Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Little Hot Spot

G’day All,
Still alive here in Gippsland, just struggling a bit to get out and find something to blog about. That changed yesterday morning.

There I was, just about to head out onto the course and fire up the fairway mower, again, and the phone rang. It was Martin from Greening Australia / Gippsland. “If you’re not doing much right now, I’m standing in a piece of bush just down the road and the birds are hot.”

I was there in ten minutes. It was close and the camera and bins are always in the ute ready!

The first cab off the rank was a quail that Martin had spied and when I showed him the quail page in the field guide he immediately picked out the Painted Button Quail. Bit scarce in these parts thinks I, but eventually we managed to spring a pair and get some brief views – tick Painted Button Quail but too quick for a picture.

There was small colony of very active Dusky Woodswallows soaring just above the top of the grass snaring their breakfast on the wing.

Adult and immature Dusky Woodswallows - superb aerialists
In some open areas under the trees, the Yellow-rumped Thornbills and Diamond Firetail Finches were finding items to dine upon also.

The beautiful, (and a bit scarce), Diamond Firetail Finch
 Scanning the fenceline through the binoculars at one stage, I spotted a little group of Varied Sittellas spiraling down the fence posts probing inside the cracks for an insect. Unfortunately they were working the fence posts away from me and were too distant for a picture. Fun to see them doing the fence posts though.

The beautiful call of the Rufous Whistler was ever present as we meandered on through the trees for a bit while Martin continued with his census of the plant species. Then we heard the ‘zhirrp’ call of a Flycatcher and eventually pinned down the source to a Leaden – wonderful.

Rufous Whistler in full song

Leaden Flycatcher
 Just at the finish, as Martin was on the phone – well, he was in his office after all – I managed to capture a shot of the white wings of a White-winged Chough that you only ever see when they are in flight.

White-winged Chough
 Just love phone calls like that – thanks MP.



  1. Luck You! I wouldn't mind a phone call like that right now!! Great photos of course.

  2. I wish I had a phone call like that. Did you get the grass mowed.

  3. G'day Mick and Neil,
    Yep it was very considerate of Martin to think of ringing me when he 'struck gold'. He's a very passionate nature lover.
    I'm afraid Neil that at present I start mowing at one end of the course and when I get to the other end I start again. Not spending much money on electricity to pump water but the mowers are going through the diesel - never happy are we?

  4. Great post Gouldiae; you really caught the excitement of the morning with some lovely descriptions.