rufous fantail!!

To: Jacqui <>
Subject: rufous fantail!!
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 20:45:06 +1000
Jacqui wrote:
> My daughter who lives in Patterson Lakes near the freeway(35km SSE of
> Melbourne), and not in the least a birdo, has rung me to say there is
> a bird in her fernery showing a large caramel coloured fantail the
> size of the finger part of your hand. She described the body as being
> a bit bigger than a sparrow, maybe. I was thrilled to think it may be
> a rufous fantail, but in a suburban garden not surrounded by much
> bush!, but this did nothing to excite her. Today I showed her a
> picture of a Rufous Fantail and she confirmed that is what she had
> seen. I have tried to enthral her with how excited I would be in my
> puny seaside unit to see a bird like that which is always a gift! At
> least she noticed that it was something different from the ordinary.
> Regards,
> Jacqui  Sheppard
> Edithvale
> Melbourne
> Victoria
> Australia
How lucky your daughter is!
A fernery is just the spot a migrating Rufous Fantail would stop for a
short rest - particularly in a place like Patterson's Lakes.
Perhaps this bird is on its way first east, then north along the coast.

I have occasionally seen them, always a pair, at Wilson Reserve, Ivanhoe
in spring - either the very last days of October or the first week of
November. They have always been at the west end of the Reserve near the
outlet of the drain (downstream of the Beach Point) - I have reason to
believe this was once a tree-fern grove; it's still the most moist and
shady part of the Reserve. But I've never seen them coming back in the

Forty years ago, they occasionally appeared in the teatree scrub at
Sorrento - perhaps on their way along the Nepean Peninsula moving to or
from the short crossing of Port Phillip Heads. I think most of our few
sightings thre were in late spring, but I have no notes from that time..

Anthea Fleming 
in Ivanhoe, Vic.

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