Sunday, 6 March 2016

Fairy Dell Scenic Reserve on a hot afternoon

Fairy Dell is a popular destination near Bruthen in East Gippsland. The Dell is a small patch of rainforest dominated by Lilly-pilly (Syzygium smithii (1)) and ferns which attracts a number of wet forest species including summer migrants such as Rufous Fantails and Black-faced Monarchs. Exotics such as Topknot Pigeons also visit to feed on the Lilly-pilly fruits. The surrounding dryer forest and deep creek lines add to the variety of habitat at this Reserve, making it a top birding location.

The creeks in the area have now almost dried up with just a few small pools left here and there along the rocky beds. On a recent very hot day I decided to spend a couple of hours at one of the small pools to see what birds turned up. I was not disappointed – there were large numbers of small birds coming in to drink and bathe including a number of species typical of wet forest habitat which I was hoping for.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Male Rose Robin
Female Rose Robin
Section of creek at Fairy Dell Scenic Reserve where the photos were taken. I did not use a hide which no doubt kept some of the larger and more wary birds away.
Male Golden Whistler - they prefer wetter habitat to the dry country Rufous Whistler.
Another Golden Whistler
Juvenile Eastern Yellow Robin
Adult Eastern Yellow Robin
Rufous Fantail- rarely still, hard to photograph.
Rufous Fantail - they flit here and there like butterflys.
Rufous Fantail - they really earn the name fantail as they fan their tails a lot more often than the Grey Fantail.
Grey Fantail
Yellow-faced Honeyeaters - I am not sure if this is an altercation?
Lewin’s Honeyeater – a wet forest honeyeater. It has found an insect while having a drink.
White-throated Treecreeper – only one visit by this species.
Eastern Spinebill - checking above for danger before drinking.
New Holland Honeyeater

White-browed Scrubwren
Brown Thornbill - a cautious approach to water among the cover of leaf litter and stones.
White-naped Honeyeater

Other species along the creek that did not come in for a drink and have their photos taken were Satin Bowerbirds, Eastern Whipbird, Brown Gerygone, Superb Lyerbird, Wonga Pigeon, Crimson Rosella, Red-browed Treecreeper and Black-faced Monarch. Perhaps some of these species will oblige on the next very hot day I make a visit!

NOTE: (1) The subject Lilly-pilly was once in the genus Eugenia and then Acmena and now Syzygium. Taxonomy for both birds and plants is a never ending and ever changing story! The species name smithii has not changed. 

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