birding-aus Seriously charismatic birds

Subject: birding-aus Seriously charismatic birds
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 09:15:22 +1000
As my time in Melbourne is becoming limited, I have decided that I had
better get out and do a few of the things that are best done from
Melbourne.  I therefore took a long weekend and with the family, including
a chicken pox infected 17 month old (with suitable quarantine flags waving
from her poxy body), set out to explore the Great Ocean Road.

Did all the usual things - 12 Apostles, whales at Warnambool, etc etc -
which meant that all the birding I did was passive - the birds had to come
to me.  Even so, I saw two rather nice new birds.  Both of which
essentially reflect the amount of birding I have done along Australia's
south coast.  Southern Emu-wren were also very nice (and while new for my
wife are a fairly common site back in northern NSW).

The first of these was Rufous Bristlebird.  I saw these at the car park at
Loch Ard Gorge near Port Campbell (someone recently advised me that I
should look in a car park somewhere in this part of the word but I lost the
posting - this area certainly fitted the bill.  These are seriously
charismatic birds !!!  I was very impressed with the first one I saw as I
drove in - wonderful views.  Parking the car I took my five year old to see
the sights while my wife stayed in the car with the youngun.  I came back
to change shifts to find my wife all excited about the bristlebirds that
had been picking around her feet.  These birds were not at all afraid.
They even gave the five year old plenty of time to get her binoculars fixed
on them allowing her to rewrite (reasonably well I thought) the
descriptions in the field guides, feather by feather.  Two birds then
commenced calling to each other in full view across the car park.  As I
said, seriously charismatic birds.

The other new one was Striated Fieldwren (aka Calamanthus).  Again seen
around a car park at The Grotto.  Nice to see something new but nothing
special.   However, the next day at Port Fairy I got far better views of
this species and saw them sitting on shrubs singing their little hearts
out.  These were also, I thought, pretty nice birds.  Still not as
charismatic as Rufous Bristlebird but ...

All in all a pleasant weekend with a couple of pretty nice birds through

David Geering

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