Tuesday, June 21, 2011


G'day Readers,
One bird we can always count on seeing in the woodlands of Gippsland is the 'everywhere' Grey Fantail. Often they are very inquisitive of bird counters and photographers and frequently almost pose for a picture. We can sometimes take them for granted.

The other common fantail in the district is the 'Mr smart' Willie Wagtail. Both are excelent hawkers of insects on the wing. Grey fans almost always take their prey in and around the foliage and tree trunks about mid level. Willies often hawk close to the ground, particularly in winter and generally prefer more open habitat.

The Grey Fantail in our district is mostly pretty sedentary although it is believed some do migrate north in winter. The willie too is at best dispersive, with their numbers building in spring. Both are amazing acrobatic flyers as they twist and turn, tails fanning, snatching insects in the air.

Both the willie and the grey have a set of 'whiskers' thought to be useful in scooping or netting their prey as they zig zag about.

Whiskers for netting insects?
A proper pair of little charmers.



  1. There are willie wagtails in the open areas, but my resident noisy, hyperactive birds are grey fantails. I love them! They seem have an opinion about everything.

    Have yet to get a decent photo of them, so I dips me lid to you!

  2. Hi there. That was very informative, great photos. I have recently started blogging and did a post on the grey fantails, who are regulars at my joint ( between the scrub and coast south of Adelaide) Thought you might be interested. I've enjoyed reading through much of your blog and will check out the archives.
    Cheers, Shari

  3. Thanks for looking in Snail and Shari.
    Hope you enjoy your blogging Shari - nice to share your experiences in nature.