Bristlebirds at Barren Grounds

To: "birding-aus, birding-aus" <>
Subject: Bristlebirds at Barren Grounds
From: John Clifton-Everest <>
Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 10:08:20 +1000
In a four hour walk in Barren Grounds Reserve (NSW Southern Highlands)
yesterday, Sunday, we were suprised to find the Eastern Bristlebirds so
very much in evidence.  We counted 15+ (a couple flitted by and were
just probables), mostly in quite different locations.  On our last
visit, during spring, we had difficulty finding more than one, perhaps
because they were occupied with nesting.  This time many of them fed
unconcernedly only metres in front of us on the track, allowing
excellent views.  They were only slightly less confiding than one
Beautiful Firetail, which hopped out of a bush and nibbled grass-seeds
just one metre away, and more or less maintained that distance as we
walked along -- the best view I have ever had of this species.
Regarding the Bristlebirds, we were struck by how poorly the pictures in
the fieldguides (Slater and Slater, Pizzey and Knight, Simpson and Day ?
but not necessarily Morcombe, which we haven't yet acquired) represented
what we saw.  The birds were much rounder (fattened up for winter?) and
with cockier tails than the images show.  They also generally had a much
larger and more distinct area of pale on their throats ? however Pizzey
and Knight suggest that this varies, and so it may be different in other
populations.  Any comment from the experts?

John Clifton-Everest

Associate Professor John M. Clifton-Everest
Department of Germanic Studies
University of Sydney
(61) (2) 9351 2262
Fax (61) (2) 9351 5318

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