Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gluepot Report #4

My modus operandi while at Gluepot was to rise early, before sun-up, have a cuppa and head out to a chosen locality and be 'in place' as the sun came up. As we all know, 'the early twitcher gets the bird' seems to be a pretty faithful guideline to follow in this game.

Sunrise at Picnic Dam - a favourite spot

I stuck to the designated walking tracks for the first few days. Frequently however, on my way I would see other country that would look appealing. There are many vegetation zones within the reserve - claypan, sand dune, Spinifex, Mallee, Native Pine, etc. I began building a mental list of localities that I felt were going to be worth checking and that's when I started 'going bush'. Even around home here, I find some of the best bird viewing spots are in areas where vegetation zones change or merge.

Posted walking track through some Spinifex - wouldn't be hard to get disoriented without those blue triangles!

Fertile ground - for seeing birds.

In general I tried locating birds by moving very slowly through the scrub, sometimes following a call or the glimpse of a bird. I tended to move from shrub to shrub or to a shady tree etc, anything to help blur my outline. Sometimes, when standing very still while immersed in say a Saltbush shrub, the birds would approach me for a closer look at the intruder.

It was using this method that I mostly saw the Babblers etc on the ground, and the Treecreepers, Robins, Thornbills, Whistlers and the like in the trees and shrubs. The bird hides tended to be best for the Honeyeaters and Parrots.

On one occasion, while standing still inside a bush I heard the very high-pitched 'seeep' contact call of the Chestnut Quail-thrush. It was hard to pin exactly where the call was emanating from. As I waited, the birds gradually worked their way toward me and came into view. The female in particular just strolled right by.

"That Saltbush shrub looks a little odd".

Such a delight.
(More pictures and info at Tabblo - links top right margin of blog)


  1. Beautiful sunrise. I wonder if all birders are early-risers! I like your description of standing still and letting the birds come to you.

  2. Hi Gouldiae
    Well, that's a lovely Sunrise. Well done. Nice Quail-thrush. I have not seen that species.
    Mick knows full well that this birder is not an early riser. We often swap notes when she rises, and I am going to Bed.
    However, when doing serious birding, on a trip, even I get up before sunrise.
    And I know that the local Bowerbirds strip my apples long beofre I rise at home.
    So, the birds are early risers.
    Therefore true birders have to be up early too.

  3. G'day Mick and Denis,
    I haven't quite mastered the camera for sunrises yet, I'm a slow learner. The early morning colours were fantastic.
    Denis, I guess some of us are owls and some of us are fowls. My philosophy over there was partly - I've driven all this way to see birds, so I'm gunna see birds!

  4. Sunrises are great. But wet, grey early mornings do nothing for my birding, and even less for photography.

  5. Loved your photos, especially the sunrise. It is a beautiful shot. Nice Quail Thrush!

  6. Gouldiae, I'm just catching up with some more of your Gluepot reports - very interesting and beautifully illustrated. I like your method of standing still in a bush - being patient and quiet pays dividends!