Wednesday, June 8, 2016

“It’s been a good day in the bush when …

… you’ve seen a Golden Whistler”, was an adage often expressed by an old birding mate of mine from up east. The saying doesn’t really apply here in West Gippsland as we have Golden Whistlers in the town of Drouin – well, on the outskirts at least. I’ve ticked them in Pryor Rd, Roberts Crt, Settlement Rd, McGlone Rd and Crystal Waters Estate.
A little patch of remnant bush - Roberts Crt Drouin. Ideal Golden Whistler habitat.
The Golden Whistler is a sedentary bird or perhaps locally nomadic, so they are around pretty much all year. They are mostly silent at this time of year, but in spring and summer, their melodic whistling call is easily identifiable, (audio file link – Graeme Chapman).
Male Golden Whistler
The Golden Whistler takes insects and larvae from the foliage of trees and their favourite habitat is eucalypt woodland.

The pair has a very simple single note contact whistle that is easy to replicate and I have found that it is not difficult to briefly ‘call in’ a bird. Sometimes, the female in particular, will spend quite some time checking me out as I sit on a stump whistling a ‘seeep’ sound. I know, I know – some people are easily entertained!
Female, way more subtle but beautiful in her own way. Often curious of people.
Whilst the Golden Whistler is a fairly widespread species, down the east coast, all of Victoria, into South Australia and the bottom s-w corner of Western Australia, they are seldom seen in urban areas.

Common, more often heard than seen up in the canopy.
Golden Whistlers on our doorstep, how lucky are we?

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