Welcome to the News section of the iNSiGHT Ornithology website (
www.simoncherriman.com). This blog contains updates about various things I've been up to, interesting environmental issues and observations I make regularly while going about my day. It is designed to be fun AND educational, and inspire you about our wonderful natural world. Happy reading!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Spinebill and the Sparrowhawk

Last year you read about my experience photographing Western Spinebills up close in my Mt Helena backyard. The species has been so frequently sighted during the Christmas break that I've taken the opportunity to continue, this time focusing on their feeding forays at a local native species of plant, the Fuchsia Grevillea (Grevillea bipinnatifida). I planted several of these shrubs at my parents' place a few years ago and have watched them grow and provide food for a range of native birds, and protective cover for foraging Quenda (Southern Brown Bandicoots).

Yesterday  I was filming a spinebill feeding on a grevillea flower when a huge commotion took place. A female Kilingilee (Collared Sparrowhawk) dashed from nowhere and snatched a Dongkarak (Western Wattlebird), who was mid-flight during a swift, nectar-defending dive-bomb at some New Holland Honeyeaters, clean out of the air! The hawk proceeded to land with the wattlebird and kill it beneath a weeping tree, before plucking and eating it. Having my camera handy, I was lucky enough to be able to capture some of this behaviour on film.

A short film clip is coming very soon, but for now, here's a screen capture of the Kilingilee swallowing the Dongkarak's tongue. What a mouthful!