Sunday, May 31, 2009

Front Lawn

Over at Rainbow Beach the other day as I was driving down to the beach I passed some birds on a front lawn right next to the road. I backed up in the car, put it into 'park' and left the engine running. Then I rolled down the window and leaned over and started taking photos. The birds were not at all worried about a car right next to them and I was just pleased to get this close to Brush Wattlebirds. Previously I had only seen them high in the trees and in fairly deep shade. Clicking on the image to enlarge it will show the beak-full of food the bird had!
I don't know what made this lawn such a good place to collect insects and grubs but the birds stayed there hopping around on the lawn and up into the low branches of the grevillea .
btw I use Slater's Field Guide to Australian Birds (2004,2005) but I am now told that more recent birding books are now calling these birds Little Wattlebirds. Maybe its time to buy a newer bird book!


  1. They really have beautiful markings, Mick, considering the generally plain colour of the feathers.

    I am beginning to notice haw many of your birds have elongated beaks. All the better to hold lots of insects in this case. The last photo also shows how long the tail is as well.

    Well spotted and recorded with great photos.

  2. Hi Mick
    That last photo is hilarious.
    Around here my Little Wattlebirds have a rusty patch in the wings, your seem to be olive green.
    I wonder if the bird was collecting food for a nesting partner? Surely too early for feeding chicks?

  3. Hi John, the markings appeared so much more intense out in the light. re the long bills - I guess the easiest place to look for 'bush' birds is around a flowering tree or bush so I am at present photographing honeyeaters which also eat insects.

  4. Hi Denis, the last photo was a lucky one with the bird doing that little jump off the ground! I think it is too early for nesting yet but I still have to learn a lot more about the habits of the 'bush' birds.

  5. G'day Mick,
    You must be 'entertaining' to go driving with! I must admit, there's a passenger who at times rides with me and often says, "Could you watch the road instead of looking for birds". I've often found that a car can make a good bird hide.
    Brush or Little, whats in a name? They're beautiful.

  6. Hi Gouldiae, *chuckle* I DO check there's no traffic behind me before I pull up for a bird! I guess if I had a passenger with me I'd have to mend my ways too!!

  7. Hi Mick
    The photos I took the other day show rufous on the wing of the Little Wattlebird wonder if it is a regional variation.Great post.

  8. Thanks Neil - ask Kel! He's the expert! :-)

  9. Gorgeous images, especially that greenish-yellow wing stripe with the yellow flowers! Cars make such wonderful blinds.

    Glad you're feeling better and envy your beaches!

  10. Hi Mick,
    Beautiful photos!

    The green markings on the wings are very interesting indeed. I think that the eye color too is a bit different in the photos I took in Tassie. I'll try to find some when I get time do dig into those piles.

    I'm have the Slater Field Guide too and I found out that Little Wattlebird is the name that's preferably used nowadays for these guys. But it's still an excellent book -- the illustrations are much better than many others that I have seen.

  11. Hi Nickolay it will be interesting to hear about the eye color in your photos from Tassie as I have just been having a conversation with someone else this morning about this.