Thursday, March 12, 2015

A weekend of long tailed birds and beasties

Last weekend was the last long weekend of summer. Our friend, Ian, from Townsville wanted to find a Sooty Owl and Barb, Joy and I knew where there were some so we all piled into Joy's car and we headed for Orbost. We found the owl for Ian on the Cape Conran to Cabbage Tree road and then went searching for the rest of the local species.
Male Golden Whistler

Female Golden Whistler

We failed with Eastern Ground Parrot but got nice views of a variety of birds, mammals and reptiles with long tails. We started out at Fairy Dell on the way down to Orbost where we had reasonable views of a male Lyrebird and followed up with Southern Emu-wrens at a few places around the Cape Conran area.
Male Superb Lyrebird

Beside the airstrip at Marlo we found a very nice Blue-tongue Lizard and near the boat launch at West Cape we found a beautiful and quite large skink to keep the long-tailed theme of the weekend going.
Blue-tounged Lizard


The weather was perfect and the full moon certainly helped with our nocturnal prowling. We heard a few Masked Owls and got glimpses of one on the Old Coast Road but that was all. To make up for it we found a very nice Tawny Frogmouth and a young Boobook that fluttered up from beside the road. Barb got a single quick look at a White-throated Nightjar on the Conran-Cabbage Tree Rd.
Birding at Cape Conran

Rose Robin at Cabbage Tree Reserve

It was also a weekend for mammals and other night creatures with Swamp Wallaby, Wombat, Sugar Glider, Long-nosed Bandicoot, rabbit, many small bats, a large glider which was probably a Yellow-bellied Glider, Brush-tailed Possum and a small rodent type beast. Barb said it was a native mouse but the rest of us suggested House Mouse. Even though we gave Barb a hard time when we saw it I think she was probably right, maybe a Smoky Mouse (Pseudomys fumeus), which is rather exciting as it is listed as an endangered species, and it also has a long tail (smile). I wish I had tried for a photo.
Male Southern Emu-wren

Female Southern Emu-wren

Sadly out of focus but it shows just how long the tail is
Female hiding amongst a cluster of seed pods, just to show how small these birds are. 

And because I like to track and record such things, I can highly recommend the Bruthen Bakery for lunch. They have a variety of home made meat pies that are very delicious with real meat in them. It is now also my new "best place" to buy Vanilla Slices; they taste really yummy and the filling doesn't squooosh out everywhere when you bite into them. And of course the Countryman Motel in Orbost is the place to stay because they are very friendly and understand the weird hours that birders tend to keep.
Spotted Pardalote flying up to lerp case on a gum leaf. The case is safe to eat and tastes sweet and sugary

Lerp case can be seen in mouth

A very small beetle, maybe some type of native weevil.

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