Between the weather and some other family activities, we’ve not been out near Woodlands in about two weeks.
The afternoon looked moderately clear, and after a really long decision process over ‘mow the lawn’ or go look at the birds, we were in the car and heading out.
Just about everybody has been saying that the bird activity has quietened down out there, and a couple of reports show next to no activity from the Flame Robins at all.
A quick look around the dam area revealed that the reports were indeed correct. Not even a sight of the birds we’ve come to expect as locals. Even the Little Pied Cormorant and the Australasia Grebe had moved else where.
Bumped into Neil A, as we went back up the paddock and he’d found a single female Redcap. At first I thought it might be Primrose, but no such luck, perhaps one of her daughters as I’d seen them together a bit some weeks back. Then after about 10 minutes Primrose did turn up. She has a somewhat dilapidated coat, as she won’t moult completely for about a month or more just before the season starts. No sign of Lockie, and I think the brave little dude must have become Goshawk snack time.
No other Redcap males in the area, and Neil reported seeing only one in the area inside the backpaddoock. I think they’ve moved further down the range, but don’t have time to get out and do a good scout about.
While we were talking a Grey Shrike-thrush moved on to a tree nearby and taking a small stick began to poke it among the bark on the tree. Very quickly it came out with some goodie attached, and the bird calmly jammed one end of the stick into the bark for leverage and then like a kebab ate the goodie off the stick. I’ve always admired the GST for its lovely melodic sound, but now I’m even more impressed at is ability to use tools.
Into the back paddock, and the reports were indeed correct. Not even a wing flap, no tree creeper, nor sitellas. Not even the rush of Thornbills. After a bit of a scout round, we took to going up hill into the open scrub area just before the first hill. And here we found a small hunting party of Flame Robins. Perhaps 3 males, and 2 female/juveniles. But they were quickly gone.
What seems most strange is that a fortnight back, there were close to 30-40 birds working over the area, now just a handful. Perhaps they’ve all gone to Torquay.
Much to do, but not too many great images this winter.