Tag Archives: Western Gerygone

Nesting Western Gerygones at Bartley’s Block

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, Bartley’s Block, Chiltern

Western Gerygone, Bartley's Block, Chiltern

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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

Spitfire Sawfly Larvae, Bartley’s Block, Chiltern

A Western Gerygone: far from home

My local birder network sent through a message that said a rare bird had popped up in our neighbourhood – a Western Gerygone. It had been sighted down Elster Creek near the mouth. So after leaving work earlier than usual on Friday and having a few extra hours of light I headed down the creek to look for the little bird. It is usually found north the Great Dividing Range so we are not too sure why it has ended up along the Southern coast.

Along the way I found a Great Egret grooming between snacks.

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

Eventually I found the Gerygone where it had been reported, flying over the creek from side to side with two little Brown Thornbills.

Western Gerygone

Western Gerygone

Western Gerygone

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Western Gerygone

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Western Gerygone

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