Feb 26, 2013

Atlas of Living Australia

The Atlas of Living Australia (Atlas) contains information on all the known species in Australia aggregated from a wide range of data providers: museums, herbaria, community groups, government departments, individuals and universities.
You might like to try us at 

or put Franke Road, Highfields into the search engine.

Feb 8, 2013

Birds in the scrub

Leopard Ash in vibrant leaf
It was drizzling when I arrived at the Scrub and before I got out of the car there was a short, sharp shower. However this soon cleared away to a cool overcast and the birds came out to enjoy themselves. First of the day and a new one for my surveys was a pair of Red-rumped Parrots. They are ground feeders and one flew up from the paddock to sit in the trees of the Scrub. Once I was in the Scrub down near the dam I saw Spangled Drongo, Little Friarbird, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, an immature Olive-backed Oriole and Noisy Miners. There must have been a hatching of insects in the high canopy because all these birds were feeding, except the Noisy Miners, and there wasn’t any obvious blossom or fruit.
The Oriole is a good mimic and will often confuse you when you hear a variety of calls in the bush. This individual was practising its calls, a weird selection of squawks and trills which were nothing like its beautiful liquid “ori-ori-oriole”. It was being mobbed by Noisy Miners that chased it all over the Scrub but it remained in the area just moving from tree to tree. Perhaps the Oriole made a call that offended the Miners enough to harass it.
Where the Scrub opens out into the grassy bowl there were Striped Honeyeaters, a Rufous Fantail and Superb Fairy-wrens. Brown Honeyeaters were also searching for insects in the Sandalwood Santalum lanceolatum and Brown Thornbills in the Leopard Ash Flindersia collina. The Leopard Ash looked glorious in its washed-clean green finery.

Birds: Brown Quail (1 heard in the quarry area),  
Australian Wood Duck (2 in the trees of the Scrub), Spotted Dove (1 in the Scrub),
Crested Pigeon (1 on a fencepost), 
Little Black Cormorant (2 sitting on a wire going down into the dam), 
Galah (4 overhead), 
Pale-headed Rosella (5 in the flowering eucalypts),  
Red-rumped Parrot (2 in the paddock then 1 flew into Scrub), 
Eastern Koel (1 calling from nearby), 
Laughing Kookaburra (2 laughing in the Scrub), 
Dollarbird (1 sitting on a bare branch), 
Superb Fairy-wren (saw 1 but heard more), 
White-browed Scrubwren (3 following me through the Scrub), 
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (3 on the road), 
Brown Thornbill (2 in the Leopard Ash), 
Noisy Miner (4 chasing an Oriole), 
Brown Honeyeater (3 in the Sandalwood), 
Little Friarbird (1 feeding in the mid-high canopy), 
Striped Honeyeater (4 in the eucalypts), 
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (3 feeding in the mid-high canopy), 
Olive-backed Oriole (1immature practising its calls), 
Australian Magpie (2 carolling in the high branches), 
Spangled Drongo (1 feeding in the mid-high canopy), 
Rufous Fantail (1 low in some shrubs), 
Willie Wagtail (1 in the paddock), 
Torresian Crow (4 overhead), 
Magpie-lark (2 on the road verge), 
Golden-headed Cisticola (2 calling from the long grass), 
Silvereye (2 sweetly calling in the mid-canopy), 
Common Myna (5 in a dead sapling further north along Franke Rd), 
Mistletoebird (1 near the fence in the scrub on the Sheehan property).   
Butterflies: Orchard Swallowtail Papilio aegeus (1 flying through the Scrub).
Thank you Lesley for your contribution to our blog.