An odd "scrub bird"

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: An odd "scrub bird"
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2008 17:53:45 +1000
Being a hard core bushwalker, I made the most of the opportunity to spend Easter on the Ballow Rim [SEQ - NSW on the other side of the ridge in parts]. Arguably, the paired Mounts Barney and Ballow make up the best mountain complex [volcanic massif] with over a dozen named summits between them. Briefly, the route involved going up Barney Ck from the Upper Portals to Ballow Ck, then up a long viney ridge to Nothofagus Pk, along to Double Peak, down to Ballow Ck, and out via Cedar Pass.

There aren't a lot of birds to be seen while bushwalking in that area, but I had good views of a pair of Albert's on Junction Peak [~1300 metres]. Most of the lyrebirds I heard this weekend were "gronking" and I started "talking" to one calling near the summit. I saw one bird perched in a tree, then realised that there were two perched side by side [the first time I've seen that]. Alberts are very agile in trees - they run along branches and can bound up several branches in no time. For a large bird, they don't make a lot of noise when they move about - I was watching one on a branch about 20 metres away when noticed a branch swaying 8 metres away - the other bird was peering at me - it had crept up "under the cover" of it's mate's calling. Cute.

I also saw a small chocolate-coloured bird scurrying mouse-like along the floor of the nothofagus forest on Junction Peak. I didn't have binoculars with me at the time [I had wandered over to send a text message to a friend who hadn't taken up the offer to come on the walk], but I was close enough to have fair bare-eyed views. I noticed that it was dark-eyed, cock-tailed and it really zipped along a log. I could rule out the three scrub-wren species. Rufous Scrub Bird was the closest fit that I could think of, though I thought the tail was a bit shorter than I remembered [left the field guide at home and haven't seen one for a couple of years - been seeing bristlebirds and grasswrens instead]. I'm pretty sure the bird was checking me out, as I started "talking" to it when I first heard it call [not a loud territorial call]. The other interesting thing about the bird was that it was oscillating through a 70 degree V at one stage. There were no other birds about, so it was not part of a flock.

I would be interested if anyone has can make some informed speculations.

Regards, Laurie.

PS, I got a few shots of a dark brown 8 cm long frog this morning if any one is interested. It jumped close to two metres when I disturbed it.


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message: unsubscribe (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • An odd "scrub bird", L&L Knight <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU