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One LBJ puzzle solved

September 11, 2014

In the quest to add to my ‘Lists of Observed Things’, I have started looking at smaller and smaller things, for example springtails and micro-mushrooms. On the bird side of things, apart from the raptor that has been hanging around the house for the past month, and of which I still don’t have a photo (not even an insurance shot), I think I’ve spotted all the ‘big’ ones. So to add to my bird list, I’ll have to start photographing the LBJs (little brown jobs). LBJs are those tiny little birds you can barely see as they flit through the tree-tops, usually against the sun.

DSCN0477For a decade I have avoided identifying LBJs. They are hard to photograph and hard to identify (for me) even with a photograph. Last week I saw one flitting through a grove of young Black Wattles (Acacia mearnsii). Although it was not-so-little and not-so-brown, it is still classified as an LBJ because it moves with them as they mob across the landscape (LBJ by association).

The new bird app on my iPad narrowed it down to about a dozen suspects, but in the end I had to call in Geoff and Dave, the bird-o experts from Yea and Strath Creek, for a positive identification. The bird is a Jacky Winter (Microeca fascinans). The origin of the name is not known but it reminds me of a Willie Wagtail and Robin Red-breast.

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