Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Resourceful Fairy-Wrens

I persuaded the family to make a small detour to Pirates Bay at Eaglehawk Neck, while on a recent outing to the Tasman Peninsula. As there was a strong, cool, northerly wind blowing, I was hopeful of perhaps seeing some interesting seabirds from the lookout. In the event we saw 20 or more Australasian Gannets, fishing well offshore, and a constant procession of Black-faced Cormorants, probably from their nearby breeding place on the Hippolytes, but little else. Next, wandering down to the jetty, we were confronted by the full force of the northerly and took shelter behind the Tuna club building. Two passing Oystercatchers caught my eye, one a Sooty, the other a Pied. The Sooty alighted among the nearby rocks, and I followed, hoping for a "photo-op". As I did so, a male Superb Fairy-wren passed me, battling into the headwind, to land behind the bull kelp covering the beach. I watched for a while, mainly to see what had brought it out of the nearby cover, to a non-typical fairy-wren habitat. I soon realised that it was very actively chasing small flying insects, and soon had a bill full. It was joined briefly by a female, before flying off into the scrub, returning shortly afterwards. Obviously, it was feeding nestlings. Trying to photograph it feeding among the kelp, proved challenging, with an active bird and a strong wind, but, aided by the bird being inured to the presence of humans, I managed a few shots. I briefly turned my attention to photographing the Sooty Oystercatcher feeding among the rocks, before deciding that it was time to pay more attention to my family's needs! Something, at times, I am apt to overlook.


Boobook said...

Great to see a Superb Fairy-wren in a different setting, and a nice photo as well.

Anonymous said...

It does seem wierd to see 'Blue wrens' on the beach. We've also noticed them, at times, chasing insects in the kelp. They're great little opportunists!