Walka Waterworks Reserve is a beautiful family picnic area set north of Maitland, Newcastle. Historically it is the original steam pumping station for the water supply to Newcastle from the Hunter River. We had a family picnic there hoping to see water birds, such as the Great Crested Grebe , you may remember we posted over a year ago, but the passerines were the feature of the day.
Scarlet Honeyeaters everywhere at eye level, not high in eucalypts as they normally are, but feeding from the many species of Grevilea flowering around the reserve, situated around large man-made lake. Notice in this footage how the male tweets after each nectar feed. There are males everywhere but no females.
The Australasian Figbird male was seen and heard calling in the same eucalyts the honeyeaters were combing.
Of course where ever you go the male Superb Fairy-wren is not far away, and its sounds can be heard in the tall grass and reeds nearby the track.
Hey, but we finally spotted a female Superb. How strange to only see males. Possibly the females are on the nest, as this is what is the norm for spring.
The lovely song of this juvenile Rufous Whistler caught our attention and drew us to a tree where we watched it move about alone for some time before it flew away. It is quite different from the mature bird and somewhat resembles the female Figbird.
But one of the features of our weekend was the discovery of a lifer, this Rufous Songlark in full song. He kept us busy for some time as he moved from tree to tree, very easy to follow by his call.
The humble Welcome Swallow even gave me some good shots as it rested on the roof of a shelter.
The White-browed Scrubwren is always easy to identify by his noisy angry calls.
The beautiful bright Yellow Thornbill always is a glowing delight, as it makes its way with its classic call through the tree looking for small insects.
Not far away, but on the lawn is the Yellow-rumped Thornbill. This one took a fancy to this bird feather, which I think it was considering incorporating in its nest, but had some trouble deciding. You can see how it gets its name.
But a feature of our day occurred just as we were leaving the reserve, when I heard the sound of a Babbler. The classic sound drew my attention up a tree where the unexpected find of one lone Grey-crowned Babbler was moving about, illuminated as the sun was low in the west.
Next week I will show you more birds from this amazing reserve. The conclusion is that if you plant nectar rich plants such as Grevilea and Bottle Brush you will attract the honeyeaters and other bird species.
“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” – Luke 12:24
Have a great week birding! Check out my website if you are new to my posts.