Jervis Bay & Surrounds & Bristlebirds

To: "Tim Dolby" <>
Subject: Jervis Bay & Surrounds & Bristlebirds
From: Laurie Knight <>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 14:04:24 +1000
I'm sure there are many photographs taken of the WBB at the Little Beach car park (Two People's Bay). I placed a picture taken with a not so good camera on ABID -

However, Little Beach does not have an asphalt car park. Bells Beach is another car park where the RBB lurk in a viewable manner.

Regards, Laurie.

On 11/02/2010, at 11:21 AM, Tim Dolby wrote:

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 common."

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 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 Coast.

Best regards,
Tun Pin ONG

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