|About 20 litres of water in a rock hole is all that remains in the dry creek bed.|
A loop walk through the Lilli Pilli in the Dell yielded very few birds and none to photograph, although some were calling, including several Superb Lyrebirds. So I decided to sit for an hour or so in the dry creek bed below the footbridge with the camera ready and watch to see which birds came in for a drink and or a bath. Most species were there for a bath as you will see in many of the photos.
|Camera and chair partially disguised by a few fern fronds.|
The weather was warm, humid, very still and dull (1) due to a fully overcast sky – the mosquitoes seemed to be enjoying the conditions and my presence, though some Bushman’s repellent kept them at bay.
|The beautiful and endearing Grey Shrike-thrush.|
|Bird above, fluffed up after a very modest immersion.|
|Lewin’s Honeyeaters are plentiful at Fairy Dell. Several came in for a bath.|
|Eastern Yellow Robin – some brown juvenile feathers are still showing on the head so this bird has nearly completed the moult to immature plumage.|
|Same bird as above after a thorough bath.|
|Male Golden Whistler.|
|Same bird as above after a plunge.|
|Bath finished, the bird has moved to a rock before flying to the cover of the surrounding bush to preen and groom its bathed feathers.|
|Immature Golden Whistler – there are of course many juvenile and immature birds in the bush at present.|
|The ubiquitous Grey Fantail.|
|The far less common Rufous Fantail – a summer migrant to the south, they will soon be heading north again.|
|The elusive Beautiful Firetail – or perhaps unobtrusive is a more appropriate description for a bird that is perhaps often present but not seen.|
I missed the first Firetail to come in for a drink/dip and just managed to capture a rough shot of the second bird before it zoomed off.
|An adult Wonga Pigeon, another common species at Fairy Dell.|
|A male Rose Robin – Fairy Dell provides perfect habitat for this species of robin which are the most arboreal of all the robins.|
|After bathing the robin retreated to shrubs above the creek to dry and preen.|
If you choose the right time of day (2) and weather conditions when water is scarce, an hour spent siting in the creek bed by the small pool of water at Fairy Dell will reward you with the joy of a good number of beautiful birds, entertaining behaviour and the potential for a surprise, because you never know what might turn up.