SEQ vs Katoomba

Subject: SEQ vs Katoomba
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2008 16:31:17 +1000
Just returned last night from a week's work in Katoomba. In the few passing birding moments I had, I noticed points of comparative interest in three species:

1/ The Origma I saw was foraging on bitumen and its cement gutter & kerbing. Nearby was a sandstone shelf, and beside that some blocks of 'caged' landscaping rocks. Does this mean that we might, in some places, have augmented Origma habitat, by 'cementing over' corridors of hard ground which extrapolates in some places from their native sandstone?

2/ Here in SEQ we are accustomed to the White-browed Scrubwren, Sericornis frontalis laevigaster, which is pictured in the field-guides as simply 'brighter' than the Blue Mountains' White-browed Scrubwren, Sericornis frontalis frontalis. However, considering some of these White-browed Scrubwrens which were foraging along with the Origma, the two species were almost confusable, i.e. Katoomba's White-browed Scrubwrens appeared dark and dusky -- much more so than in the guide books, and than its SEQ cousin.

3/ Nearby again, in this same spot near the edge of the escarpment, were some honeyeaters which it took me a while to identify. I was quite astonished to realise they were Eastern Spinebills (and of the same subspecies as the ones in SEQ) -- behaviourally, they seemed very different from those I'm so used to: in Katoomba they were fluttering about and dashing by so quickly that you couldn't focus on them, singing and twittering fantastically and frequently; in SEQ when I have seen them, these birds are much less mercurial, and quieter.


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