Really nice Eastern Bristlebird Tun.
They seem to be doing reasonably well at Jervis Bay at the moment. They appear
to have had good year in terms of breeding success.
Out of interest, seeing your images of Eastern Bristlebird in the carpark of
Cape St George Lighthouse reminds me of Rufous Bristlebird at the Point Addis
(& Port Campbell) car park in Victoria. Both Rufous and Eastern Bristlebirds
are normally shy skulking birds, yet at Point Addis and Cape St George
Lighthouse they behave like common house and garden Blackbirds. I personally
reckon our field guides, when describing the habitat and behaviour for
bristlebirds, should write:
"Very shy rare skulking bird which inhabits thick undergrowth, dense, low
vegetation including heathland, sedgeland, shrubland, except for certain
coastal ashfelt car parks where they loose all social inhibition and are
As a comparison compare a photo of a Rufous Bristlebird (by Peter Fuller) at
Point Addis car park with your Eastern Bristlebird image taken at Cape St
George Lighthouse car park
To complete the triumvirate of bristlebirds, I wonder if anyone has a similar
photos of Western Bristlebird hanging out in a car park in WA.
From: Tun Pin Ong
Sent: Wed 2/10/2010 1:18 AM
To: ; Tim Dolby
Subject: Jervis Bay & Surrounds Trip Report
Hi Tim and fellow birders,
I went to Jervis Bay and Surrounds last weekend (6-7Feb) and during Australia
Day weekend (23-24 Jan). I went to places as suggested by Charles Hunter (thank
you Charles) and later by your this report. I did not see as many birds as you
did, mainly because I was after the Bristlebird and also last weekend was the
wettest weather I have ever experienced in Australia in many years.
Just like to add on my observations of the Eastern Bristlebirds. On 23-24Jan
when the weather was better, I encountered Eastern Bristlebirds while driving
in Booderee National Park along Wreck Bay Road (2 birds along the fence of
military airport, despite the vegetation was very thin apart from those growing
along the fence); within 30 meters after turning to Stony Creek Road (at least
4 birds); one bird along Cave Beach Road before the Botanical Garden. So on
good day it is possible to tick a Bristlebird while driving but be careful not
to run it over.
I too visited the "St George Ave" track as in Tim's report on 06 Feb and and
despite in late 11am morning there was a bristlebird right at the entry gate.
Among these sites I find the best spot for Eastern Bristlebird is Cape St
George Lighthouse ruins carpark. The track leading to the lighthouse is a good
spot. (I met a Canadian who was also after the Bristlebird at the lighthouse
but he did not have luck). Here I am using Tim's link to illustrate the track
There was a presumably male bird calling often at the right hand side of the
heath as in the photo but it was more often heard than seen. Further 20 meters
where there is a turn to the cliff edge south of lighthouse, is the best spot
for bristlebird. The reason is the very sparse vegetation make it easy to spot
the bird foraging in the health without having to wait for it to cross the
exposed path. I was one time following a bird foraging in area where further 5
meter was the bare rock of the cliff top.
Sometimes, very outrageously, the bird just turned up right in the middle of
the car park and once inspected my car engine at the bottom. Judging from some
garbage found around the carpark, though not much an eyesore as they are mostly
concealed under the vegitation, I had suspected that the Bristlebird was
scavanging on human's leftover food. This was confirmed on last Saturday
afternoon when a bird dashed out to the car park area for few moments to peck
something on the ground and I later found that it was after some instant noodle
leftover!!! I wonder if some signboard will be put up to remind visitors that
this site is not just historically interesting but also ecologically sensitive.
I have seen similar signboard in Berrara to warn visitor against dumping food
for the welfare of shorebird (I think mainly for Hooded Plover).
I too visited Berrara on 24Jan, Ulladulla's Racecourse Beach 24Jan and 7Feb,
Tabourie Lake 24Jan and 7Feb and saw no Hooded Plover, despite I saw them at
the later 2 sites mid last year. So I wonder if the Hooded Plovers disperse
after the breeding. Or maybe I have no luck but judging from recent reports of
many successful breedings I hope it will be easier to find them in NSW South
Tun Pin ONG
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