Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Robins Galore at Tidbinbilla

24 members and guests gathered in the carpark at Tidbinbilla Nature reserve following the suggestion of John Bundock.  He and Sandra had done a couple of trial forays noting a lot of Flame Robins on the first but not the second. 

Here is the backdrop, looking up to Gibraltar Rocks.
reverting to the research, today was definitely a day with a lot of Flame Robins.  At one point, as we approached the Kunzea ericoides above the open grass paddock near the start, 12 'brown birds" (ie females or juveniles) were visible on the mullein stalks and rocks while 4 male birds had flaunted their luridness earlier.
Mixed in with these was a single Scarlet Robin (unclear whether a female of a male just coming into colour).   (I have since been told there were others of this species observed after I had moved on including this ,ale photographed by Lindell.)
Then a black and white bird was seen which was not a Willie Wagtail.  This soon resolved to a male Hooded Robin, 

... and 2 females were also noted.   The final Robin noted was an Eastern Yellow Robin (EYR) lurking just within the boundary of the Kunzea.  (A second EYR was noted in the vicinity of the rock shelter.)

There were also many (at least 26, but they were not cooperative in the matter of being counted) Dusky Woodswallows were swooping around the grassland.  They seemed to be enjoying monstering the Robins.

Entering the woodland two Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes were seen.  This was followed by 6 Diamond Firetails (a 7th was seen later when we re-entered the grassland).  

3 Wedge-tailed Eagles were soaring overhead. two of them very high.

A Crescent Honeyeater 
was heard calling and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters were steadily migrating through the area, heading over towards the Bullen Range.  In total we recorded 44 species.

There were a few Eastern Grey Kangaroos ensuring that the grass didn't get too long.
There was a very good collection of fungi both in the bush and the grassland.  Here is a member of the group (obfuscated for privacy) getting a snap of Phlebotus marginatus (rated as the largest fungal fruiting body in Australia)  ...
 .. and here is the subject.
This is Gymnopilus junonius, a common and non-harmful fungus (unlike the superficially similar Armillaria luteobubalina which is a serious problem in gardens).
 Out in the grassland there were some examples of Macrolepiota dolichaula.
 Some of the granite boulders were pretty impressive.
 They provided good shelters for the original settlers of the area ...
 .. with very attractive colouring when given a dose of flash.
As will be apparent from several of the images the weather was great as was everything else.  Many thanks to John for suggesting this stroll.

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