Willie Wagtail Construction Company

******* Update 20th October. *******  Sad to report that the pair had lost the nest.  As well as two of their close neighbours.  Probably Ravens, or perhaps Kookaburras.   Willies are making new nests as I write.

Over the past couple of weeks the number of Willie Wagtail pairs have increased in the area.  Each of them are well into their preparation for nesting, and several are actually well advanced in the siting and construction of their first nests.

Within about 100 metres there are 3 pairs all hard at work.  This pair is in the same area as one’s we photographed last season, and she managed 5 young off one nest.  No reason to doubt they are not the same birds.  Will be interesting to follow along.

The pair both work on the nest, and a big part of the preparation is the gathering of spider web.  It’s the web that binds the whole nest together, and also binds it to the branch. So the first job is to put in a good foundation of Spider web. And given she gets it right round the branch is something to consider as a work of art at the very least.

So here is  a few days of work from this pair.  Once they figure out we are not immediate threat, the work just goes on around us.   Try not to frustrate them too much and so I site the camera and attach radio receiver and use a radio remote control from about 50 metres back.  That way at least they aren’t worried too much by the human presence.

All loaded up with fresh cobweb its time to get a good foundation laid.
All loaded up with fresh cobweb its time to get a good foundation laid.
Wrapping the web around the branch is an art form.
Wrapping the web around the branch is an art form.
Next a good first floor goes in.
Next a good first floor goes in.
Both male and female work on the nest building and both sit on the eggs
Both male and female work on the nest building and both sit on the eggs
As the building progresses, its pushed and poked to give just the right fit inside.
As the building progresses, its pushed and poked to give just the right fit inside.
Its alway accomplished with a lot of chatter.
Its alway accomplished with a lot of chatter.
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