If you’re near a thick patch of scrub in this part of the world, you often hear a series of buzzing calls. The calls are followed by little darting movements, and if you keep still, you may see the source - a White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis).
The scrubwren is one of the less noticed birds. They’re quite small (not much more than 10g) and frequently have a frowning look about them. This was the first one I ever got a decent photo of:
I heard recently about a place where there were Carpenter bees, and another spot where there was an osprey’s nest, but when I looked for the bees, they were all gone, and I couldn’t check out the ospreys for over a week because I’d injured my knee falling over in the North Sydney CBD!
When I did finally find the osprey nest, there were no chicks, just a bored looking kookaburra, but then I noticed three Carpenter bees on a nearby patch of dianella. They were all females, and I promptly christened the nearest one Justine, after a cousin of mine who has pink hair.
Black and white birds have featured heavily in my recent posts, so it’s time for a bit of colour. Cue a pair of Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans elegans).
The two of them flew overhead just as I joined up with a Willoughby Birders group for a morning walk in Explosives Reserve. An hour or so afterwards, we came upon them again, high up in a tree. The rosellas watched us for a few minutes before deciding we were harmless and could get on with their brunch. They flew past us to a lower and closer group of shrubs. Here’s the nearer one of the pair:
I recently mistook a peewee for a magpie, reminding me to be more careful about identifying pied (black and white) birds! Talking of which, when is a wagtail not a wagtail? Answer - when it’s a Willie Wagtail, which is a fantail and not a wagtail. But what happens when the Willie Wagtail you’re watching is not a fantail either? Well…
It all began when this Willie Wagtail kindly allowed me to take its picture: