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.