Friday, October 16, 2009

Striated Pardalote--"orange-tipped"

While looking for Striated Fieldwrens at Pipeclay Lagoon (I failed), I came across a pair of Striated Pardalotes with a nest hole in a low bank beneath an old fence line. Watching them from a distance, I realised that both birds had orange markings in their wings, rather than the usual yellow, one of which is shown at left. (You will need to click on the image to see this and you might like to compare it with the 'normal' type below).
The Tasmanian striateds, were once known as 'Yellow-tipped Pardalotes', but are now lumped with their Mainland counterparts. This species ranges over much of Australia, exhibits variable plumages and the spot in the wing ranges from yellow to red (consult your field guide!). The one thing they apparently have in common is their "pick-it-up" call, and this pair incessantly demonstrated that. Most Tasmanian striateds migrate to the Mainland in the Autumn, returning early in Spring.
Orange-tipped birds have been recorded in Tasmania from time to time, as has the red-tipped 'model', but this is the first that I've seen.
I'm not sure whether this pair will breed successfully, as they have chosen a site potentially subject to flooding. Much of the area is already inundated, sufficient to attract a pair of Black-fronted Plovers.


Penny said...

Hi Alan, thanks for sharing these observations and photos. Would you mind sharing which area of the lagoon the black fronted plovers were situated as I have yet to see one (I certainly haven't seen an orange- tipped Striated Pardalote either, but I will look with renewed interest!)

BirdingTas said...

Hi Penny,
Yes, I have to plead guilty in all too often not giving all the information that I should! The spot is at the entrance to the Cape Deslacs conservation area, along Bicheno St., (backs on to Clifton Beach). The area is part of the remnants of a saltmarsh, which is now flooded presumably by rain water as Black-fronteds are usually found near fresh water. Failing finding them there, you might try Rushy Lagoon (near Lauderdale)--turn off at the large radio aerial, past Clear Lagoon (on the left), next right and follow the road to the farm house. Recently there have been several birds feeding on the lagoon margins--very cryptic birds, so be warned.
I should have also mentioned that the presence of 'orange-tipped' birds would suggest that they're Mainland birds that joined the migration South. My knowledge of the distribution of the different 'coloured' striateds is minimal, so I have no idea where they are usually found.

Penny said...

Thanks for that info Alan, you are a font of knowledge to the inexperienced birdwatcher such as myself.

freefalling said...

Hello, I may not always leave a comment (I never know what to say!) but I just wanted you to know, I enjoy your blog enormously and always visit to see what you've spotted.