Monday, 6 October 2008

Romaine Park Birdlife

.....ID Help needed

A walk around the park today gave me a few opportunities to photograph the birds.

Now please pardon my ignorance but I'm not sure what the first one even is. Perhaps you can help. There were five or six of these flitting about in the trees around me but unfortunately they kept to the shadows making them difficult to photograph. Size wise they would be in the 150 to 180 mm range or there abouts. Any suggestions?

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

Golden Whistler

Next up is a Grey Shrike-thrush. Michael Sharland in the book, "A Pocketful of Nature", talks about how trusting these birds are but apparently the ones in my garden have not read the book. This one today was a little better behaved and sat in the open for a few seconds allowing me to finally get a shot of one.

Colluricincla harmonica - Grey Shrike-thrush

This New Holland Honeyeater was daydreaming about being a reed warbler.

Phylidonyris novaehollandiae - New Holland Honeyeater

But he soon came to his senses...

Phylidonyris novaehollandiae - New Holland Honeyeater

When Alan Fletcher wrote on his blog the other day of Shining Bronze-cuckoos, I have to admit to being a little envious having never seen one. Then the very next day, while up the hill in my backyard, not one, but two Shining Bronze-cuckoos landed right in front of me. My camera was in sleep mode and by the time it powered up I had missed the shot. Still I was so happy to have seen them as I figured I would not see another for a long time. Well today I saw another one. This time I even managed a photo or two. They are pretty bad shots mind you but they will have to do until next time - maybe tomorrow :-)

Chrysococcyx lucidus - Shining Bronze-cuckoo

A Grey fantail was busy chastising the cuckoo but it was not deterred. The fantail then decided to give me a telling off before flying off and going about it's business. This next shot, if nothing else, shows how the barring on the underside of the cuckoo combined with the natural shadows above make for a great camouflage.

Chrysococcyx lucidus - Shining Bronze-cuckoo

The Tasmanian Native Hens are very common place and easy to take for granted but it was nice to see the young chicks out and about today. We were able to walk quite close to these but when some dog walkers approached their parents quickly took them into the reeds in the water. There were four chicks in total.

Gallinula mortierii - Tasmanian Native-hen

Gallinula mortierii - Tasmanian Native-hen

A pair of Kookaburras made an appearance but they were soon chased off by a Yellow Wattlebird.

Dacelo navaeguineae - Kookaburra

Dacelo navaeguineae - Kookaburra (Crop from above photo)

.....and last up, a Little Pied Cormorant.

Phalacrocorax melanoleucos - Little Pied Cormorant


  1. A great set of photos.

  2. Thanks Mick - Glad you enjpyed them. No ideas on the LBJ? :-)

  3. Hiya! I soooo love your blog... your pics! Lovely...

    And the texts are informative!

  4. How about Immature Golden Whistler?

  5. Olive whistler seems too big. Golden Whistler can be as small as 160mm....although that would not explain why there were so many.

  6. Good set.
    Your mystery bird screams whistler - but for the white-edged tail. Which also rules out flycatchers.
    There is the tiniest hint of juvenile gape, which may explain the number you saw, and the ID difficulty.

    Translation: I've no idea!

  7. Very beautiful birds. Nice series of photos. :)))

  8. Thanks Brainteaser - for popping in. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

    Thanks Tony - for your suggestions. We only get Olive and Golden Whistlers which is why, given the size, I was leaning toward Golden. I'm assuming it may be in an 'in between' plumage. However, that would mean (I assume) that it would have long since left it's siblings.

    Thanks Animtreebird - for your visit. You have some interesting birds on your blog.

  9. Interesting bird, I've put the link on Birding-aus for the experts to have a look. There was animated discussion some time ago re the identity of a whistler photographed at Sale Common, it wasn't clear whether it was an immature Rufous or an Olive. We'll see what transpires this time. I've got my own idea that I'll keep to myself for now. ;-)

  10. Thanks Duncan - I thought of asking there but as I posted an ID question there recently I didn't want to be a nuisance. Now I can just blame you :-) It will interesting to see what folk think.

  11. Hi Mosura
    Posture, beak shape, head size and shape seem to be classic Whistler.
    Immature Golden Whistlers have russet features, which are not visible here. The brownish colour underneath might be reflected colour. If too small for an Olive Whistler, then perhaps a female GW? But I am puzzled why you would have thought it was not such?
    Perhaps there was some feature in its behaviour which made it seem unusual?

  12. Thanks Denis~ -

    Quote: "But I am puzzled why you would have thought it was not such?"

    Ah... a very good point but there are several reasons:

    1. I don't like to name things unless I personally understand why I'm applying that name. (even if I'm wrong)

    2. If it's a Golden Whistler then it's the first I've seen one. (Remember I've been back in the country for a relatively short time)

    3. Golden whistlers are usually found alone or in pairs - not groups of 5 or 6.

    4. The call they were making sounded nothing like Golden Whistler recording I have.

    5. The calls may have been juvenile calls but they didn't look like juveniles to me. (although that's what I'm thinking presently)

    I've been leaning toward juvenile Golden Whistler all along (see my own comments above) but basically I'm just erring on the side of caution.