Last weekend my wife and I had the delight of two of my four grandchildren staying with us during their school holidays, so we had a day at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. As I have shared on previous occasions our zoo is a leader in conservation of our endangered Regent Honeyeater, due to its breeding program, which successfully releases them back into the wild. This bird is an important contributor to the pollination of many Australian flowers. It was good that we could show them what one looked like, considering we have spent so much time looking for it without success in the wild. To hear them call to one another was another feature. Sadly the noise of children in the background spoiled my film clip. The skin around the eye is a pale pink flesh colour in the mature adult, this one is still maturing.
I also took them to see the resident Tawny Frogmouth couple, I featured on here the last two weeks, and lo and behold one of my grandsons spotted a third Tawny, which I had not noticed, sleeping in a tree fork nearby. A budding birder no doubt. You can see how difficult it is to spot them as they mimic the shape and colour of the surrounding tree.
As we walked through the park one of the boys spotted this beautiful Red-browed Finch, which are park residents, which I had only just said I had not seen much of recently. This little guy gave us a great reception.
These tiny birds, are essentially firetails, some referring to them as a Red-browed Firetail, since they meet the criteria of a finch with a bright red tail. They are found from the coast to the plains in the eastern states of Australia moving about in small to large flocks, foraging for small seed (such as grass) and insects. The juveniles lack the red brow.
I also took the boys to the Royal National Park, to the very same spot at the bend in the river, where I saw the Azure Kingfisher last week, from whence the photos I featured in last week’s post were taken. As I drove there it was getting late and I kept thinking, what if it does not show… but to our delight and God’s kindness it was right on queue. Another couple from eBird Australia had already sighted it. However it had eluded them. My grandson soon spotted it flying and landing on a reed. You can see how small yet bright they are.