A walk in an Australian rainforest, as I have shared in previous posts, is a refreshing and de- stressing experience where one is re earthed with all things green and natural.
The sounds of birds calling, creeks flowing under the cool canopy of tall eucalypts and palms, make for a very pleasurable experience for one who works in a windowless air conditioned laboratory. Click on photos to enlarge them.
I have also shared the difficulty of photographing birds in a rainforest due to the darkness and the height of the trees. Most of the passerines move about high up in the forest canopy.
The Bassian Thrush, similar to the Superb Lyrebird and the Logrunner, is a ground dwelling bird. See how well it camouflages itself against the forest floor. When it feels threatened it remains perfectly still hoping you can not see it. I have almost walked on one without knowing it was there, it did give me fright though. I avoid using flash on birds, and some of my rainforest photos are not so crisp due to lack of light.
The White-browed Scrubwren is a little passerine that is commonly seen moving through the forest in the understory, and can be a challenge to photograph. I saw this guy last Friday on a forest walk.
Yes, we find these little Rainbow Lorikeets where ever you go in the bush around Sydney. They are currently nesting.
Another classic rainforest bird that people mostly hear but seldom see is the Eastern Whipbird. These pictures were taken with some skill as I only had a small window through the bush.
Above is a sound file of a male whipbird calling (whip sound) followed immediately by the female’s (twis twis) reply. In the second call of the male above she does not reply. Study has gone into finding why this bird is able to make such a loud whip sound, how the sound is amazingly amplified by the thick eucalypt leaves.
Last Friday in the forest I came across this rare find of a juvenile Eastern Whipbird trying to extract insects from a tree. He is learning to pry the bark off to find food beneath. Notice, like other juvenile passerines, he is brown and has not morphed into the darker adult plumage.His tail appears full size and disproportionate to his youthful size.
Rainforest is a great place to study fungi, and I often see photographers who only photograph fungus walking through the forest. I like to include it in my posts, this is my most recent find.
Everyone loves the Eastern Yellow Robin who may follow you along the track with great curiosity. This is a bird often seen in rainforests, and is a perennial insectivorous resident.
The Brown Thornbill is a tiny bird that moves about the trees with quick movement looking for small insects. This little guy is holding onto his catch. Some birders have a problem discerning the difference between the very similar Brown Thornbill and the Striated Thornbill. The main difference is the eye colour and the upper tail plumage colour, the other differences are quite subtle.
Honeyeaters are not usually rainforest dwellers, as there are no flowering nectar plants usually found under the canopy. However, from time to time the Yellow-faced Honeyeaeter is seen there in the middle to upper story mainly looking for insects.
My Bird of the Week – The White-throated Treecreeper.
This is another rainforest bird that you will hear but seldom see. It also is well camouflaged. This bird is found on the eastern states of mainland Australia, mainly in the coastal rainforests and also dry eucalypt forests. The female Treecreeper has an orange spot on her face, which the male lacks (see above photos).
We often detect the loud call of the Treecreeper and start looking up the trunks of trees in the region, to find it ascending a tree.
Above are images of the Treecreeper creeping up the trees looking for insects on the way. When they reach to top they move to the lower level of another tree and make another journey up, usually making their classic sound on the way.
I am always amazed at how these birds hang upside-down under branches with such ease as they pursue their food. No part of the tree goes unchecked. Where as most birds check the smaller branches the Treecreepers, mainly check the trunk and larger branches of the barked areas.
Above a White-throated Treecreeper is creeping up a tree, checking for insects and calling occasionally.
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” – Proverbs 11:25