Yesterday I wrote about stopping at a roadside rest area on the highway between Tintinara and Coonalpyn in the SE of South Australia.
While I was watching the various birds come to the small puddle of water that had formed, a family of Superb Fairy-wrens also came to have a drink. Most of this group were females or uncoloured males (see photos). I did see one partly coloured male; he must have been moving towards having his full breeding plumage and looked quite bedraggled. He also wouldn’t pose nicely for a photo.
Below I’ve included a photo of a fully coloured male taken last year on the south coast of NSW.
On my recent visit to Tintinara on a business trip I was able to take out some time to do some birding on the way home. I’d finished work, so the time was my own. Between Tintinara and Coonalpyn in the upper south east of South Australia the highway travels through some very interesting country. The dominant vegetation is mallee and wattle, mixed with banksias and a whole range of interesting smaller plants. My wife wasn’t with me; she is the plant expert in the family. She writes a blog about Australian plants (click here.)
About halfway between these towns is a locality known as Culburra. There was a small town there at one time; now only a few houses. At one point there is a road side rest area for tired travellers. I drove in here, parked the car and wandered into the bush. Nearby there is a water tank; I’m not sure of its purpose as there was a sign warning against drinking the water. A few metres away there was a metal slab set in the ground with water weeping from it. This probably covered a pipeline or possibly even an access point for fire fighting trucks.
The seeping water had formed several little pools and the local birds were taking advantage of the freely available water. I watched in the shadow of a nearby tree for some ten minutes while the procession of birds came to drink. The most frequent drinkers were the Silvereyes – shown in the photos. These beautiful little birds are common in the area and would have to be one of my favourites.
Click on the images to enlarge.