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!

Life in our garden

night-jar

Glenda Datson wrote on Jan 18 2012

Well, the Night Jar has flown the coop so to speak. We heard him on dusk, then at 3am but he is no longer in the box. We did however hear a Leaden Flycatcher this morning.

We also managed to dispatch a large black cat to the council pound via a vet. For 12 months we had had the remains of rabbits and birds being deposited in our garden in one general area and were unsure as to the culprit. Now it is a good thing that it was controlling the rabbits but not good for our wildlife. Then we found a very fresh rabbit leg with the flesh chewed off all around the bone so on the basis of the likelihood of the killer returning for the remainder the following night, we set an approved trap with the leg placed inside and bingo! Problem was the council pound is not open on weekends so we had to feed and water and generally care for the animal till Monday morning. Then we found that unless you have collected and paid for a trap from the council they won’t collect it from you and you cannot take it directly to the pound. But we were advised to take it to a vet and if it was found to not be microchipped the council ranger would collect it from there and take it to the pound for disposal, unless of course an owner claimed it upon payment of a fee. So the vet found it was not microchipped and the ranger collected it, we got out trap back, and it is likely that that is the last we will see of that cat anyway.

May be Land Care could consider obtaining some leaflets from council on cats and responsibilities of owners and legislative requirements, eg. night curfews, and depositing them into letterboxes. I will press the council to re-advertise these requirements.

What do people think?

Glenda

Reply from Chris Lehmann

Glenda,

that’s fabulous news!

Keen to know how long the nightjar stays, we had one for a week or 2 during August 2008.

It was looking out of the box most of the time (for 2 days) just like your photo – then disappeared.
ring-tail-a-bit-hot

king-parrot-drying-off

Juliette Milbank posted on Jan 17 2012

I think that’s a lovely idea. I was thinking something similar last year when I had so many residents say that one of the reasons they moved to Baranduda was for the wildlife – everybody has their own story to tell.

Last year friends watched a mother kangaroo with a young joey come down every morning for a few months to feed just below their bottom fence. A gentleman on Wickham court was very concerned about the frog in his back garden (Sloanes froglet, I think). Others told me about their local wildlife visitors.

We often find Ja Ja (old male Eastern Grey) lying or feeding next to our side fence (Nick and I have ‘bumped’ into him a few times coming home), we had an echidna regularly in our backyard a couple of years ago, and it wandered across the front porch one day too. Lots of birds and there have been many other animals – we keep a list on our study wall of those that we have seen within our garden.

Sounds like a great idea Chris if we can find the time to do it and we get good photos to go with most stories. I’ve attached small versions of a few of our photos: an interesting grasshopper that liked our front screen door, the echidna I spoke of above, and a curious friar bird that was after the insects and/or spiders on our front porch.

Juliette

P.S. Pete got an iPad recently and found a fantastic application from Museum Victoria (I think) which is a field guide. It has a whole list of Victorian animals, birds, amphibians, insects etc and includes calls or sounds as well as photos for many of them – highly recommended, especially if you have young children (Nick loves it), but also good for adults.
2006-11-30_echidna

2010-09-20friarbird

2006-09-13grasshopper

On 14/04/2012

Juliette wrote
The night before last about 10pm I heard what sounded like a very large ‘mouse’ in our roof. Pete didn’t believe me so I bounded outside with a torch and climbed onto the table on our decking to take a look.

As I shone the torch onto the north-eastern corner of our roof, where the northern and eastern facing slopes meet down at the guttering, I heard some scrabbling and a little face squeezed out from under the roofing iron and looked up straight at me – I was less than a metre away. It was a ring-tail possum and it was transfixed by the torch and stayed still for several minutes until Pete came out of the house.

Pete brought his camera with him (he hasn’t yet downloaded the photos though) and although it was a bit shy, the possum eventually came out and walked along the gutter and finally jumped over to a nearby bush, at which stage we left it in peace.

We have a resident brush-tail that often walks down that side fence (and picks the tomatoes in my vegie patch), but we’ve never seen a ring-tail and never had one in the roof before. I was wondering if the trees knocked over for the sewerage connection near Wickham court may be causing some wandering in the local population. As I heard it in the roof again tonight I think we’re going to have to try and evict it (entice it out) and then block up the holes.

With all the trees knocked over behind the school and shop on Friday, I imagine that there will be quite a few more itinerant animals looking for homes.