As opposed to 3 days and no robins.
Had to motor to the northern subs today for a doc appointment. Well I got that out of the way, and EE and I decided to make use of the time and take a trip down to Woodlands Historic Park and see if the Flame Robins had learned how to fly over the off limits to humans, Backpaddock.
The paddock is a secure area of about that is part of the Eastern Bandicoot Re-establishment programme. Currently locked because a fox has managed to get into the area and threaten the bandicoots. One bandicoot making not much more than a take-away snack for a hungry fox. Fox,by the way, was let into the area, by some banana-boat who propped the secure gates open. The team from the Conservation Volunteers and Park staff have been working since the incursion in early April 2014 to nail the little critter. Apparently at this stage without success.
Grew up in the country, (The Mallee), we had a Fox-terrier Blue-heeler Cross. She was able to smell a fox spore from out the back of a ute. Took about half an hour to find said fox. And little more than a few seconds to despatch it. Quick, clean, neat, and cost effective. Now, “Dog” (that was her official name. Said so on the council paper) is of course no longer with us. But given her efficiency, many a scalp hung on the fence line. Dog would explode off the back of the ute and be on the job in about a millisecond. So I’m personally a bit non-plussed that in this day and age, its taken from April to now (early June) to find, locate, and despatch a fox that is within a fenced off area.
I can’t imagine someone is standing in the middle of the park calling ‘Foxy, Foxy” or expecting said criminal to come out with its paws up. No doubt the foxes of the 21st century have GPS and close contact radar warning and other technical stuff to improve their efficiency.
But, I digress.
Public Disclaimer: The team working on the Bandicoot programme have done some fantastic work, in spite of some complex issues and I sincerely wish them all the best of success. My poor bird photography doesn’t come anywhere in the scheme of things. Good on ya Travis.
We went instead to visit Jack of Eastern Yellow Robin fame. And about as fast as “Dog”, Jack came bounding out to see us. It was more like him visiting us, than the other way around. Took great delight in sharing a bath in some water EE had tracked in, and then spent time preening before speeding off. And so did we. Not much else happening in that area, Except, funnily enough, as we were walked back to the car, just down toward the rangers work area, we spotted two Foxes.
Pretty easy to pick. Brown looking things, with long tails and sharp teeth. We watched them go about their respective businesses and smiled that poor old “Dog” would not have been allowed in the park to deal with them.
Back at the car we travelled further out and were able to find our new friend “Ambrose” and he looked resplendent in his lovely rose red dress. Then to our surprise he had a friend, A female Pink Robin. She was a little less enthusiastic for the camera, but it was a good find. Think we also have Ambrose’s lady, “Rosy” in there somewhere too, but couldn’t make the connection. On to the further east toward Sunbury and we found several Flame Robins, and the figured it was lunch time, so moved on again.
After lunch it was time for home, and EE suggested why not go back past Woodlands, call into Providence Road and have a look for the Red-caps we’d seen on a previous trip. Suits me. On the way down to the dam area, we came across a family of White-winged Choughs. Very intent about their business, and we were soon surrounded by about 30 birds. Lots of choughness going on. And even mutual preening.
And then, “Peter” the male Red-capped Robin turned up, and his lovely little lady. She is without doubt the smallest Red-capped Robin I’ve ever seen. Minute, not petite. To top if off a pair of Scarlet Robins came down the roadway, and we’d the chance to write up 6 different Robins for the day. Not a bad effort considering.
Dog would have been pleased with our hunting experience.