Saturday, November 13, 2010

Return of the Scrubbers

Zak in the dam with his orange "dummy" at hand [or foot]

Would you believe it! I’d no sooner left the computer, having waxed lyrical about the sad disappearance of the Allen Road skulkers, than Fay and I heard an unusual twittering from near the dam [southern edge]. It stopped us in our tracks. Could it be? Surely not after all these years but, on the other hand, the understorey had regrown in that particular corner of the property.

We saw it suddenly flit into sight and almost as suddenly disappear behind foliage, heading towards the ground. I tweaked the squeaker and it momentarily showed again. Yes, there was a definite white supercillium.

The walk had been intended as little more than an exercise run for the dogs [Boz, an English Pointer, enjoys hunting for rabbit smells – he’s never actually caught one- while Zak, a Labrador, loves nothing better than having to retrieve his orange “dummy” from out of the middle of the dam]. We didn’t have our binoculars with us. Fay raced backed to get them [my replacement knee makes running a poor option if speed is of the essence].

I kept an eye on the skulker who by now had gone deeper into cover but was still calling well. If is wasn’t for that accursed Yellow-throated Scrubwren [I can never distinguish between their peeps] I’d have laid money on White-browed Scrubwren.

Fay returned and we hunted further into the cover. And then, unexpectedly, it stood out on a dead branch, exposing itself in all its diagnostic wonder.

The White-browed Scrubwrens have returned! Well, at least one of them, hopefully a forward scout for a larger party. It merited an extra glass of Barossa red.

This [Sunday] morning we returned and found two of them!

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