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!

Eastern Whipbird

On October 7 Glenda Datson wrote

Bernie and I distinctly heard 3 calls of the Eastern Whipbird south of Ewarts Road, Baranduda Regional State Park yesterday arvo., Don’t know if this has been recorded in the park before?

Glen Johnson wrote

I’ll check at work today – – think that it would be reasonable though.  If you can provide more detailed location I’ll submit into the Vic Biodiversity Atlas for you.  GJ

Bower birds

On November 7th Ron Herbert wrote:

What is the story re male bower birds? Is there only one to service say, half a dozed females. We have plenty of green females but only see the black male on the odd occasion.

Glen Johnson replied

Bower birds – I think generally there’s only one male but get the impression like humans, the odd male from outside the territory tries to lure females too.  Green ones can be females or might also be young males yet to fully colour up.

Koel at Baranduda

On November 7th Chris Lehmann wrote

5.30 AM … very clear and close calls of a KOEL.
Another new critter for us to confirm.
Can someone else confirm if they hear or see the bird please.

Glen Johnson replied

Very possible – they have a distinctive call (see links below) not sure whether Albury’s summer migrant is back there in town yet.
I haven’t heard of Koel recorded in Baranduda previously?   
Ps Everyone keep their eyes and ears out for Regent Honeyeaters – and look for bands.  We received photo’s of one of the 2013 released Chiltern birds feeding on flowering red bottlebrush in garden in Eldorado (from Cup day).

On Nov 7 Chris Lehmann wrote

CONFIRMED sighting.
4 Quoll Road.
Being mobbed by Wattlebirds.
Glenda Datson wrote
Yes, it woke me about 5.30 and heard again about 7.30am. But I hadn’t heard it ever before and didn’t know what it was.

Fallow Deer

On Nov 6 2013 Neville Bartlett wrote

At 18:40 this evening I saw two visitors in Hempel’s paddock so went back and got the camera. Thanks to one of the local kangaroos (who looked indignantly in the  appropriate direction), I was able to find the visitors and get some shots. These shots were taken in the parkland just west of Jenny Bennett’s place – very close to Glen’s place.

Deer #1 (0951) Sm

On Nov 6th Glen Johnson replied:

Hi Neville – great shots once again.  Attached are a few pics from last month showing one of the older beasts coming through our back fence.  GJ


White browed scrub wren

On November 6 Glen Johnson wrote:

A couple of weeks ago while harvesting at our place (code for whipper snippering) I managed to unearth a ground level White Browed Scrub Wren nest next to a small tree I was snippering around.  It was the first time I’ve actually found a Scrubwren nest at our place NOT in our carport or shed. And the first time I’ve found one on the ground.  I actually whipper snippered the top off the nest before I realised it was there – exposing downy feathers used to line the top of the cul de sac nest.  I then promptly whacked some grass clippings and other stuff back over to cover it up.  They were still feeding young or visiting the nest a few days later.  Cheers GJ

Long Billed Corella and Wood Ducks

On the 6th November Neville Bartlett wrote

We have a new visitor this morning – a Long-billed Corella

Long-billed Corella (0942) SmLong-billed Corella (0941) Sm
We seem to be on the very edge of this species’ range.
Also, the Wood Ducks at the Barton Drive pond now have a family of 8 young.
The male has been hissing at passers-by for the last couple of weeks.

Wood Duck Family (0911) Sm

On the 6th November Glen Johnson replied

Oooh well done Neville – I must admit I’ve been (potentially incorrectly) assuming only Little Corrella when I’ve been seeing and hearing Corella’s over the last few months (seen/heard since Aug in groups of 2- 5). So that’s great photographic confirmation.  Pink in cheeks and long bill is very distinctive.
On a sadder note on Monday at about 5.45pm I went past the dam and noticed both parents and chicks in dam – but then went back past later that night (6.30pm) and one adult had been run over – dead.  It must have pushed its luck and car aggression too much.

Pied Butcher Birds

Chris Lehmann wrote on Sept 19 2013
After a long time since my last sighting (was it Spring/Summer last year?), I heard and saw a pair of PBB’s near Frayne this morning around 9am.
The pair was sitting high in Eucalypts on opp. sides of the Blvd on the south corner of Blvd and Boyes Rd.
Watched and waited for evidence of a nest, but I saw nothing.
Glen Johnson replied:
Interesting to see whether they continue to gradually expand back towards the range or stick to the flat open country.  I’ll put the record in our DEPI statewide data base. GJ
On Oct 25 Chris Lehmann wrote

3 sightings this week.
1. Heard the (beautiful) mournful call behind our place (Quoll Rd) on Sunday morning.
2. One PBB at Westmont intersection on Wednesday.
3. One PBB at the Boulevard/Beechworth Rd roundabout (close to Wodonga) on Thursday.
I wonder what their range is? Could these all be the same bird(s)?
Note: about 3-4 weeks ago, there was a pair at the Westmont intersection.
On Oct 25 Glen Johnson wrote:
Not sure on home range size – 2&3 being the same bird or pair is likely – potentially all three as they are relatively thin on the ground (around here).
On Nov 3 Glenda Datson wrote
We heard this bird in the tree block near us about 3 weeks ago.  They are likely the same birds which Neville has been photographing over the last 2-3 years at Westmont.

Bats in Pardalote Box

From Glenda Datson:

We took the pardalote box down today to clean out the mudwasp nests (wasp took over box at end of last season) ready for this season’s pardalote nesting and right behind and on top of the grass nesting material which the pardalotes had carried in there are at least 3 bats snuggled down.  Didn’t want to disturb too much but probably need to, to identify them. e.g. Little Forest Bat, Chocolate Wattled Bat or Gould’s Wattled Bat.  So it seems they too like a nice snug bed in the winter.  I wonder if they are able to co-exist with the pardalotes?

Reply from Glen Johnson:

I think we’re still yet to get a bat formally in one of our bat boxes (have in the past in gilder boxes) but this is a new box type for bats.  Might have missed the chance but if you can take a pic we’ll likely be able to confirm ID.

No – both species wouldn’t co-exist at the same time in the nest.  GJ