The Black Grasswren …

Bachsten Gorge, 11th June, 2013 …

Got it. First a call, then a fleeting glimpse of two birds up hill of us on top of a blackened sandstone boulder. We wait in the hope of a second look but a couple of minutes pass with no success. We creep up to a spot where we can look down on the boulder. Gone.

A few moments later the whole party can be seen travelling fairly quickly across country about a hundred metres up hill. Hoping that they would be consistent in their direction of travel we hiked hard to intercept them at a rocky knob on the skyline. We got there just in time to enjoy very brief close views as they went one by one over the crest of the hill.

This is, of course where I would put my photograph, but on this and subsequent contacts they were just too active to get them in the open and in focus. I hope Drew Fulton will forgive me using this superb photo of his …

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This is a male, the girls have chestnut bellies. They are bigger than I expected, certainly bigger than the majority of Grasswrens and superbly coloured to fit into their environment. Picture it, open woodland with spinifex between the trees, broken by large sandstone boulders ranging from red to black, harsh shadows cast by the tropical sun, the grasswrens on the move, bold, active and beautiful.

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