Juvenile White-browed Robin (Poecilodryas superciliosa) on a branch near the lookout knoll at Tyto, no more than 50 metres from a nest site that I watched off and on early in October.
This young bird and another fledged not long after my crawl over green ants in pursuit of a Long-tailed Nightjar. From the day before they left the nest till three days ago - about six weeks - I'd not sighted them.
Yet neither the two juveniles nor their parents could have been far off at any time. Nor is the area densely treed. Some birds and their young have this ability to seemingly disappear, without leaving the breeding locality. Small honeyeaters share the knack.
Willie Wagtails, on the other hand, do not move from the immediate nest zone and dominate their space. There's no denying their breeding and survival supremacy among all the local insect eaters. But few birds can match the Willies' devotion and natural aggression in defence of nest and even mature young.
While on the subject of juveniles' whereabouts, the four young Crimson Finches not long departed from their nest hole in front of the hide now spend their days in Scleria (Razor Grass) 100 metres to the west on an untrafficked (except by me) margin of the main lagoon.
Sadly, the Leaden Flycatchers nesting near the hide seem to have fallen victim to last week's lashing rain. The trim nest sits abandoned. No sign of the birds, or the unknown number of eggs on which they had been sitting.
But the Brown-backed Honeyeaters (Ramsayornis modestus) have returned to the hide and are rebuilding the nest they started and abandoned - and which the Rufous-throated Honeyeaters looted. Brown-backeds' nesting habits are certainly erratic.
Townsville Common Cons. Pk, track to Jacana hide, today. Flew off a second later with lighter load.
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