Chestnut-rumped Heathwren

Subject: Chestnut-rumped Heathwren
From: Gil Langfield <>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 20:48:39 +1100
Some of you may remember my request for sites for the Chestnut-rumped
Heathwren near to Melbourne which I posted last September.  Well, I have
finally been sucessful in my search for this difficult bird, thanks to the
information provided by the group.

I have looked in four places for the species.  While I was at Barren Grounds
(NSW) in late December, I looked in the spot nominated in Thomas & Thomas
"The Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia", namely the "clear
area" on the Griffin Trail.  I did not spend much time there and did not see
the bird.

Another place mentioned for this species in T & T. was the Cyanide Road area
at Chiltern in Victoria.  I spent much more time here, an evening and
morning on 22/23 December and another evening on New Year's Day.  I may have
been looking in the wrong place because T. & T.'s map and description do not
match in regard to the "first road leading east" off Cyanide Road.  I looked
in the first roads both east and west without success.

Peter Lansley sent me information on a spot near the ruined Gowar school,
between Castlemaine and Maldon in Victoria.  I went there last weekend and
thought at first I had seen it briefly.  But after a little research at home
I discarded the sighting, because of the very indistinct streaking on the
breast and the non-cocking of the tail while perched.  I thought at first,
it may have been a juvenile or there may have been differences between the
coastal and inland forms of the bird.

Lawrie Conole faxed me a mud-map of part of the Angahook-Lorne State Park
near Anglesea in Victoria.  He had marked two places in good detail and I
visited both in October 1996 without sighting the bird.  After some
clarification from Lawrie on one of the spots, I went back there yesterday
and in the area off Bald Hills Road, eventually saw one individual pretty
well, with very bold streaking on the breast, cocked tail, chestnut rump and
what seemed to be spotting around the face area.  The bird was interested in
the pishing (?) noises I was making and came relativley close at first
before realising I was a birdwatcher and then hiding.

I was happy to see the species at last after a total of about 9 hours of
dedicated travel and 14.5 hours of watching.


Gil Langfield
Melbourne, Australia

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