Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gluepot Report #6

G'day Readers,
I got these two species nearly in the one spot, a week apart.

One of the activities in the photography course was a walk with the cameras in an area known for sightings of Splendid Wrens. The weather was not wonderful, nobody saw a Wren, so we cut the walk a bit short, and I returned to the spot - the old airstrip - the next morning.

After going well off the track in various places and trying to chase down a view of a Crested Bellbird that seemed to always be calling from just the next tree, I glimpsed some activity on the ground. Eventually I got close enough to spot a pair of White-browed Babblers dashing in and out of a low bush.

I didn't notice at first, but eventually saw they were carrying nesting material as they flew in. This bird of the dry woodland regions constructs a domed nest for breeding and another less complex nest for roosting. Provided I stood still within my covering shrub, they continued on with their construction while clicked away.

For some inexplicable reason I didn't bother to get a shot of the nest while the birds were briefly away on one of their forays for suitable material. Some days later I thought about returning to the same place and hopefully find the same bush and see how they got on with the job. I had no hope of finding the spot again.

Very nearby, (I think), I did manage to creep up on some Wrens. A family of 5 or 6 were sunning themselves early in the morning and mutually preening, an excellent chance to sneak in close enough for some great views. I must have stood and watched transfixed for nearly half an hour.

From time to time a few members of the family would interrupt their sun bathing to drop to the ground for a quick early insect meal. Mostly though, as the sun was only just up, they were content to sit quietly on the sunny side of the bush until they had warmed up.

I gather the male was just moulting into his eclipse plumage but I could see enough colour to notice how striking he must be when breeding. I'll just have to return!

1 comment:

  1. Nice birds - and I like your excuse for returning!