Sunday, 2 May 2010

Birds and Fairies

At long last, I've now got an Eastern Spinebill and New Holland Honeyeater picture I'm proud of!  In the last week I've had briefer lunches at work so not taken my camera to the gardens, however last Monday was a public holiday in Australia (Anzac day) and I took the opportunity to spend a little longer in the the gardens than usual and went there in the afternoon.  The result was better quality pictures of the more elusive birds in the gardens. The advice of my fellow blogger Mosura definitely helped: waiting patiently and taking lots of shots paid off. 

So, first the Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris - not absolutely perfect as he is looking away from the camera, but the colours and focus are nice:

I then went to the rock garden where I sat for a while watching a New Holland Honeyeater Phylidonyris novaehollandiae flit around a small Banksia bush.  After a while he rested on top of a flower, so I got a few lovely pictures - he was quite fluffy, so may a young one, or just a bit chilly?!

I saw a Red Wattle Bird Anthochaera carunculata sitting on top of a bench.  These birds are very common in the gardens with a distinctive raucous call, however I got a couple of good shots Id like to include here.

I also got a picture of an Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltria australis, the first I'd seen in the gardens.  They have a very pretty bell-like call, which gave away his hiding place in a bush.
Finally, I also got some pictures of fairies! Well, the Superb Fairy-wren  Malurus cyaneus to be exact.  These are probably the hardest ones to get a shot of that I've seen - they are very small, fast movers and pretty shy!  The first is a female, the second and third pictures are a non-breeding male, these only have a blue tail whereas breeding males have a spectacular blue plumage.  Unlike the Galahs, fairy wrens are very promiscuous, apparently females may be courted by up to 13 males in half an hour!  They have a complex social structure, described here on this blog, where territories over-lap and a number of birds help bring up the young. 
I went to the gardens today, with the intention of doing the same and getting some better bird pictures to add to this collection.  I took a fantastic picture of a non-breeding male Fairy Wren with a lovely blue tail, however the memory card in my camera went loopy and wouldn't let me take any more pictures and appears to have wiped my Fairy Wren masterpiece, gutted!  So, that may be 'the one that got away'...

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