A new bird for my district list
It is not often that I can add a new species of bird to my home list or my district list. Last Thursday was one of those special days, but it nearly eluded my attention.
I had just taken my vehicle in for a service. I declined the offered ride home because I needed the walk. So did Nancy, my daughter’s dog. We are currently dog-sitting the Grand-dog while said daughter is on holiday in Brisbane.
The walk home takes about half an hour and takes me through some scattered housing on the western outskirts of Murray Bridge. Most houses in this area are on small blocks of between one and five acres in size. It was a pleasant early morning walk, milder than a few of those frosty mornings we had a few weeks ago and certainly without the showery drizzle we’ve had over the last week or so.
I was passing one property where there were quite a few trees and shrubs planted around the house and along the boundary fence. A Wattlebird flew across the road a few metres in front of me. I noticed that it was a little smaller than the Red Wattlebirds so common around here. What struck me most prominently, however, were the rufous wing patches quite evident on the wings. At the time I thought that it was different but thought little more about it.
A few hours later I was reading an email from a fellow birder who commented on the rufous wing patches of the Little Wattlebird. The significance of what had seen that morning suddenly hit me: I’d seen a Little Wattlebird!
On checking through my database I discovered that I’d never actually seen or recorded Little Wattlebirds in the Murray Bridge district before, even though they are to be found in the surrounding areas. In my experience they are by no means really common here in South Australia but they are widespread.
It just shows me that one must always be on the lookout for something different.