Tag Archives: Rose Robin

A Scarlet irruption at Green’s Bush…

I have re-visted the new part of Green’s Bush a few times now, learning my way around and seeing what different birds are located in the various types of vegetation. While walking down from a higher ridge line I heard what I assumed was a Rose Robin. It sounded much like a Rose Robin just without the 2 note call at the end. I logged it as a Rose robin “heard” and hoped that I would be able to sight them before I moved away from the area. Half way around the circuit I heard the call with the 2 note ending and found a small family of Robins working the low branches of Sheoaks. After a few pics I moved onto another section with a large amount of flowering mistletoe hanging from the Eucalpyts with several bird species working the flowers  for nectar. I had already seen a few mistletoe birds so when I saw the flash of red I assumed another bright male mistletoebird. I was extremely surprised to see so much red on the bird….I could not think of anything else other than a Scarlet Honeyeater, a species I have only seen well on last year’s trip to Mallacoota near the NSW border in far east Victoria. I tracked the Honeyeaters across the Eucalypts for a while and as I had tuned into their call I released that the shortened Rose Robin call I had been hearing was actually the Scarlet Honeyeater. To my ear the calls were very similar. Later at home when reviewing the images and then checking the Facebook Bird Vic and eBird sites, I noticed that a number of people had been reporting sightings around Victoria. It seems we are in the midst of an irruption, an unusually high number of birds migrating to the extremes of their range. Last weekend I went back and saw more of the Scarlets, this time around the carpark enjoying the flowering Teatrees and overhanging mistletoe.

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Rose Robin II

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Having a scratch

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

I thought the flash of red in the flowering mistletoe was a male Mistletoebird.

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Scarlet Honeyeater

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

II

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Scarlet Honeyeater calling, with several others nearby responding.

The Robins and the Owl

There is a walk along the inlet from Captain Stevenson’s Lookout around the coast to Bastion Point. It runs along the edge of the camp grounds through tall banksia trees and coastal scrub and into a Pittosporum forest. The track leads on to the new Bastion Point boat ramp facility and the nearby swimming beaches now protected by the new sea wall. I met a couple who were going for stroll along the path who said that a large Caspian tern was fishing with the Silver Gulls in the shallows at the beach. Not having photographed a Caspian Tern before I headed down to find and hopefully photograph the tern. While walking through one of the deeper darker patches of Pittosporum Forest I came across a family of Rose Robins in quite a fluster. Several pink chested males and a number of females and juveniles seemed to flying back and forth across the path and into various low trees and bushes. I stopped to watch for a while and take a few photographs of these elusive tiny birds and noticed a pile of feathers at my feet. It took me a few moments to figure out what they were from – a juvenile Kookaburra. I looked straight up and into the eyes of a large Powerful Owl. This type of Owl prefers a daytime roost in trees located in cool, dark forest gullies. If it makes a kill during the night it hangs onto the kill all day and feeds at the start of the following night. Hanging from the Owl’s talons was the previous night’s kill.

Rose Robin, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Rose Robin, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Rose Robin, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Rose Robin, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Powerful Owl, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Powerful Owl, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

After taking a few shots of the Owl I walked down to the beach and watched the Caspian Tern dive into the water and catch a good sized bait fish and fly off across the inlet. That left me with the hunting Silver Gulls to photograph. It was a nice change to watch them hunting for fish rather than begging for potato fries and digging through rubbish.

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

looking for bait fish in the shallows

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

whoops, cut that a bit fine

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

shaking off the water…

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

finally scored a fish…

I found another Antechinus in the forest but I am not sure what sort it is, I think a Brown Antechinus but I will have to research it…going by the girth I am guessing that this is a pregnant female. By this time of year the males have mostly died off after a vigorous mating season.

Antechinus, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Antechinus, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Image

Wirrawilla Rainforest

Rose Robin, Wirrawilla Rainforest, Toolangi Black Range State Forest, Victoria               – 23 Dec, 2014

Wirrawilla Rainforest is a beautiful park within the Toolangi Black Range State Forest. We went there to look for a few specific birds including the Pink Robin, a  bird which has eluded me all year. No Exception today – no sign of it but we thought we did hear it once or twice. What did come and check us out was a small and very colourful Rose Robin. It was curious and did hang around for a few minutes but was very quick as it darted around the branches and hard to photograph.