the progress of the little Eastern Yellow Robin nest, I found a completed nest, many other birds and another Drey (they seem to be popping out everywhere now I know they exist). A busy flock of Male Golden Whistlers came through and it soon became a little crazy with birds flying everywhere. The Robins were trying to protect their patch and the male Whistlers seem to be chasing each other. A few Brown Thornbills dropped into the mix as well to check out the fuss.

Eastern Yellow Robin, Moorooduc Quarry

Eastern Yellow Robin in a typical perched hunting pose…ready to pounce on its prey from above.

Eastern Yellow Robin, Moorooduc Quarry

Eastern Yellow Robin II

Eastern Yellow Robin completed Nest, Moorooduc Quarry

The completed nest of our Eastern Yellow Robin, made of paperbark strips and camouflaged with moss and lichen held in place by spider web netting – amazing engineering

Golden Whistler, Moorooduc Quarry

One of the bright male Golden Whistlers that moved through the Robin’s nest area…

Brown Thornbill, Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve

A curious Brown Thornbill, watching the action

A possum Drey, Moorooduc Quarry

A possum Drey, Moorooduc Quarry

Nests, Dreys and Bandicoots

Saturday was another lovely Winter’s day in Melbourne and we decided to head down to the Melbourne Botanical Garden, (Cranbourne), also known as Australian Garden. We started at the Stringybark Picnic area and walked along  the forest paths looking birds and reading the various information signs. We came across a large curious nest only a few metres off the ground. I could not figure out what made it or what was using it – I could see a brown furry looking lump through the side entrance but could not confirm what it was – I was unable to get closer without bashing through and damaging the prickly bushes in front. Last night, a local naturalist (Gio) suggested that it was most likely a Drey – a round nest made by a Ring-Tailed Possum. I did not know that Possums made nests like this nor had I ever heard of a Drey…

Drey, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Drey, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Moving around the paths we saw a number of Eastern Yellow Robins and watched for a while as they hunted. I found one of their freshly made nests. Very similar style to the previous nest that I have posted about from Moorooduc.

Robin's nest, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens,

Robin’s nest, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens,

The highlight of this part of the day was spotting a Southern Brown Bandicoot, a threatened marsupial species, often wiped out from areas by foxes. This site is protected by a fox proof fence and so the species is surviving. We saw one dart across a path. As we were walking back to the car my eagled eye walking partner yelled out that I was about to step on another one. This little guy was not very scared of me at all and we moved back a bit and took a few photos. It had some nasty healed up scars on its rump and a missing tail. I was surprised by its size – roughly the size of a small cat – much bigger than I expected. It moved around the path, had a little stretch and at some point decided to bolt off the track but only into the fringe where we watched it a bit more while it napped. We left it alone and drove to the main part of the gardens.

Southern Brown Bandicoot, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Southern Brown Bandicoot, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Southern Brown Bandicoot, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

showing some old healed wounds on its back, its tail is also missing

Southern Brown Bandicoot, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Long claws front and back and a long nose that was surprisingly agile

Southern Brown Bandicoot, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Southern Brown Bandicoot

Southern Brown Bandicoot, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens

Leaping from the path to the scrub a few feet away – very powerful back legs