Pink Robin at Woodlands

On Friday, we looked out the window early in the morning to a clear sky and by breakfast a lovely sunny day.  Not to be wasted we packed to go out for a morning’s sit in the park. But. By the time we’d got the car loaded, it was a bit, well, you know, overcast.  So I went in to get the Drizabone and just as I came out to the car, it began to rain.

Back inside.

But by lunch time the rain had receded. Think that is the technical term.

We headed down the old hospital dam area and were hard pressed to find a bird. Any bird. After a lot of scouting about, we did locate a small hunting party of Flame Robins. So it was beginning to look better. The scrub near the dam is mostly Blackwood Wattle, and I was lining up on one bird when I heard a loud “TICH TICH” in the greenery right next to me.  Peering into the undergrowth I could see some movement, and the TICH TICH repeated.  But it didn’t match any calls I was aware of too loud for a Red-cap, and too sharp for a Scarlet, and the Flames have a much more sedate contact call, more of a trill.

Then as calm as you like, it hopped out of the greenery, and on to  a stick.  And I managed one shot, before it danced about on the ground and then moved to another tree. Fascinated, I followed.  EE was on to it by this time as well, so we were going to get a good id.

At first I thought it might be a darkly coloured female Flame. But its attitude and stance was far from Flame-like.  It also carried on its wings some distinctive rich Tan ‘broken arrow’ feathers. Most of the robins I know are white, or buff in that department.

More mystery.  Once home, the id books weren’t much help, the best being a drawing by Nic Day of a Pink Robin.  So off to Flickr.  And mostly the response was Pink Robin.

Spent this morning pouring over HANZAB and Bowles “Flycatchers and Robins of Australia”, now the book is pretty much outdated, and if you don’t mind, we don’t, because of our very strict policy of “Rules for Ethical Bird Photography”, take pictures of birds on nest like that anymore.  After all cutting down branches from nesting sites, (and allowing the hatchet marks to be seen in the photo), is as Paris Hilton is want to say, “Well, so yesterday”.

But among the pics of the Pink Robin was one showing the tan wing bars.

Excited I attempted to borrow EE’s field guide. She uses “Slaters, Field guide to Australian Birds’.  Never try to borrow someone else’s field guide.  Answering the ‘why? question is too hard.

Slater really nails the id with the Pink Robin as ‘not having any white tail edges, unlike most other robins.” Bingo.

My bird doesn’t have those white markings.

So here is a Pink Robin. First for me, anywhere let alone in Woodlands.  Hope it might stay around a few days.


Edited update: Checked with my source of all things in lists at Woodlands and Richard says no records of them before.

lcriding suggested Ms Pink, so Ms Pink it is. Hope she approves.

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6 thoughts on “Pink Robin at Woodlands

  1. Hi Dave, beautiful shots, as usual. I have only seen a pink robin once, many years ago at Blackwood and it was a male. No camera of course. I had no idea what a female looked like. Very pretty actually, those wing bars are something special.


    1. G,day Rodger,
      I think the wingbars and the brilliant little call were the giveaways that it was a new bird for us. Must admit if I’d have wanted to see one, I wouldn’t have started at Woodlands. Pity the male is not in attendance.
      Still we’ll keep looking


  2. Well done David. The story of your detective work to ID the Pink Robin is matched by your excellent shots of this beautiful bird. A real delight to see!


    1. Hi Christine, thanks for the comments. Funnily enough, I knew when we first saw it that I was looking at something different, but what? It didn’t do the things we’d come to expect of the local robins, and so it had to be a new bird.
      Had some help from the Flickr experts to get me going.

      Be intrigued to see if it sticks around for the winter.


      Thanks for the comments. She is pretty special. There doesn’t seem to have a been an official reporting of a Pink in the Park ever. So this just a bit more entertaining.

      Was trying to think of a name for her and you’ve nailed it. Ms Pink it is.

      Everybody wants to see the male! Be nice if was out there as well, time will tell, as we’ll make another run out during the week. Weather or not.


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