On Sunday I headed east to return to my old stamping ground for a couple of days. Around Rosedale, images of the coffee and sandwich in the back of the ute were beginning to pop into my head. I swung south toward Holey Plains State Park and the Merrimans Creek picnic area.
I took a chair, lunch and the camera down onto the grassy river bank and after satisfying the inner man began listening and looking. Many of the eucs were loaded with blossom and much of the Mistletoe was in flower – the honeyeaters were abundant.
A small group of White-naped Honeyeaters were squabbling over the feeding rights of some blossom nearby and gave the opportunity for a few nice diagnostic pics of this often very active bird.
Incidentally, I wonder why it’s not called the Red-eyed Honeyeater? Usually I hear this bird first, then a scan through the binoculars catches the red eye patch in the black face to confirm the sighting. I find the white nape band is often hard to see.
|'Ahhh, there's the white nape'.|
My normal perception is that many birds go quiet in the middle of the day. This day however was the exception to the rule. Golden Whistlers began calling from both sides of the creek and oddly over the next half hour or more I could only tick several males, with not a female to be seen – perhaps it was a territorial dispute.
The male ‘goldens’ called to, (yelled at?), one another from both sides of the creek without giving much attention to my presence sitting in the sun right beneath and beside them. They put on a wonderful lunchtime concert for me.
Things went quiet for a bit and I began to think of making tracks back to the ute when the little bush birds that I’d seen darting briefly from one bit of cover to the next, (thornbills and scrubwrens), began to issue forth their more strident warning calls. Then I heard the distinctive ‘whistling-the-dog’ call of a Shining Bronze Cuckoo as explanation.
|Shining Bronze Cuckoo.|
I opted to forgo a few of the tasks I wanted to achieve for the afternoon and to stay a bit longer. The cuckoo sat and called from various perches for some time and even after moving my chair into some low scrub for a bit of extra camouflage, the bird continued its calling.
I then realized there was a second bird nearby and the individual I had in sight began to display.
This luncheon interlude in my trip east will remain an agreeable memory for some time.Gouldiae