Lake Seppings in Albany, Western Australia

It was exciting to see two of Western Australia’s endemic birds at Lake Seppings, Albany; the Red-winged Fairy-wren and the Red-eared Firetail. Lake Seppings is in a 17 hectare nature reserve only three kilometres from the centre of Albany. The reserve is very accessible and supports a good list of water-birds in the lake and bulrushes, reeds and sedges that surround it. Blue-billed Ducks, Musk Ducks and Hoary-headed Grebes were among the mornings sightings. There is also well established bush (banksias and melaleuca) around the lake providing home for woodland and forest birds

After excellent views of an adult Red-eared Firetail I spotted a group of three finches feeding on the path. From the distance they looked like the Beautiful Firetail only seen in the eastern Australia. They really had to be juvenile Red-eared Firetails but I was unable to confirm this. Despite the unlikely prospect of them being anything different I put the photo below up on the “Australian Bird Identification, (ABID)” web-page on Facebook.

This site is a wonderful resource and usually the identity of birds is revealed within minutes of posting a photo. In a short space of time one of the knowledgeable contributors to this site commented “As estrildids [finches] have no immature stage, it is a Red-eared Firetail transitioning from juvenile (plumage) to adult (bill colour)”.