Sunday, March 20, 2011

What has a Chestnut Rump and Blue Wings?

Cox Scrub Conservation Park is one of my absolute favourite birding places. I love it due to the habitat and also because I have never encoutered another human there! Now that is my kind of park!! It is near Meadows in the Fleurieu Peninsula is a great little place to go if you like hiking in sandy tracks! You need a reasonable level of fitness if you want to go up one of the tracks which is over 5km uphill in sand! But, you can stay on the border track which, although sandy it is  wider and less steep. Which ever you choose, the park always provides good birding, even in the afternoon when generally things quieten down.

Cox Scrub

Yesterday I did a few hours in the morning along 2 of my usual routes. and was immediately aware of the large number of New Holland Honeyeaters currently around. There were plenty of Adelaide Rosellas, Pardelotes, there were less Woodswallows than usual and only a few Peaceful Doves calling.

A large flock of Musk Lorikeets created a stir for while. One in particular looked very dark and shabby. I expect he may have found somewhere nearby to bath before landing near me to preen himself. His mate gave him a hand and I observed them cuddling for a while.

Musk Lorikeets

A bit further along I came across a Southern Brown Bandicoot foraging with its little bare pink nose. They are lovely little football sized beasties and sadly their numbers are really declining in SA. I am used to seeing them in stringybark habitat so it was nice to see one in a sandy heath mallee environment. 

Southern Brown Bandicoot

Then some nice Elegant Parrots came in and were most obliging!

This was all very nice but was not what I came here for. I was on a mission to stake out a good spot for Chestnut Rumped Heathwren for a friend who needs one for his SA list. He couldnt come with me so I figured I'd find some good spots to bring him back to. I eventually noticed movement in a shrub very close to me and yes, Chestnut Rumped Heathwren - NOICE!!!!! He was not calling at the time. On noticing me grabbing for my camera  he went flying across my path and into bushes a fair way further up the track. BUGGER !

So, for the next hour we played hide and seek. Mainly him hiding and me seeking! At one stage he called and another answered so I had one on each side of me.  Each time I'd get onto one of them with my Bins but they'd move again so no time for photos as they just would not sit still long enough.

This did not stop me trying though!
            Nearlly all the photos are like this.... Yes there is one in this photo. Can you join the dots?

Eventually I got one lousy photo then decided to leave the little blighters to it. I did not want to stress them. I was happy to have spent some time with them and just observe them doing their thing for a while.

It was a fun morning and I will take my friend there soon. Even though there was a lot of hide and seek going on good views were definately had of this lovely little bird. A nice way to spend a Saturday morning!