Jervis Bay & Surrounds & Bristlebirds

To: "'Tim Dolby'" <>, "'Tun Pin Ong'" <>, <>
Subject: Jervis Bay & Surrounds & Bristlebirds
From: "Bob Cook" <>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 14:52:33 +1100
Tim & Tun

I agree about this "mis-behaviour" by Bristlebirds!  I have seen Rufous
Bristlebird like Peter Fuller's on the road near the Point Addis Lighthouse,
but the below pic of Eastern Bristlebird taken at Hyam's Beach is surely
more how they "should" behave.

Sorry, you have to put the 2 parts of the link together - dunno why I can't
get it right!

Bob Cook

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Tim Dolby
Sent: Thursday, 11 February 2010 12:21 PM
To: Tun Pin Ong; 
Subject: Jervis Bay & Surrounds & Bristlebirds

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

Rufous Bristlebird

Eastern Bristlebird

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.


Tim Dolby

-----Original Message-----
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

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 Coast.

Best regards,
Tun Pin ONG

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