Abercrombie Caves

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akasha's picture
Abercrombie Caves

I went to Abercrombie Caves today and was lucky enough to see heaps of birds including an Eastern Yellow Robin which I hadn't seen before.
Crimson Rosella:

Superb Blue Wren:

Wood Ducks:

Eastern Spinebill:

Maybe a Thornbill or a Gerygone, please tell me if you know.

Eastern Yellow Robin:

White-browed Scrubwrens:

I love this photo. The top one is going off and the bottom one looks like it couldn't care less.
Red-browed Finch:

Welcome Swallow nesting in the roof of the cave. There were dozens of them:

Another one I'm not sure about. Maybe a Gerygone?:

Australian Raven:

birdie's picture

Hey Akasha
Now that is what I call a good day's sightings!
I think the one you are not sure of is a Striated Thornbill , but GregL and Berldo may be better at confirming than i, as they have been discussing them in other posts.

I would have been stoked if I had that kind of result for a day out! I was in a forest full of tiny birds this morning and didn't manage a good shot of any of them. I have been chasing after the sound of a Golden Whistler for 2 days, and have only glimpsed him once or twice in two days. there were variegated wrens all over the show this morning but I could NOT get them to sit long enough for me to do anything more than a very soft blurry shot LOL
I guess that is the fun of small birds. I take a recorder now as if I can't photograph them I can at least bring their beautiful sounds home to my computer :)

Sunshine Coast Queensland

akasha's picture

Hi Birdie
I know the feeling, it's so frustrating when you can hear them and catch glimpses but can't get a decent photo.
I borrowed my Dad's camera today and discovered the sports setting, it's brilliant. It's designed to get photos of fast moving subjects and it automatically focuses on whatever is moving in the frame.


I'd have my money on a brown thornbill for that bird but I think i'll leave it to the pros :) and I think your gerygone (3rd from the bottom) is a rufous fantail. And may I say, WOW at the eastern spinebill photo! They are so small and active I know I certainly couldn't get a good shot of them! Lovely set, most of them are among my favourite birds :)

Tazrandus's picture

These are great shots! I'm amazed that you were able to take quality photos of even the shyest and actively twitching birds that dart everywhere, making them already a pain to spot with the naked eye let alone point and click your camera at.


bushbirdnerd's picture

Where are the Abercrombie Caves Akasha? Great day's adventure by the looks. The photo before the east. yellow robin is probably a brown thornbill- but there is something about its body- seems quite slender (for a thornbill) and its tail long, if not a thornbill, not sure what it is. The second last photo is a brown thornbill I'd say. The 'rufous fantail' (very hard to tell with the photo angle) is probably not a fantail. The tail pattern is different to a rufous fantail and would also be larger. Do you have another shot?

Oxalis is not my friend

GregL's picture

Its so difficult with thornbills. I was just watching one that looked the same eating aphids on our roses, it had stripes on its head so I think it was a striated, but i'm still not sure. I also saw some I think were browns recently, they seemed darker. I would go for striated but the photo doesn't show the top of the head so its difficult.


I'm pretty sure it is a rufous fantail, there are no other AUS birds I can think of with the fanned tail and the orange, if you wanna have a quick compare, I have a photo I found on a fantail on google :) http://wildimagesmattprophet.com/albums/userpics/Rufous_fantail_MCCRS_reserve_QLD.jpg As for the thornbill, the stirated pardalote has white and stripes above the eye as well as below, which I don't think I can see there. So my guess would be a brown thornbill! Nice photos of the smaller more active birds Akasha :)

bushbirdnerd's picture

Still not convinced Amateur. The tail fan is quite large and the pattern is different (on the rufous fantail). Rufous also have white underneath their beaks which you'd be able to see some of on this bird. The angle makes it hard so some other input from other forum members would be appreciated. How big was the bird Akasha? Could be a juvenile, but I get rufous fantails where I am (Sth Vic) in October to breed so I don't know about that either! Hard one.

Oxalis is not my friend

QLDBird's picture

I've seen Gerygones and Thornbills fan their tails out like that. NIce photos Akasha.
I'd say that is a Brown Thornbill

berldo's picture

I am confident in saying brown thornbill for the thornbill shots. As for the fantail shot.... definately not a fantail of any description. My guess is brown thornbill again.


Yep you guys are right, definitely not a fantail! As I was looking again I realised that none had such little orange on its tail. I never realised that other bird fanned their tails like that! You learn something new everyday :)

birdie's picture

I am just wondering... would it not have been obvious to Akasha if it was a fantail of any sort? By its behaviour and its call etc. Having observed Rufous a few times they are pretty unmistakable as a fantail aren't they?
I agree Amateur that the tail does look like that but the barring on the tail looks different. Are there many other birds that fan their tail when flitting around in the bush? ALso it could be the angle but the tail doesn't look long enough for a fantail.

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Holly's picture

Lots of great shots akasha! Well done.

I would place my bets on a Brown Thornbill as well.

akasha's picture

Thanks for your responses everyone. I'm pretty sure it's a Brown Thornbill myself now.
Sorry everyone I should've made this clearer before; the bird with the fantail is actually the same individual as in the photo below.
The Abercrombie Caves are 70km south of Bathurst near a little town called Trunkey Creek.

Birdgirl2009's picture

All great shots. I always hear them and have trouble photographing them in all the light and shade of the trees. I especially like the red-browed finch

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