Stipiturus mallee  

Mallee Emu-wren (Stipiturus mallee)
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© Vik Dunis 2011
Hattah-Kulkyne National Park, VIC (Apr, 2011)

We were returning from our Easter travels and diverted from the main road to enjoy a trip along the Nowingi Track. Our intention was to stop at the southern end for breakfast and to search yet again for the elusive Mallee Emu-wren.

On most of our visits to this remote mallee location we see no-one but on this occasion we were lucky enough to come across intrepid and experienced Victorian birder John McRae walking along the track.

After chatting for a little while we went our separate ways.

We searched for the Mallee Emu-wren and were just thinking about breakfast when John came strolling back along the track and offered to show us where he had just found a party of the emu-wrens.

Needless to say we fell in behind him and walked briskly along to where he'd marked a spot in the sand of the track and then diverted in amongst the mallee.

Less than fifty metres off the track we surrounded a small area of Mallee and John started pointing to spinifex clumps between us, not unlike a music conductor, and while we quietly and carefully watched, small birds sometimes emerged into view from clumps John had indicated.

John's ear was marvelous and he continued to indicate movements of birds, whether they were visible or not, and after a little while we'd had good views of these beautiful tiny little birds with their disproportionately long tails and we repaired elated back to our vehicle to make a coffee and chat more.

Thanks John. That's yet another one I owe you.

Mallee Emu-wren (Stipiturus mallee)

Male Mallee Emu-wren

Mallee Emu-wren (Stipiturus mallee)

Male Mallee Emu-wren

Mallee Emu-wren (Stipiturus mallee)

Mallee Emu-wren in the spinifex