John G left a message - "The diamonds are on the strip." (Explanation - diamonds = Diamond Firetail Finches and strip = aircraft landing strip).
John and Marg are keen Heyfield Birdwatchers from Coongulla and I'd asked John to let me know when the Diamond Firetails were around again. I recall as a teenager in this district that I used to 'pedal me grid' out toward Seaton and see these beautiful little birds in large flocks. I don't remember seeing one in the wild since.
As I arrived I was checked out by the resident sentries...
John met me and we started heading toward the strip. Various Thornbills, Blue Wrens, Grey Fantails, Willie Wagtails, etc, flitted around us as we moved slowly along. I glimpsed an Azure Kingfisher that was too quick for a picture.
This Whistling Kite up high on a branch wasn't too quick for me though...
It turns out after getting the shots from the camera and looking more closely, the bird was remaining in the one spot while it devoured a fish meal from nearby Lake Glenmaggie.
The next tick was a White-throated Treecreeper working his way up the trunk of a Stringy-bark. I always enjoy getting an acceptable shot of these birds as they can often test your patience with moving quickly in low light, and just as the camera focuses, they invariably dash around the other side of the trunk.
We walked to the end of the strip without seeing the diamonds. What's that rule about not nominating a 'target' bird before you go out? Oh well, I'd seen some of my favourite bush birds, I was happy.
On the return walk, both John and I tried to turn sightings of Red-browed Finches into Diamond Firetails. Then John spotted a diamond in the distance. I got the bins to my eyes and at last saw an old favourite in the wild. There seemed only to be the one individual but we tracked it for a bit and I managed some barely acceptable photos.
Pizzey describes the status of the Diamond Firetail as uncommon, sedentary but locally nomadic. Considering the time I spend cruising this district for bird sightings, I can confirm the uncommon. I was rapt to see one.
Back to John and Marg's for a cuppa. The bird watching wasn't finished though. As we sat outside in the garden, we were being watched ourselves ...
When John spread some seed about, the passing parade really started ...
Add Rainbow Lorikeets to the list and the colour kaleidoscope was complete.
Thanks J & M for a lovely time. My bird watching desire has been sated - for a day or two anyway.