Heathwren species in close proximity

Subject: Heathwren species in close proximity
From: Steve Clark <>
Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2005 22:12:14 +1100
G'day all

To my shame I had never been birding in the Mt. Arapiles Tooan State Park (SW Wimmera, Victoria) until today. A great day with lots of birds. This park is to the south of the Little Desert and represents the southern (and northern) limits of a few species in western Victoria. Southern Scrub-robins, Gilbert's Whistlers and Malleefowl are apparently in the park - but not showing today.

The undoubted highlight today was the regular sightings of Heathwrens. I surveyed five areas with Shy Heathwrens at four and Chestnut-rumped at one. No obvious habitat/location differences that I could determine - I saw Shy Heathwrens in broombush and desert banksia/tea-tree and Chestnut-rumped in desert banksia/tea-tree.

Another highlight was the regular sighings of Variegated Fairy- wrens. These were usually in denser ground cover areas than the Superb Fairy-wrens but I did have males of each species in the same bush at one point.

About 50 species in all seen in the park today. I'd urge others to visit this area as I suspect it is not well covered. A cautionary note - maps I used showed roads where there were none and some roads were not passable by 2WD.
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