Friday, October 3, 2008

Lovely to see you at long last!

How could it take more than four weeks for me to find a Lovely Fairy Wren (Malurus amibilis) that built a nest and today sat in it at knee height beside a fire trail?

Out in the open? Alongside the tangled lantana most likely to sustain wrens? Very close to the tree against which day after day I've propped my bike? Three metres from where I passed to and fro? Staying still long enough to melt into the background is a discipline I lack.
The female had almost to fly through my legs today to finally catch my attention. At which point I was less than five metres from the totally unobscured nest.
But it took close to a hour before another close encounter led my eye to the nest. Inside, two tiny part-speckled eggs with a faint pink hue. Thanking the wren for her help, I left and will return on most days ahead to observe from a distance.

One early thought after seeing the barely disguised nest is its vulnerability to Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis), the most common small cuckoo in the wetlands. Within the past fortnight I've spotted several Horsfields close by. So long as the sitting bird shows no unease at my sneak peeks I'll monitor the eggs. Could get interesting.

As a related aside, I've lately seen two pairs of Horsfield's feeding their (presumed) own singleton juveniles. First noticed such feeding twice last year. This may be a more effective strategy than absolute parasitism?

4 comments:

Mosura said...

Fantastic bird that Fairywren. Your persistence paid off.

mick said...

Great description and photos of finding the nest of the wren. I look forward to hearing how the bird manages in such an exposed place.

Tyto Tony said...

Thanks mosura. Not sure if obsessives deserve praise for persistence: just part of the syndrome!

Hi mick: two visits today (Sat), no sightings. Not so unsual given our 27-28C days.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Tony,
Beaut report. Like others, I'm looking forward to your follow ups. Your item reminded me of the nest of a Rufous Fantail Duncan and I came across some time back. Barely a metre off the ground on the side of a bush track often used by four-wheel drivers, bikes and hikers.
Gouldiae