Friday, 21 October 2011

Bird calls

With breeding season well underway we awake every morning to a chorus of many differing bird voices and it is very pleasant to spend some time identifying as many species as you can from their calls. This morning we were up to about a dozen species before getting up for breakfast. A little later in the morning I heard a call that I had noted a few times of late but been able to find the bird that was calling. The call is a very deep "oom, oom, oom" repeated for a short time then stopped. Today I was able to get a fix on the general location and then searched the trees as I though it could be a Tawny Frog-mouth (a nocturnal bird that roosts in trees during the day looking very much like a dead branch) that at times call during the day. Then I heard a noise in the leaf litter and caught a glimpse of a smallish bird, but not enough for identification and then it disappeared.Thinking it might be a quail, but not our regular Brown Quail (as it has the wrong call) I checked our bird book and sure enough the female Painted Quail makes exactly the right call. Then as luck would have it a little later I spotted the quail working through some leaf litter behind our shed and was able to get close enough for a positive identification but unfortunately couldn't get a clear line for a photo so just the following, with some grass in the way.

Painted Quail Turnix varia found down the coast and adjacent ranges from North Queensland to south east SA and south west WA. Not a true quail they are one of the Bustard or button Quails.
Another bird that is very vocal at present is the Fantail Cuckoo and I did manage to get a photo of one  that was busy competing with a few others in the vicinity.

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