Friday, February 20, 2015

The Rufous Fantail - Cuckoo Saga - Episode 2

Today I went back to check on the progress of the Rufous Fantail’s herculean task of raising a cuckoo. The cuckoo is still in on the nest and still being fed by the poor overworked fantails.

Apparently both Pallid and Brush Cuckoos like to use open cup-shaped nests of fantails, Willie Wagtails, etc, (whereas Fan-tailed Cuckoos and both ‘Bronze’ Cuckoos prefer the dome-shaped nests of thornbills, scrubwrens, fairy wrens and heathwrens).

According to the field guides, the juvenile Brush Cuckoo is heavily barred dark brown. At the moment it is looking like a baby Brush Cuckoo to me. More monitoring required, but!

Swamp Wallaby
Nearly each time I have visited this picnic ground, an old Swamp Wallaby has appeared and grazed away, not caring too much by my presence. He/she is a little grey on top and around the face, and is displaying a few battle scars. Some horse riders went by today and the horses were more flighty than the wallaby when they each caught sight of the other.

Brush Bronzewing
I took a little used bush track on the way home today and scattered several small groups of Brush Bronzewing pigeons. This fairly uncommon bird is smaller and more colourful than the Common Bronzewing. The last bird managed to not fly off immediately and let me get some pictures, albeit with the light not quite right for my camera, (or me), to capture those stunning colours on the wing coverts. (Gimp to the rescue!)

The only other incident to report is that after turning onto Black Snake Creek Rd and travelling 500m, I had to give way to a … Red-bellied Black Snake. It was camera shy and disappeared rapidly into the roadside vegetation


  1. An interesting post. Great shots of the Cuckoo and Rufous Fantail.