Where would you experience the exhilarating experience of hand feeding wild Eastern Yellow Robins, among many other birds of the Australian rainforest?
Where can you stay in luxury accommodation in the middle of a National Park high on a mountain top?
One of Australia’s most wonderful birding places we love to visit is Lamington Mountain National Park, in the mountainous hinterland of Southern Queensland and more precisely to stay for a long weekend package, with all meals and accommodation at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat. This week is Bird Week at O’Reilly’s and people have come from all over the world to enjoy a feast of birding talks and adventures.
We visited the week before Bird Week, because our experience with seeking birds in large groups of talking people has not been greatly successful. There is also a morning bird walk and a Birds of Prey show daily, which I will feature in future posts. Their logo is the male Regent Bowerbird which are in large numbers here, one of the best places to see this stunning bird.
The Eastern Yellow Robin is a small insectivorous rainforest bird both territorial and perennial, being therefore predictably found along trails on each occasion one visits. These curious birds will often come close to observe you and then follow or lead you along the track for some time, till they reach the limit of their territory. There are two races, the North Eastern race chrysorroa (golden rumped) found in the Lamington NP as well as the rainforests of the northern coast and ranges of eastern Australia. Click on photos to enlarge them.
and the South Eastern race australis (southern) found in the coastal and mountain rainforests of Victoria and NSW. Apart from the bright yellow rump of the Northern Robin, the chin variation distinguishes them. The northern has a grey chin and the southern white.
One of the highlights of our stay was my wife’s discovery of a Robin’s nest, with newborn babies inside. Their wings had not yet developed feathers, but looked more like the fins of a fish. Both parents were coming and going constantly to feed and do lookout duty to deter curious passers by. Thankfully the nest was well hidden from the untrained eye. The bright yellow rump is visible on the nesting parent.
This beautiful footage of the parent feeding the babies and also carrying away their white faeces from the nest was a great capture. Notice also that the male goes out and fetches the food, brings it back transfers it to the females mouth and she feeds them.
At the end of this second clip you will see our next exciting find nearby, juvenile Eastern Yellow Robins that are just starting to fledge, or at least make their first exit from the comfort of the nest. See how they huddle together. Again the feeding ritual by both parents continues.
So you know what this bird sounds like in the forest I have some footage of the South Eastern Robin, it can be confused at times with the call of the Treecreeper, though the space between calls is slightly longer.
This was all I have time to share this week. My book was received very well at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat Gift Shop where it is now sold is now sold. Funny enough, at breakfast, we were chatting with some birders from the USA, and one man wanted to purchase my book and went directly to the shop which was only just opening. This shop attendant did not know the book was for sale, and the man asked for it but she declined saying they did not have it. He replied, “I’ve got news for you, you do sell it.” The attendant was surprised to find its bright cover facing her from the shelf. Of course my new friends wanted me to sign it for them. You can purchase your signed copy here online for less than it is sold in the shops. Many birds in the book are found in the Lamington NP.
This weekend at Olympic Park at the Newington Armory section, the huge Australasian Bird Fair 2017 will be held for the second time in history. Check out this website for more info or do a search. Aussiebirder will be there in person selling his book at a Bird Fair Special price, talking with people and book signing as you would expect. There will be lots of interesting stalls, talks, information on conservation, photographic gear etc.