Yesterday while having breakfast I observed a thornbill sized bird flitting around and on one of the birdbaths in our garden. I reached for my binoculars – they are always in easy reach from where we often sit to have our meals – and quickly identified it as a Yellow Thornbill. This is one species I don’t observe every day in our garden, but suspect that they are actually a resident breeding species, that is, they are present every day and nest in our garden.
More common is the Yellow-rumped thornbill which seems to be all over the garden at any given time on any given day. On sunny, still days the air can be filled with their twittering.
The Yellow Thornbill – also known as the Little Thornbill – is a widespread species found in eastern Australia, from southern Queensland through much of New South Wales and Victoria and into south eastern South Australia.
The most common thornbill species in our garden is the Yellow-rumped Thornbill. This is a resident breeding species and we see small flocks of up to 20 almost every day. If we searched our whole property we would probably see them every day.
Less common is the Yellow Thornbill shown in today’s photos. This species, also known as the Little Thornbill, is a regular visitor. On a recent hot day a small flock came hesitatingly to our bird bath. Some of the larger birds such as the honeyeaters can be quite bossy and this makes this tiny visitor nervous and flighty, so I was pleased to get a series of close up photos.
As an added bonus, I managed to catch one of them landing but still in flight – check out the last photo below.
Of the many things I’ve learned about birds over the years, one principle stands out: never assume anything.
I was out in the garden searching out several birds making a noise near the house. I didn’t get much of a look at them but by their call and the quick look I had of one of them I think they were Yellow (Little) Thornbills.
As they flew off my attention was drawn to a solitary bird perched high in a dead branch of a nearby tree. “Spotted Turtledove” I immediately thought, as they are a common breeding species in our garden. I lifted my binoculars and was delighted to see that the bird in question was actually a Common Bronzewing Pigeon.
This was a good sighting, for although they are a common species in our district, they tend to prefer less populated, thicker scrubby areas. On checking my bird database I found that this was only the 5th record of this species on our block of land. My records go back 28 years, so I was quite pleased I saw this individual.
And to think I’d almost not given it another look.