A cunning plan

on 06 Nov 2013 

By all accounts things are not going very well at all for the Diamond Firetail in Australia. Already featured quite a few times on this blog from various places, this iconic little finch is still going backwards throughout the country. Even in protected places like the Nardoo Hills the numbers are down on the long term average.

It was therefore extra exciting for volunteer Cliff Grant to find a bunch of em going in and out of a whole clutch of separate nests perched cunningly underneath the one of an eagle. This is a relatively new eagle's nest and it has been built only over the last three years or so on a very remote spot on the northern boundary of the reserve in a large old Grey Box.

At least three, but more likely up to five DF's nests are being used at this site and four different individuals were seen and heard on closer inspection. I'm just guessing here, but when you hide under the nest of the top predator in your ecosystem I assume you either have a whole lot of guts or you know something others don't. Keep your enemies close indeed.

In other Nardoo bird news, for some reason it is raining White-browed Woodswallows this year. Many more than usual have arrived this spring and they outnumber the usually more numerous Duskies by about 10 to 1 (scientifically determined figure using one wet finger and a southern breeze).

Unfortunately for them I always call the ever changing years after the plants that have done better than usual and that honour this year goes to the Ptilotus macrocephala. We've had the year of the pea two years ago, last year was the year of the themeda, but this year the giant ptilotus is doing beautifully, broadening its range over the place as well as producing many thousands of flower-heads more than in previous seasons.