Wattle Forest, Royal National Park

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Wattle Forest, Royal National Park
From: "Brian Everingham" <>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 2001 14:17:24 +1100
Greetings all and Happy New Year
No longer being party-animals my wife and I greeted the New Year with an early morning birdwatch in Wattle Forest, Royal National Park.
It would appear that the creches are now fully operational. The morning seemed more like a wander through a nursery.
On arrival we watched a Dusky Moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosa, building a platform in open water about 5m from the nearest reed bed. It would take a strand of weed and swim with the strand back to the platform, sometimes climbing on board, sometimes dropping it on the edge. Sometimes there would be a most impressive tug-of-war as it took hold of a reed that was firmly in place.We could have watched this for hours. Now I saw no young and no partner in this building effort. I am not sure if this was a resting place or a future nesting platform. If the latter it is quite late in the season.
In addition we also enjoyed active adult feeding of young by Eastern Yellow Robin, Eopsaltria australis, and regular visits to its overhanging, suspended nest attached to a vine by Yellow Throated Scrubwren, Sericornis citreogularis. This was at a place where a second hanging nest was actively being maintained and visited some two months prior to today's visit. I have no way of knowing if this was a second nesting or another pair entirely. The two nests were about 2m apart.
Other juveniles in the vicinity included active and visible Eastern whipbirds, Psophodes olivaceus and Australian Ground Thrush, Zoothera lunulata.
The Black faced Monarchs(Monarcha melanopsis) are still present and Green Catbirds (Ailuroedus crassirotris) are also visible, though very quiet. Satin Bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) seem most active and visible. The bower at the entrance to the forest is a little tatty but well-stocked with blue decoration and the adult male is close by and is keeping a close guard on his domain.
One new bird in this area for me was Olive Backed Oriole (Oriolus sagittatus). I do not have records for this bird in this location and today there were two birds present. There were also several Rufous Fantails (Rhipidura rufifrons) as well as the more regular Grey Fantails( Rhipidura fuliginosa).
All up a total of 45 species in this location this morning between 7.30 and 9.00am. A most pleasant way to greet the morning. And easily the best location I know to guarantee seeing Superb Lyrebird at their most confiding!!!
Brian Everingham
PO Box 269
NSW 2233
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