Astute reader that you are, and having followed along from the beginning of this blog, will recall that I originally all those years back set it up to document the comings and goings of Red-capped Robins at Woodlands Historic Park.
As the years have gone, things have changed, and among them of course, our move away from the area.
So when we travel back that way we are more or less tourists.
Where once we had a fine almost family familiarity with a number of Red-capped Robin pairs, and were as familiar with each of their territories as they were, today we are just interlopers in their front yard.
We had the chance to spend an afternoon out near the Bandicoot Hilton — otherwise known as “The Backpaddock”, and after a very quiet walk down to the dam area, we were contemplating a quiet afternoon in the said Backpaddock. Very few thornbills, no treecreepers and one, yes, I’m sure it is, one Grey Fantail.
The I heard.
The familiar ‘chirrup, chirrup’ cricket like-noise of a Red-capped Robin.
There he was. All dressed up, and looking the part. And it slowly became clear he wasn’t alone. What we had inadvertantly stumbled into was a Red-capped Nursery.
High in the trees were two young recently fledged chicks. And Mum and Dad were busy as one-armed paperhanger, keeping a good supply of food up to them.
The little dudes are seperated on fledging. Mum looking after one, and some distance away Dad with the second. He will eventually get to look after both of them in a week or so when they are much better flyers. Mum will then set about nesting for the next brood. Hopefully by the time they are ready to fly, the first clutch will help raising their siblings.
On close inspection of the young, I noted that the tails are remarkably short, and the gape, around the beak is big and soft and yellow. So it would seem that they are only recently on the the wing. Perhaps the last day or so.
Ordinarily in times past when we were local, this time would have been less stressful for Mum and Dad, as we would have been accepted as ‘normal’ in the area. But as tourists, it takes a bit longer.
After several hours, Dad did a quick close fly past, and landed just out of arms reach. Settled back, preened and then did a one-legged stance. I took this to be at least acceptance, and nodded, and stepped back. He seemed to settle in the branch, and was satisfied.
On the trip home I was thinking, that I’d forgotten how nice it is to work with these birds. They can be a real challenge, but can also be very accommodating.
Enjoy. We did.
Nice to be back in Grey Box.
6 thoughts on “An Afternoon at Red-capped Robin Nursery”
Lovely series of shots David. What a privilege to be able to spend time with them and be accepted.
It was on the way home that I realised how much I really do enjoy working with Red-capped Robins. Always a challenge, but at the same time they can become quickly very accepting of my presence.
Glad you enjoyed.
Wow, David what stunning shots, what a blessing to see the whole family. That 5874 photo is a real gem and displays true character of the bird. We have only seen the female Red-capped on an Autumn bird walk in Canberra at Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve. Great Post!
They are awesome birds to work with. Had the priviledge a few seasons back to work with a pair in the same area, and they would come out to meet me as i came into their area. She had no hesitation feeding around my feet if I was sitting down on a log.
Here is a link to Primrose
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Glad to see some more young, I haven’t seen them recently, but then again haven’t been visiting as often myself. Thinking of retirement next year, so hopeful that we can have some more outings together in my back yard and your “office” 🙂
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Its pretty much quiet everywhere locally I think. Even the WTP is quite forlorn of its usual great numbers.
We were saying that in times past there were 5 or 6 pairs of Red-capped Robins wiithin easy walk of the carpark. But there seems to be only a very few now. But at least they have the right idea!
Also found a second pair over in the Backpaddock down along the creekline that runs away from the Hospital Dam.
Good luck with the retirement. You are welcome to join us at The Office at anytime. Coffee’s on us.