Monday, April 09, 2007

Robins in Coastal Heath

The last few days or so has seen some cold starts followed by magnificent days. I have spent the last few mornings wandering through the coastal heath, just enjoying the conditions and of course, the birds. This time of year there's an influx of birds into these areas, the catalyst is primarily the flowering of the Banksias, in this case marginata, the sole flowering bansksia in Tasmania, apart from a few isolated pockets of serrata in the NW. The banksias not only provide food for the nectar eating species, but attract many insects.
On Goat Bluff, where the accompanying images were taken, I have been greeted each morning by the Flame Robin you see here. I suspect the updraught at the lookout, perched as it is on top of the cliff, provides an early morning feast, esp
ecially when most insects have been grounded by the cool start (we're talking about single figure degrees Celsius). As you can see by the unflattering shot of the male Flame Robin, puffing one's feathers up to maintain body temperature is de rigueur, but I'm not sure what it's going to do in the Winter! I've added a 'normal' shot (at left). Perhaps like other Flames, it will head for the Mainland. This Flame and accompanying female, were the only Flames that I found during several hours of walking. By far the most common robin was the Scarlet, and the bird seen below, was only one of about a dozen or more that I came across. Almost all were conspicuously calling from some vantage point, giving plenty of opportunities for photography. Surprisingly, I didn't see a single Dusky Robin in my wanderings, and I know that they have regularly bred on the bluff in the denser areas of heath. Needless to say, I also took photos of a number of other species which I'll blog later.


Snail said...

Wow! That flame robin is almost luminous.

BirdingTas said...

Hi Snail,
Hadn't really noticed that, but suspect it was the combination of early morning sun shining through mist, giving strangely bright conditions.