Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Window of Opportunity

G’day All,
I grabbed a window of opportunity today and spent a couple of pleasant hours this morning at Jack Smith Lake – and there was no wind! The little Striated Fieldwren has eluded me on nearly all my previous journeys to the reserve. Fleeting glimpses in the rush beds is about all I’ve achieved. Today the situation was much better. I had the time to sit and wait for the birds to become accustomed to my presence and they rewarded me with some wonderful poses.

The Striated Fieldwren is regarded as uncommon and its range is restricted to a narrow band of coastal south-east Australia from about Sydney to Lake Alexandrina in SA and also Tasmania. There are two or three distinct locations at Jack Smith Lake where they can regularly be seen - if you are quick enough! My next goal is to discover a bit later in the year, a nest on the ground amongst the rushes.

After ticking the fieldwrens beside the main track into the reserve, I moved on a bit and took what I call track 1 that heads west. Brown Thornbills and Superb Fairywrens were busily scolding me for entering their scrubby territories but I passed them by to get some views of some open paddocks where I was hoping to see some flashes of flame red. Again my luck was in.

A few female Flame Robins and some ‘brown birds’ were quite accommodating, but I could only watch the males feeding on the ground at quite some distance – time to shoulder the bins and head off to the far corner to try and intersect them. I reached a small depression in the ground and sat down for a short wait to see if they would appear. They obliged.

While I sat and waited a group, (flock?), of 5 Wedged-tailed Eagles cruised high overhead. On the walk back, White-fronted Chats and Blue-winged Parrots would sometimes dash up from the ground just in front of me.

Almost back at the ute, a pair of Black-shouldered Kites kept their eye on me, remaining in their lookout tree just long enough for me to get a distant shot.

A spur of the moment day was once again a success.

Some more pictures of today’s birds here on Google Drive.


PS: Two friends have recently joined the blog world – Avithera and Pearsondale Birder. Welcome to blogland John and Ross. A nice little community of Gippsland bird/nature bloggers is developing.


  1. I reckon you achieved a good bit more than a tick of the fieldwren! Excellent photograph(s)!


  2. G'day Martin,
    I think I just got lucky. I've been trying for several seasons to get close to these little critters. Just happened to settle down amongst the rushes where they kept popping up around me.

  3. Were there any duck shooters there on the weekend? Was quite frustrating at Seaspray on the weekend with shooters shooting near houses... Was going to drop in to Jack Smith Lake but decided it wouldnt be worth it. Looking at your pics I think I should have! Nice report as always.


  4. G'day Tim,
    One car passed me as I was prone beside the track. Probably saw the binoculars and hurried off. I didn't even go down to the water actually - started running out of time and had to head straight for home. Didn't hear any shots. Any water in Lake Reeve? Gotta do an IBA survey down there shortly.

  5. Lake Reeve has a fair bit of water at the western end... lots of double-banded plovers, a few banded stilts and even a few pink-ears which I haven't recorded down there before.