Spring is in the air again and the birds are back in huge numbers, many of them getting ready to breed. Over 40 black-tailed native-hens were feeding on the lawns last time I went to Yanchep, and they aren’t nearly as shy now as they seemed a year ago.
This scarlet robin was eating a grub in the tree in front of me – the first time I’d ever seen one.
Scarlet Robin (female)
And here’s his partner, watching from a nearby branch.
This male Australian shelduck has his work cut out protecting 10 ducklings. His partner was there too (out of shot) and he devoted a lot of time to chasing several ducks away from his family. It hasn’t rained anywhere much as it should this winter but at least the lakes are full enough for the birds to swim now.
This pair of pink-eared ducks was at Herdsman Lake and managed to stay nearby for long enough for me to get a picture this time.
The winter rains have also allowed the grass to grow. This corella wasn’t content with just plucking at the grass or roots, it set about digging a hole too.
The rains may not have filled the lakes, but they are looking much better than they did a month ago.
Loch McNess – Yanchep
Every so often I realise that its ages since I’ve seen any ‘new’ birds that I haven’t seen before, and I think that it’s inevitable as time goes on that seeing new birds will become less frequent. Then I see several new birds in a short time and realise just how many I’ve never seen. So here’s an update on several new sightings from a very short time. The elegant parrot above was one of a pair that I came across in Franklin Park (a tiny reserve) in Wanneroo. They were quite shy and it was quite hard to get a clear picture at that distance.
I’ve wanted to see a red-capped robin since I came across one in my book. I wrongly assumed that they would be as common and as friendly as a British robin, but not so. He was just as pretty though and let me follow him for a few minutes.
This little bird of prey was quite happy to sit still while I took pictures, maybe because he was so high up. He was in another tiny reserve called Caporn Park in Wanneroo. He’s another one that I’ve seen pictures of before, and I saw in a bird of prey display, but I’ve never seen in the wild before.
I’ve seen one of these, a black-faced cuckoo-shrike, before. I even have some photos of them, but they have always stayed so far away that the photos are poor, so I’ve never had one that was fit to post on here. This one was also in Caporn Park and also happy to be photographed. It was one of a pair who moved between trees around us for at least 10 minutes before we left.
- Black-fronted Dotterel
I went walking at Yanchep and saw 16 of these pretty little birds by the edge of the lake. I had to look them up when I got home. When I zoomed in close on the photos of the birds on the lake I found they were a different type of dotterel – they were red-kneed dotterels. And while I was taking pictures, a spoonbill dropped in for lunch.
Red-Kneed Dotterels at Yanchep Lake