I was on the phone, talking with my brother, Brendan, when I saw a bird moving on the ground just outside my window.
This is all I could see.
A small, "quail-like" bird moving around on the ground.
|If you spot the eye first, you can then just make out the bird's shape.|
At first I assumed it was a female Bowerbird. Then I looked more closely, and realise it was a "Quail" (see clarifying comment below).
Sensibly, Brendan told me to hang up the phone, grab my camera and then ring him back (in order).
Once I had taken the first shot, and expanded it on my camera
I realised what I had photographed.
This is the "cropped" version of the same image.
|Painted Button-quail in my garden|
The last species of "Quail" I was expecting in my own garden, between my Camellias, and under the Dogwood tree, was a Painted Button-quail (even though I had previously found a dead one down on Tourist Road, Kangaloon). But that's sandstone scrub habitat. Normal habitat for the species (Robertson is not!)
I had first thought Brown Quail, but realised it was too strongly marked for that.
What about a Stubble Quail? They have fairly strong markings.
Hang on - there a definite tinge of orange around the "shoulders" of this bird.
|Orange tonings on neck and wings become apparent, as the bird walks around.|
Its a Female Painted Button-quail.
(as has been discussed recently, they are NOT true Quails).
|As she moves into the sunlight, the ID is confirmed.|
Painted Button-quails are well known for forming "platelets" - little round clearings on the ground.
The Flickr image (linked here) comments that: "Button-quail search for insects by standing on one leg and scratching away the leaf litter while rotating their body in a circle. This leaves a distinctive circular cleared area in the leaf litter."
That's exactly what this bird was doing in my yard this morning.
It was walking around in a circle, scratching away the dead grass.
That leaves the cleared circular area
making it easy for it to
|Painted Button-quail formed this "platelet" in my garden|
Today (Thursday) - my little friend was back, scratching away, busily, doing "circles" and clearing more of these "platelets". DJW 22 Sept 2011