‘Nobody knows who made the mallee, but the Devil is strongly suspected!’
So goes the quote from The Bulletin in 1902. Thankfully we have come to realize the true value of this wonderful country. I would suggest that the biodiversity of the mallee habitat at Gluepot far exceeds that of any Gippsland woodlands. Birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates, trees and shrubs abound.
The day I arrived at Gluepot this year I found that Jim, an old birding mate, had by co-incidence set up camp at the same campsite. We exchanged greetings, etc and of course I asked what ticks he’d made so far. That day, Jim had found a nesting pair of White-winged Fairy-wrens not far from camp. Early next morning he guided me in to where he’d seen the birds.
No longer had we sat down, (‘up-sun’ and near a shrub to break our outline), and the parents began arriving with food in their beaks.
The small saltbush they were using was the one in the middle of the first picture, above.
We sat for well over an hour and watched the morning feeding session progress and they were quite unperturbed by our presence. The male in particular was a delight.
A lot of netting takes place at Gluepot to assist in monitoring the numbers and movements of birds. The male wren we were snapping had a number of leg rings on both legs.
Day one and I could already die happy!