Thursday, November 22, 2007

Birding on the run.

Eastern Whip Bird. Photo courtesy of NSW National Parks & Wildlife.

Yesterday we had huge storms over the Mountain. For some reason, when the rain stops, the birds come out beside the road. I can only assume it's because of the steam or humidity off the tar that attracts them. I decided to do some bird spotting on the run.

The road itself to the top of our mountain is narrow, twisting and the bush grows right to the edge. It is a mixture of natural,lantana, and bamboo. Maalie knows of the location (its where the bell minors "ding" mate). I immediately was greeted by a Whipbird! I knew the male was in this location because I have heard him constantly. But this is the first time I had seen him. Bell minors too, with their distinct colour and sound were apparent. A short drive on and a family of Superb Wrens flitted about the road side and the low brush. I counted a dozen.

Superb Fairy Wrens. photo courtesy of NSW National Parks & Wildlife.

A superb Bower Bird dark blue, almost black, flew quickly past as too did gallahs.

In this short period of time there was such a burst of bird activity. The climb up the mountain is about 3km, and I was delighted by the numbers of birds I saw.

I had almost reached the top and was greeted by Bronzewing and Crested pigeons. These birds appeared sluggish on the road.
When I got home our resident White Faced Heron was preparing to nest.

Frankly, it was a great way to end the day!


  1. Excellent ending to a day Simon!! Now I know what a Whip Bird looks like AHA!! The Fairy Wrens do seem to be more exposed at the moment, so a great time to spot them - especially after the storms (they are also a photographic nightmare). Birds also arrive here before/during/ and after storms ... is it because humans all hide? Heeheeheee

  2. you bet!

    Whip birds are VERY unasuming. AS for birds in storms.. its a strange behviour.

    Soldier birds seem to doze off on the steamy roads!

  3. By the way, I didn't mean the Fairy Wrens above look like photographic nightmares ... probably the best photos of them I've seen! I've always thought the grubs must wriggle to surfaces if it rains but there is more to it than that. Hmmmm, warm steam ... very interesting!

  4. Back home in the Washington DC area, after summer rainstorms, the worms come out to play at the edge of the tar roads, unwittingly offering themselves as ready to go dinner for the birds. I never understood why they were so ready to play the lemmings. Where's the evolutionary reason that they seemed to learn nothing from their fellow brethrens who generation after generation are being swallowed by the birds?
    So very sweet, the Superb Wren in the photo! I loved the Carolina wrens which used to build their nests in my geranium pots back home. Have you ever visited Abraham Lincoln's beautiful bird blog? He recently posted the most beautiful photograph of a Carolina wren, here.
    The nature around you seems of sheer endless beauty and variety.

  5. Anon! I knew what you meant! (smile).

    I am certain its to do with the heat off the road and perhaps the bugs/insects that fall along the roadside as well. It does seem particular to the "type" of weather... you know that typial hot humidity before the storm hits??

    Merisi! there you go! I see so its the same in Washington! you like the wrens too (smile) the male s always think they are 10 feet tall... funny guys...

  6. What's a 'ding mate'?

    I love that little fat thing sitting on the ball. What is it?

    Here you are having a new prime minister. Hooray. Now when he pulls the troops out of Iraq maybe the tossers who run this government will do the same.


  7. Great to catch up on the news. Have the storms done much to alleviate the drought? Dams full now?

  8. "ding" as in small bell.

    New prime minister... sad but true. The guy has NO credibility.. he has said 'me too " to ALL the Exisiting governement policy. HAs no track record as a minister AT ALL. the BEST economic years have been the past 10 and yes... they could have done it better BUT we will now head into recession. 100% certain...

    Our troops in Iraq? waht/ all 160? would make NO difference to the effort at all. And wach this:_ he will pull out about 20 thats all...

    Maalie:- no mate out west there is no rain.... BTW they have discovered more remains at MUNGO older than MUNGO man!!!

  9. oops.. look at my typing when you get me3 going on labor party..... :o(

  10. Welcome home maalie... done with wandering now for the winter?

  11. Lorenzo! that last photo is a wren like the others. Its just that she puffed herself up , clearly to look like what she was perched on!