One of the most enjoyable parts of my trip to Denmark was seeing a red-eared firetail. That’s partly because they’re so pretty, but also because I’d never heard of one before. They’re quite unusual, but I saw a pair come through the woodland most days that I was there.
Isn’t he beautiful? Fortunately, a neighbour put out a bird bath which they liked to visit which made them much easier to see. They weren’t particularly shy, and would come reasonably close as long as I stood absolutely still.
Here he is again but with his partner. It’s a type of finch so they have the finch family beak that’s ideal for eating seeds. Several times I watched them feeding on the dried seed heads of the plants in the woodland, but I’ve no idea what the plants were called.
They’re only found in the far southwest of WA, so if you want to see one you’ll have to visit a fairly specific area. There are two other types of firetail who are found over in the south east, so hopefully I’ll get to see them too at in the future.
My recent trip to Denmark wasn’t as far afield as you might imagine, as it’s on the south coast of Western Australia, not the European one. I stayed in a cabin on built stilts, on the side of a hill, in woodland, so from one side of the house the view was directly into the tree tops. There was a bird feeder on the balcony and we had lots of visitors to it, including some surprises. The rosella (above) was one of them. It’s the first time I’ve seen them since we moved here and there was a whole family who were regular visitors.
The rosella wasn’t the only first for us. This babbler was one of a group of about 7 who came noisily through the woods
This red-winged fairy-wren and his family was another regular visitor. I have to say he looks just the same as several other fairy-wrens (blue-breasted, variegated, lovely) and I’m only guessing red-winged because of our location.
Another frequent visitor to the bird table was this lovely bronzewing. There were quite a few of them and they were easily chased off the feeders by the gallahs, so they quite often fed on the forest floor beneath, picking up the seeds that the other birds were dropping.
These honey-eaters were also new to me – white-naped honey-eaters.
The most common visitors to the feeder, and the whole of the balcony, were the gallahs. At one point we had 22 gallahs on there, all queuing up for a feed. In the woods I found the reason they were so hungry. This one had been eating for at least 3. The parents seemed to be feeding, then regurgitating food for their very noisy chicks. You can just see one peeping out of the nest hole.