Thursday, July 5, 2012
I parked the Hyundai Getz at Bonnie View at 10:30am, intending to meander up to Wishing Well in search of Crescent Honeyeaters, which I haven't been able to spot over the last few months, although I've heard their distinct, clipped calls many times since last December. The first thing I saw after stepping out of the car was a Beautiful Firetail feeding on the tiny cones of an uprooted casuarina directly behind the wooden 'Bonnie View' sign. This casuarina was uprooted/moved to make way for steps the NPWS have just put in (I'm not sure the steps are really needed here). I was stunned to see the Firetail; these birds aren't easy to find, especially as they are nomadic outside the breeding season (ie. now). I had superb views of it. The olive-bronze-grey of its plumage stood out more this time than on other occasions I've spent time with them. I've been birding at Bonnie View so many times and never heard/seen BFs before. Bonnie View is the 3rd location in the Southern Highlands I have for BFs. They're also on the Budderoo Plateau and at that iconic birding spot Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, where the Illawarra meets the Highlands... And I had fleeting views of the Crescent Honeyeater (male and female) at Wishing Well. The male was calling. According to my Pizzey and Knight and Morecombe guides, CHs are supposed to be in lowlands during Winter. What's going on here? LJ, July 5 2012.