Little Visits: A Field Day

“Striated Fieldwrens”

When out and about at the Western Treatment Plant, often I’m asked, “What are you looking at/photographing”.
Which is an interesting question in an area of such a multiplicity of bird species.

Usually the question is only an introduction to a more meaningful question.  “Have you spotted something I should look at, or have you located my target bird for the day”.

Not always, but often times the question comes after one or two fourwheel drives have arrived at great speed, like the devil hisself was after them. Wind down window, “What have you seen…”

Or after having driven past where I was sitting several times, curiosity overcomes and the “What have you seen…” is often asked.
The second part of the question really is, “Have you seen the bittern, or pehaps the plentiful pec sandpipers, or maybe even the long-toed stint, or the black-winged bluetailed rock-eater.” As surely its been mentioned on spaceblock or elist, or someone’s text message.

So I generally respond, “Striated Fieldwrens”.  Oh, -quickly checks bird list, no don’t need one, Safari of vehicles disappears in proverbial cloud of dust.
Or, “Have you seen any?”, to which usually, truthfully, I can say, “Oh, not yet, but I’ve only been waiting thirty minutes so far”, Eyes glaze over, window winds up, dust indicates the vehicle has moved on.

Now to be fair, not every encounter is like that. Often good birding discussions take place and the cloud of departing dust is tolerable.

However on a fine sunny evening as we were negotiating some areas of said Treatment Plant, EE and I saw on a number of occasions, Straited Fieldwrens.  We saw more in one afternoon than in the past three years.
And they were all out, and about, and calling, and displaying. Easy to approach, great light, in the open. Photography doesn’t get any easier.
Enjoy. We did.

Against the Green
The backdrop is bitumen roadway
Tail display is the order of the day

I dropped down low enough to include the blue of the sky behind

My Territory. You’d better believe it.
This one preferred the more secure bushes.

9 thoughts on “Little Visits: A Field Day

  1. Fabulous images of these beauties, David. Lovely to see. I often find that some people are too focused on ‘their mission’ to appreciate what is around them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great treat and what fabulous images of the SFW. As good as any I’ve seen. Its a species I have never managed to get a photograph of, although I have seen them very occasionally.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Superb photos, David. I particularly like the chirping image as some nice acoustics in photography always makes me happy.
    I haven’t been to WTP for a while but I was having exactly the same experience (minus vehicles) when long-barrelled aficionados swarmed my quiet Braeside hunting for The Bittern a year ago. Unfortunately the Striated Field Wrens have not made it here yet.

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    1. G’day Adam, they were singing almost all the time. I wondered if it was some seasonal display.
      I’m not sure why the Bittern people are so Smitten! I also think that Eric Hosking made the definitive Bittern shot over 50years ago. All the rest are pretenders. 🙂


  4. Stunning photos David of a bird we have never seen down here, but hope to see one day. Yes, it is amazing the comments and questioned one is asked I concur heartily with the examples you gave, how often ignorant many questions are from those just making conversation. We do love it when we find couples, which is frequent, with genuine interest, and my wife will share her binoculars as I give commentary, and they leave delighted and enlightened. I know this may mean the beginnings of a birding hobby for people so we find it encouraging. The loud voices and noisy cars with the question ‘What are you looking at?’ after standing for half an hour waiting for a bird to appear is a common one which I tend to be very unenthusiastic even reticent to reply at times, and my wife usually does. I am rejoicing that for 10 days now my heart has been normal, it has given me so much more energy.and peace 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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