The house I stayed in last week at Apollo Bay had a wonderful garden, full of hidden places, tall flowering plants and Satin Bowerbirds. The hidden places and plants were pretty much what I had expected, the Bowerbirds were a wonderful surprise.
However, the Bowerbirds were also frustratingly shy - especially the males.
The Satin Bowerbird - Ptilonorhynchus violaceus - is a rather chunky, thick-set bird about about 30 long. The male is a wonderful glossy blue-black and the females (and juveniles) are an attractive grey-green with delicate scaly markings. Both sexes have rather startlingly blue eyes.
I think there was a lot of pre-breeding feeding going on in the garden, and I was unable to find any bowers. The species has a real fondness for blue objects and the bower, which is built to impress the female, often contains dozens of blue objects. These must have been in short supply in the past, but today the bowers are often full of pen tops, milk carton lids and other bits of human rubbish.
I have included a few 'atmosphere' shots of the males, hidden in bushes and basically always just out of sight. For a very brief period of time one female was willing to pose on a branch for me.
Next time, I'll paint myself blue and see if the birds come over to check me out!
Regular visitors here will not be surprised that I rather like this last image - as it sums up the frustration I had when I was trying to get some picture of the male bird - always a little bit hidden.
Now it's your turn to click the blue button and join in with WBW. SM