Golden Whistler in Ivanhoe, Vic.

To: "" <>
Subject: Golden Whistler in Ivanhoe, Vic.
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Thu, 03 May 2001 17:38:28 +1000
My late breakfast (c. 9.30am) tends to coincide with the morning visit
by our mixed feeding flock of small birds.  As well as four Gang Gangs
who flew overhead, followed by a pair of Black Ducks, this morning we
had some very active White-browed Scrubwrens, a twitter of Brown
Thornbills, some brown Blue Wrens, Blackbirds, the Eastern Spinebills
and the star performer- a beautiful male Golden Whistler poised on the
low branch of the Sheoak! All up in the courtyard and near the back
windows. We occasionally see GWs in our garden (which slopes down to
Darebin Creek) but they are usually grey birds- always in autumn/winter.
(The last time I saw a male here was when I was packing kids into the
car for the school run on a winter morning c. 1980, I think.)  

  Golden Whistlers used to be quite a lot commoner. In the early 70s,
when I first started birding around Wilson Reserve, I used to see them
all year round in small numbers. I believe they used to breed there -I
was once severely puzzled by a young bird at the tortoiseshell phase,
going grey but still with much of the nestling rufous plumage patchily
present - this was before even the Slater 2-vol. Field Guide was
available! This stage is still a serious trap for young players. I was
lucky to have it identified from my description by Reg Johnson of the
  This afternoon we heard Spotted Pardalotes nearby. It's a pity we so
seldom see them.

  And finally, how many others have received their copy of 'Feather and
Brush- three centuries of Australian Bird Art' by Penny Olsen yet? It's
an absolute stunner! If you haven't ordered it already you'll have to
buy it from a shop, but it is a book that will give pleasure for years
and years. Tell any relatives who never know what to give you for your
birthday.  I was particularly pleased to see several pictures I had
already admired at Wildlife Art Society of Australia exhibitions. (No, I
have no commercial interest, but it's a credit to Penny and CSIRO
  Anthea Fleming in Ivanhoe, Vic.
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