Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Gluepot - Part 2
I was up at dawn the next morning, off to an area of Mallee with Spinifex understory that is habitat for one of Gluepot's key species, Red-lored Whistler. This bird is critically endangered due to habitat loss from clearance and also from bushfire. The two photos below were taken 200 metres (220 yards) apart and show an unburnt area and an area regenerating from the fire in 2008. Before the fire the photos would have been almost identical. I did glimpse the whistler, but didn't get close to a photo. As I got to the end of the track, I spotted a Striated Grasswren dart across the path. I slowly crept forward, but each time I got close it darted to the next clump of Spinifex. I decided to try my Audubon Bird Call - and the grasswren immediately called back. Over the next few minutes I called and clicked, and got some great shots of this stunning little bird. Again there were mixed flocks of woodswallows overhead, this time mainly White-browed Woodswallow. There are a number of hides (blinds) around the reserve, and each one has a small supply of water for the birds. At one, there was a pair of Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters dueting. As I passed the Rangers quarters, I spotted a movement at the base of a tree and found one of Australia's largest lizards Gould's Goanna. This chap was about 1 metre (3 ft) long, and was quite happy to pose for me.