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Hooded Robin at Flowerdale

December 8, 2011

Hooded Robin - Photo: Steve Joblin

A recent rare sighting on a property in Spring Valley Road was a male Hooded Robin. This lovely bird prefers lightly timbered woodland with grassy clearings and fallen timber. Its conservation status in Victoria is “Near Threatened” and it is one of a number of temperate woodland species in serious decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well predation by foxes, cats etc.

The Strath Creek Landcare group featured the Hooded Robin in its booklet  Birds of the lower King Parrot Valley in the “Focal Species” section.  It was hoped that these declining woodland birds could be encouraged back to the district by Landcare works such as protection of remnant habitat and revegetation. Such works have been carried out over several years on this Flowerdale farm. Fire swept through the property in February 2009, and it is good to know the Hooded Robin has now returned. There were three previous sightings of an immature bird in 2002,  2004 and 2007.

Buff-banded Rail - Photo: Rosemary Ralph

Another uncommon visitor to the district recently was the Buff-banded Rail. A pair of rails has been observed with a young one on a Strath Creek property. The rail’s preferred habitat is reeds and rushes bordering wetlands, and these birds are obviously attracted by the landholders’ large well-vegetated pond close to the house. A distinctive feature of the rail is that it flicks its tail constantly.

Click on each of the photos for a closer look.

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