Ulladulla Osprey, southern emu wren

Subject: Ulladulla Osprey, southern emu wren
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 13:19:24 +1000

Sat 26th March


Warden head: Sat afternoon I visited  Warden Head Lighthouse and stumbled across an osprey!! It flew up from the lookout with a large mammal (for it to carry) in its talons, possibly a young rabbit. Although I only saw it for ~8 seconds, it was only 10m from me and I got good views of the chest collar of brown speckles, the white throat and belly, the black stripe extending back from its eye and the small crest. This bird had brown flecks though its white crown and more brown specks on the chest than I remember from other birds I have seen and I suspect it was an immature bird. I walked along a newly made trail creeping through tea tree and startled a small mammal, most probably a bush rat.


Ulladulla: Heathland Reserve. Main flowers were red tubular flowers of native fushia and also a Pimelia and  yellow Banksias including coastal banksia (Banksia integrifolia) and 'saw' banksia (B.serrata). All these flowers supported a large number of honeyeaters, mainly dozens of New Holland Honeyeaters and Brush Wattlebirds, plus a couple of red wattlebirds. two huge white bellied sea eagles were circling the whole time (2 hours), One bird was noticeably larger, probably a female, this bird was also darker and in Simpson and Day (1996) it says birds get lighter with age. A brown goshawk also flew over. Other birds seen 15 red browed finches and a whipbird up close.


 I had almost given up on seeing the southern emu wren, which was the main reason I went to the reserve, and was about the leave the heathland for the car, when I heard a wren alarm call, tziit tziit. I waited for a minute and a male appeared out in the open, the rufous crown actually caught my gaze and allowed me to see the bright blue face and throat and incredibly long tail held erect. I didn't get to see the shy female, but could hear it close bye. It was good to see these birds again, after many years.


Benj Whitworth





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