Grey Shrike-thrush, Colluricincla harmonica, posing for his portrait on the end of the picnic table
One of the delights of my visit to Eungella National Park was the bird-watching – there were so many birds, and so many of them were new to me.
Eastern Yellow Robin, Eopsaltria australis, in the picnic ground
Yellow Robins were always in sight around the picnic grounds and other open spaces. They are a little smaller than the Shrike-thrush.
A few more photos of these two species – click on the thumbnails, as usual, for larger versions.
Grey Shrike-thrush, Colluricincla harmonica, with a huntsman it had just plucked from the rafters of the picnic shelter
Grey Shrike-thrush raiding my plate for crumbs
Eastern Yellow Robin in characteristic pose, perched sideways on a tree-trunk
Scrub Turkey, Alectura lathami, on my picnic table
It’s one thing to have a mynah-sized Shrike-thrush timidly approach the picnic table for a few crumbs. It’s quite another to have such a big, bulky bird as a Scrub Turkey strut into the shelter to hop onto the seat opposite me and then onto the table itself with the clear intention of making off with anything that took its fancy, but it did give me some fine close-ups.
Little Pied Cormorant, Phalacrocorax melanoleucos, drying off after fishing in the river
Azure Kingfisher, Alcedo azurea, on the same log as the cormorant, highlighting the gorgeous bird’s diminutive stature
Yellow Robins and Kookaburras liked the trees along the river banks but these two are genuine water birds. The Azure Kingfisher, a little smaller than Forest or Sacred, was my first; Slater’s Field Guide describes the species as an “uncommon resident along creeks, rivers and mangroves” in northern and eastern Australia.
This tiny bird (10cm, wren-size) is a Thornbill or close relation
With this little bird I move into the “unknowns” – birds not seen clearly enough for a good photo or even proper identification. There were honeyeaters in the bottlebrush trees around the camping ground, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos in the distance, a swamp-hen or one of its relations on the river, a dove or pigeon that I only saw as a silhouette against the sky, and half-sightings of birds in the rainforest gloom. One of these may have been a Pale-yellow Robin or Lemon-bellied Flycatcher; another may have been a Spectacled Monarch.
I will take this opportunity to recommend an excellent resource for amateur bird-watchers (and that does include me!), the Bird-finder on the Birds in Backyards site. Just go to http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/finder, click on a few characteristics such as approximate size, colour/s and overall shape, and the clever software will come up with a list of possibilities with thumbnail images and links to species pages. It’s particularly useful when you have no idea which family your bird may belong to, since sites like Ian Montgomery’s Birdway and field guide books like Slaters’ are organised, logically enough, by family and genus.