A special sighting: Chestnut Quail-thrush

Chestnut Quail-thrush, Hattah-Kulkyne National Park

Sydney Trip June 2011

On the last day of our holiday earlier this year we left Mildura and headed south towards Ouyen. We had planned to visit one of our favourite places for lunch: Hattah-Kulkyne National Park. This park has two distinct habitat types: mallee and spinifex in large parts of the reserve, and the extensive array of small to medium lakes lined with River Red Gums. These lakes fill regularly when the nearby River Murray is in flood. Our family has had a number of enjoyable holidays in the camping ground at Lake Hattah.

On this occasion we stopped at a suitable point along the old Calder Highway, a dirt road leading through the northern section of the mallee and spinifex habitat. While the birding was a little on the slow side I was delighted to catch several glimpses of two Chestnut Quail-thrushes crossing the road nearby. The male obligingly posed long enough for a reasonable photo (see above). This can be a secretive species and not easy to capture on a photo.

Chestnut Quail-thrushes are widespread in suitable habitat in central and western New South Wales,  northern South Australia and Western Australia. The photo below is indicative of its preferred habitat.

Mallee and spinifex, Hattah-Kulkyne National Park

Blue-faced Honeyeater

Blue-faced Honeyeater

Blue-faced Honeyeater

Australia has many honeyeaters with over sixty different species. I have recorded ten different species in our garden, with all except three being resident breeding species. They are a constant delight as many of them frequently visit the various flowering plants around our property as well as visiting our bird baths many times a day.

One beautiful species that does not visit our garden is the Blue-faced Honeyeater shown in the photos on this page. This is a widespread species across the northern and eastern parts of Australia, except for the extreme south-east. Its preferred habitats include open forests, along water courses, woodlands, parks, gardens, golf courses, farmlands and along roadside vegetation.

The bird shown in these photos was seen in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park in north-west Victoria while on a brief visit in September 2007.

For additional reading about honeyeaters click here.

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Blue-faced Honeyeater

Blue-faced Honeyeater