Flame Robin by Damian Kelly

Flame Robins seem to be all over the Tableland this winter-spring. And what a gorgeous little bird they are – a bright spark in the winter garden. But if the male’s not around, they’re pretty easy to miss, as the female is much less colourful. However, if you know their call, you can easily tell if they’re in your area. Its very distinctive and, though delicate, carries a long way. Click here to listen to the Flame Robins in my garden- its the repeated ‘tinkling’ call that one book describes as ‘you may come … if you wish …  to the sea‘:   Also on the recording are Australian Magpie, Superb Fairy-wren, Brown Thornbill, Grey Shrike-thrush … and a cow. And now to something less colourful, but with a much bigger Wow! factor. Its a bit faint, but here’s the call of a Powerful Owl from the forest behind the house

Powerful Owl, by 'Ben Cruachan'

The recording was from late May this year. Our patch of bush, on Boundary Hill, isn’t big enough to support them permanently, but at least once a year, usually in winter, at least one bird comes to visit our forest. Its always exciting to hear the call, as I can picture what’s on the other end – at right! In the background you can hear the Common Froglet calling and if you listen very carefully you can hear the ‘coughing-hiss’ of a Mountain Brushtail Possum (early in the recording) and … my footstep.

The Powerful Owl is Australia’s largest owl species. These birds  have large home ranges of ~400-1000 ha and they nest in tree hollows (up to 0.5 m deep) that only occur in very large, old trees. Quite a few people on the Tableland have heard these birds, but I wonder if we’re all hearing the same few birds, just at different times.

This pic comes from a great natural history blog from Gippsland, Victoria- CLICK HERE.