rare here (SEQ, ?400m)

Subject: rare here (SEQ, ?400m)
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2007 12:16:23 +1000
Commonplace as it may be to most of you, you'll barely be able to imagine my astonishment at coming across a Red Wattlebird last weekend -- on east-facing hills of the Daguilar Range (Mt Mee spur/ Ocean View). At 2007 UBD page 45, L 16, the bird was in recently subdivided banksia country. Elevation's probably 350-450m, and building & landscaping have nevertheless left many of the plants that were on-site when "settlement" took off about ?5 years ago. There appeared to be only one Red Wattlebird. It would be described as "associating with" a group of Little/Brush Wattlebirds, though its behaviour was different & the "association" seemed... loose. The wattlebirds were all foraging in the banksias (& moving among nearby trees/shrubs). While the Brush/Littles were engaging in chases & appeared to be in groups, however, the lone Red was not approached by any of the others while I watched, nor did it approach them or any other species. It was much warier than its smaller fellows of human movement (-- though I remained in my car, at a distance of 30m minimum, the bird retreated to cover whenever I raised the camera or made other slight movements). The country up here is much cooler than Brisbane, especially by night. A little further down the eastern face of these hills I have in previous years seen New Holland OR White-cheeked among the banksias (sorry, don't have the record with me at present, but can advise which it was if anyone's particularly interested) -- which I've not seen elsewhere on these mountains. The afternoon was sunny & clear, July being warmer than June had been, with perhaps a breeze. The bird's red wattle was clearly evident, as was its lovely powder-yellow belly and hoarse voice. In the current Atlas, records of this bird in this location look non-existent.


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