Yesterday I visited John and Marg at Northpoint again. Their place can be a great hotspot for little birds at times. Large birds too, for John and I spent some time watching a young Whistling Kite being fed in it's nest high in a large Red Gum.
Many of the eucs were in flower and the list of honeyeaters we saw included Red Wattlebird, Musk Lorikeet, Rainbow Lorikeet, White-naped Honeyeater, White-plumed Honeyeater and Eastern Spinebill. Wrens and Fantails were busy attending to the insect population as well.
John had told me the Diamond Firetails were spotted again recently and that was my reason for visiting. The property contains a large area of un-grazed native grasses that often attract the little seed eaters. The Diamond Firetail is listed as vulnerable in NSW, Vic and SA, mainly due to the degradation of native grasslands as a result of clearing, grazing, etc. It was so nice to see them.
The edges of John and Marg's place contains some nice pieces of mixed species open woodland. After a short walk and ticking the Honeyeaters, Scarlet Robins, Yellow-rumped Thornbills, etc, we came across a small family of Varied Sittellas, another species considered to be on the decline in many areas and are listed as vulnerable.
The Varied Sittella is a very communal bird. They roost and nest in small groups and often mutually preen.
The clearing of fence lines and roadsides, 'tidying up' on farms, collecting firewood, clearing for grazing and urban habitation etc, all contribute to the dropping numbers of many of our 'bush' birds and mammals. I do see some excellent work in progress in this area by groups such as Trust For Nature, Greening Australia, Landcare, etc. Lets hope we are not too late.