Wednesday 28 December 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 544 - Flame Robin

Post 3 in my Robins of Victoria Series. 

So, lets end WBW for 2022 with a rather splendid and colourful bird - the Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea). The Flame Robin is a small passerine bird native to Australia. It is a moderately common resident of the coolest parts of south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania.  However, its population is declining so all is not completely well with this species.  I suspect that habitat lose and fragmentation are the usual suspects in this decline.

This species is similar to the Scarlet Robin, but the Flame Robin has a smaller white patch over its beak, and the red on the chest extends higher into the next.

This is a female.

Well, the next WBW will be in 2023.  To join in this one click on the button below.  I hope everyone is well, warm (or cool, depending on location) and that we can keep put little community ticking along for another year.  All the best.  SM

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Wednesday 21 December 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 543 - Red-Capped Robin

Post 2 in my Robins of Victoria Series. 

The Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii) is found in the drier areas of Australia, mainly south of the Tropics. Like all Australian Robins it is not closely related to either European or American robins, but shares a common name with them because of its bright red colour.

The Red-capped Robin is smaller than many of the other robins in Australia, but make up for its small size with its wonderful colours.  It is common in some areas, but can be hard to find unless you are in the correct habitat.  These birds were all seen in the Terrick Terrick National Park, which is 225 km north west of Melbourne.  It is not an area I have visited very often - a situation that I hope to change in the coming year.

I think there is sort of 'Christmas Feel' to this bird - even if we are now getting our first week of worm weather here.

2022 has been a strange year for me - and at times I have found it very hard to visit other people's blog, and equally hard to know what do say when I do visit.  I think you may have noticed.  So, as I head to 550 consecutive weeks of WBW I hope I can 'get out more' and visit you all.  Please keep commenting, as I really appreciate the contact with the blogging / birding world.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas, and I see you on the other side.

As ever, to join in with WBW click the link below.  SM

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Wednesday 14 December 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 542 - Rose Robin

The Rose Robin (Petroica rosea) is one of nine species of robins that are fund in the state of Victoria.  A week or so ago I was lucky enough to go on an organised tour, the aim of which was to find all of these nine species.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing the species we found.  It seems an appropriate set of birds to pick as we move towards Christmas.

All Australian robin are members of the family Petroicidae and are not closely related to the European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) who's similar red colouring is almost certainly responsible for the comma name.

The Rose Robin is found in south-eastern Australia from south-east Queensland, along coast and inland to western slopes of Great Dividing Range in New South Wales and south into Victoria. It prefers wet forest and rainforest habitats (which is where I saw this one) during spring and summer, moving into drier, more open habitats during autumn and winter.

As you can see, this bird is eating a substantial spider.  A classic Australian image I think! 

This is a reasonably small bird, doing interesting things a reasonable way up a tree - so I would click on the images so that they become larger!  SM

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Wednesday 7 December 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 541 - Australian Owlet-Nightjar

The Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles cristatus) is the smallest of the nocturnal birds found in Australia.  I was lucky enough to go on a night-walk nr. Bendigo in central Victoria last week and we found at least three of these birds.  We went back to the same area the next morning and found a bird roosting in a hollow branch.

The scientific name means 'bristly goatsucker' - with the bristly coming from the bristly feathers above the beak, and the 'goatsucker' from the old belief that birds like this used to suckle goats!

I has a number of other, older, common names including The Moth Owl, which may be more about its size (about 22 cm) than its diet.

This species is found all over Australia and is considered common. I suspect that its nocturnal ways make it seem much less common than it actually is. 

The bird on the branch was the first we saw, and the other two pictures show a bird 'looking out' from a nest box.

These pictures were taken in the day light the next day.

The daylight pictures look much better when enlarged - so click away!

As ever to join in with WBW, click on the link below.  SM

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