About Glen Johnson

Secretary, Baranduda Landcare Baranduda resident since 1994 Native plants and animals enthusiast

Scarlet Robin – Winter Dawn

They’re back!  scarlet-robinScarlet Robins are one of three ‘red’ breasted robins that seasonally inhabit Baranduda.

Scarlet’s are the most common (that I encounter).  Like all the ‘red’ breasted robins, it’s the adult males that exhibit the showy ‘red’ (in this case scarlet) colouration.  Scarlet males are characterised by having a prominent white forehead spot – the most noticeable (largest) of the red robins with a white, top of bill spot on their forehead. But it’s the beautiful warbling ‘sh-sh-sha-weeya’ call that is usually the first giveaway that Scarlet’s are once again in our area.  Scarlet’s like the Flame Robin are autumn-winter altitudinal migrants that move down out of the mountains in the cooler months to frequent our open pastures and wooded hills.  A sign of winter dawning!

By the way the other ‘red’ breasted robin in our neck of the woods is the very infrequently encountered Red-capped Robin.  But that’s not all – there’s a chance that you may even see Rose or Pink Robin in forested sections of the Baranduda Range – but they too are a very rare proposition for Baranduda.

Yet, fortunately, one of my favourite species – the beautiful inquisitive Eastern Yellow Robin – can be a relatively common species in larger native gardens adjoining remnant bush in our area.   Keep an eye and ear out for Robins in your patch!

Lace Monitor, Baranduda Range

Magnificent lace monitors Baranduda Range

Magnificent lace monitors Baranduda Range

Tony (Marsh) and I encountered these Lace Monitors while on our way into the Baranduda Range on a trip to collect seed from the threatened Swainsona sericea population.Lace Monitors are Australia’s second largest lizard and can grow up to 2m.  They are exceptional tree climbers and are generally found in larger wooded remnants particularly those containing older hollow bearing trees – both dead and alive and standing and fallen.  Hollows are particularly important as they provide day and night refuge (protection and rest spots) as well as nest and roost sites for prey.

Lace monitors enjoying the late afternoon sun

Lace monitors enjoying the late afternoon sun

They feed on a wide variety of vertebrates (including fish and rabbit), birds eggs and carrion (dead carcasses).  They nest by excavating a cavity in active termite mounds where they lay 8-12 eggs.  Termites repair the mound to seal in the eggs and in so doing provide a temperature regulated (insulated) and relatively protected environment – albeit one regularly subject to red fox predation.