Tag Archives: Striated Thornbill

Spring at Greens’ Bush

For various reasons I have not taken many/any photos on recent visits to Greens Bush. The weather has been cold and wet, it has been quite dark in the forest and most importantly not many birds have sat still long enough to take a decent image. I no longer blast away at any bird and hope that there is a shot in there somewhere. The hours post processing are not worth the result. I try to take only a few shots and get the setup right while stalking the target. This often results in failures and no shots but does save time at the computer. On Saturday I was determined to shoot something rather than just carry the heavy gear around. While the birdlife was abundant and the forest was quite noisy there were not many birds near enough to shoot. What I did find was three different species’ nests all within a few meters of where I had stopped for a breather. For nearly 30 mins I watched as a Golden Whistler returned to a particular bush with more nesting material. The female seemed to be doing all the collecting and building with the colourful male inspecting now and again and standing guard in the next tree. While just standing there I saw a pair of Spotted Pardalotes on a branch just above my head. It took a few moments to realise that they were not being friendly but getting a bit stressed because I was standing next to their burrow. I moved away and straight away they flew down and into the burrow. Turning around at a new bird call I saw a pair of Striated Thornbills flying into their nest, a tennis ball size clump of soft material and spider webs. Spring has started and nesting season is in full swing. I will re-visit in the coming weeks and hopefully see more progress and take a few pics.

Spotted Pardalote near nest entrance, Greens Bush, Vic

Spotted Pardalote near nest entrance

Spotted Pardalote nest entrance, Greens Bush, Vic

Spotted Pardalote nest entrance – a burrow

Striated Thornbill nest, Greens Bush, Vic

Striated Thornbill nest camouflaged inside an over-hanging Eucalyptus branch

Golden Whistler nest (just starting), Greens Bush, Vic

Golden Whistler nest (just starting) – will be more of a traditional cup type nest.

Striated Thornbills of the Iron Bark Track

Near the turn off from the main highway (also called the Great Ocean Road) along the Point Addis Road is a small carpark and the start to a wonderful short walk around a mixed growth forest. At the moment the tall Iron Bark trees are flowering and while there may not be a huge number of species there are very good numbers of a few forest species. Walking around the forest track we came across the usual birds like Red Wattlebirds, Eastern Yellow Robins, New Holland Honeyeaters and Rainbow Lorikeets and a few rarer birds like the Gang Gang Cockatoo and Varied Sitella. While trying to find a Painted Button Quail that we could hear calling we became immersed in a small feeding flock of Striated Thornbills. Their cousins the Brown Thornbill are quite common in most forests and even in my own street in suburbia but striated seem to be a bit rarer and difficult to photograph – they are always on the go, hunting for insects and chasing each other. It is a real treat to find (usually by their calls) and photograph these tiny 10 cm birds.

Striated Thornbill, Point Addis Iron Bark Track, Victoria

Striated Thornbill, Point Addis Iron Bark Track, Victoria

Striated Thornbill, Point Addis Iron Bark Track, Victoria

II

Striated Thornbill, Point Addis Iron Bark Track, Victoria

III

Thornbill and the Magic Fantail

I travelled down the Western Port Bay coastline over the long weekend and camped at Balnarring Beach with some friends. On Sunday I met up with my mate John and explored a new site – a long forested gully called Wuchatsch Reserve in Nyora.  The site had an impressive list of forest birds including Crimson and Eastern Rosellas, Spinebills, Silvereyes and a good number of honeyeaters. While watching the honeyeaters we found a small flock of Striated Thornbills and a Grey Fantail hunting flies off a branch.

Striated Thornbill, Wuchatsch Reserve, Nyora, Victoria

Striated Thornbill, Wuchatsch Reserve, Nyora, Victoria

Striated Thornbill, Wuchatsch Reserve, Nyora, Victoria

II

Grey Fantail, Wuchatsch Reserve, Nyora, Victoria

Grey Fantail watching the watchers…

Grey Fantail, Wuchatsch Reserve, Nyora, Victoria

a quick jump in the air…

Not a Grey Fantai, Wuchatsch Reserve, Nyora, Victoria

and magic…

Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve, Mt Eliza

Along the Moorooduc Highway that heads down to the Mornington Peninsula is the Mt Eliza Regional Park. A section of this park is called the Moorooduc Flora and Fauna Reserve. It  is the site of an old (1887) stone and ballast quarry used for the railway sleeper beds for the Baxter to Mornington railway connection. The quarry is now flooded and has been converted to a Flora and Fauna Reserve and is particularly good for birds. The quarry is actually fenced off due to dangerous cliffs and rockfalls but holes in the fence have been created by locals wishing to access the water and quarry site. When I was there last week locals were walking dogs and fishing in the quarry. The high cliffs provide good nest sites for Peregrine Falcons to nest. Over the last few years I have seen several fledgelings learning to fly and hunt.

Old Moorooduc Quarry

Old Moorooduc Quarry

Old Moorooduc Quarry II

Old Moorooduc Quarry II

Walking from the carpark to the quarry I noticed a number of new fledglings being attended to by their parents.

Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow

Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow

Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow II

Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow II – demanding food from a parent nearby

Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow III

Juvenile Dusky Woodswallow III

Dusky Woodswallow

Dusky Woodswallow

Young Grey Fantail

Young Grey Fantail – how could you not respond to those eyes?

Striated Thornbill

Striated Thornbill

Striated Thornbill II

Striated Thornbill II

Striated Thornbill III

Striated Thornbill III

Striated Thornbill IV

Striated Thornbill IV

Striated Thornbill V

Striated Thornbill V

Striated Thornbill VI

Striated Thornbill VI

Common Bronzewing

Common Bronzewing

Common Bronzewing II

Common Bronzewing II

Eastern Yellow Robin - what you looking at?

Eastern Yellow Robin – what you looking at?

Eastern Yellow Robin II

Eastern Yellow Robin II

Flowering Water Lillies

Flowering Water Lillies in Moorooduc Quarry