Fanastic views of Rufous Scrub-bird

To: "'Birding-Aus'" <>
Subject: Fanastic views of Rufous Scrub-bird
From: "Allan Benson" <>
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2007 21:11:45 +1100
The Rufous Scrub-bird is notoriously difficult bird to see. It's not
that hard to find or hear it's just extremely difficult to get a decent
view (just ask Sean Dooley).
Today Sunday 21st January my brother Rob, and myself went to Kerripit Rd
at Gloucester Tops in another of many attempts to see this bird. We
located the bird by the sparing use of a tape and for about an hour the
males circled around us as we stayed stationary on a fallen log. It
never came closer than 15 metres. Rob managed to get a glimpse of the
bird as it moved through some low scrub. 
We became aware of a second call which we assumed was the female. On the
basis we had nothing to lose we pursued this call down toward the creek
and Rob managed to get fantastic views of a female Rufous Scrub-bird
from a distance of less than 2 metres as foraged under a log. It didn't
seem at all concerned about his presence. By the time I got back to Rob
the bird had moved away but it called again 5 or so metres away in dense
fern. I was able to locate the bird here in a small clearing and had a
fabulous view, again at very short range.
In the more "open" forest with a dense under story of bracken and sword
grass the bird is impossible to see. The bird is happy to call in this
environment but never shows itself. On the other hand in the denser
vegetation along the creek line where the trees are thicker, the under
story was much more open and as noted above, the bird seemed totally
unconcerned as we thumped our way after it. 
Allan Benson

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