Friday, July 24, 2009

Bottoms Up

G'day Bloggers and Followers,
This morning I was doing a repair to a water line on a fairway - yep, watering again already - and some movement and soft twittering in the patch of bush behind me caught my attention. Amongst the plumbing tools just happened to be a camera. As I began stalking the culprit I started seeing lots of views like this one...
Didn't take long to wake up to the fact that suddenly we had a very unusual visitor on the course, a small flock of Varied Sittellas, (Orange-winged version).
Always a nice little bush bird to see. They like just about any Eucalypt forest, but particularly trees with rough bark like Stringybark, Ironbark, Box, etc.

I've always found you have to be a bit lucky to come across them. Suddenly they will appear in the tops of a group of trees and start working their way down the branches and trunks, poking away under the bark and in cracks with their slightly upturned bills.
Once they've happily worked over a group of trees, they just as suddenly dash off to their next patch of bush.

All in all, a pleasant interruption to my plumbing repair. Back to the tools for me.
Regards,
Gouldiae.

7 comments:

  1. Definitely a nice break from work. You showed the bird from every angle which is great for someone like me who has never seen even one!

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  2. G'day Mick,
    Yep, was a welcome break. The heading describes probably the most frequent view I get of this bird. Fascinating how Sittellas 'work' down the tree and Treecreepers 'work' up, doing the same job - looking for food in the bark.
    You might get the White-headed Sittella up your way. That'd be worth keeping an eye out for.
    Regards,
    Gouldiae.

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  3. Hi Gouldiae.
    Lovely birds. Because they travel in tight flocks (calling to eachother constantly), they are very easy to "squeak up" - with a sucking motion on your finger in front of your lips, or an Audubon bird caller, if you happen to have one.
    .
    I got lucky (once) with these birds and they circled around my head, in a fluttering and twittering frenzy. It lasted 30 seconds, and created a lifetime's memory. No wonder I love them.
    .
    Their nests are the neatest little things. Perfectly camouflaged, but when they are feeding young, they make a racket. not as discreet as they ought be.
    .
    Cheers
    Denis

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  4. Well done G., glad I didn't post my poor effort in my last entry, yours are much better.

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  5. Praise indeed DF - thanks. I just got lucky. In fact they went through once and a little later came back again, so I had two goes at them.

    G'day Denis,
    How unethical of you? Calling birds with a whistle. Tut, tut! Yeah, I do that a bit myself, the fingery/whistle bit that is. I have got one of the bird callers too. Mine is an old Gould League item I think. I remember using it once in some scrub and being surrounded by thornbills and wrens. I never remember to find it and take it with me these days.
    Your experience with the Sittellas around your head would be one to remember.
    Gouldiae

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  6. Fantastic series of photos G.How come your camera focuses on the bird and not the wood or leaves like mine does!

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  7. Thanks Boobook,
    Yeah, I know what you mean sometimes. I won't tell you how many shots were on the card that had sharp leaves and soft birds though! (In case your query is genuine Boobook, the 'spot focus' setting is a big help.)
    Gouldiae

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