Little Visits: Charming Sittellas

Mentioned a trip a few weeks ago to the You Yangs.
One of the highlights of the morning was an encounter with a family group of Varied Sittella.

These charming little birds are not always so easy to find, and because of their hyper-active approach to feeding, are always on the move.  It might be I guess that they have to search through all the bits of loose bark on a branch looking for a tid-bit, and with so many birds all at work at the same time, its really the quickest down the branches.  Sittellas have an unique approach to feeding, starting at the top of the tree and then working their way down.  Treecreepers on the other hand, usually start lower down and work upwards.

What was interesting is that this family had several young, recently fledged with the party.  The young ones preferred to sit together and preen, while the adults did all the work.
They moved so quickly that we lost them for a short time, and while we went right, they apparently had gone left.
Big Rock is just what it says, a very big rock.  There is a track around the base, and its about 20 minute stroll.   The birds were working primarily in Black wattle that grows up along the base of rock. When the rains come, good water flows from the rock, but at other times, the area is particularly dry  so much of the wattle never grows to maturity.  Which suits the insects that the Sittellas feed. So it works all round.


Typical pose, going down the branches
Every nook and cranny gets a good going over
No doubt a favourite game. Looping a branch
Some of the young ones that were happy to sit together and preen
Its always impressive to see the underwing colours on these birds

Hard to see the rich colours on the wings while they are folded, but impressive in flight

Little Visits: Meeting the Chestnuts

Pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before, but when I was a little tacker, we had in our limited home library several small books by an American writer and self-styled genius, Elbert Hubbard.

Hubbard’s collection were titled, Little Journey’s to the homes of the Great and near-Great, as best I remember.  I was later to find there was at least a dozen or more of them, and each contained an article he had published, regularly, perhaps once a month, and it contained both, as I was to discover later, both historical fact, and romantic nonsense of his own creation about each of the ‘Famous’ visits.
And such strange names and places for a young lad more interested in frogs, and beetles and chocolate.  But none the less, I can recall, somewhat sagely, being read some of these stories as a little dude

, sitting wide-eyed in bed, before ‘lights out’.

So today, for want of not being able to travel great distances, and the need to spend some time around at the doc’s getting a ‘script, we took to the Werribee Mansion for a coffee, and a walk around the ornamental lake.
And we found Mr and Mrs Chestnut Teal.
Engaged in what can only be described as intense discussion.  Those who know of Mrs  Ches Teal’s enigmatic “Laugh”, will well know how this conversation was going.

And for those who might be wondering where my photo direction could be going, these were shot with a Nikon V1 (and old camera, which has been much maligned on this blog, more than once).  Today, I coupled it with the 300mm f/4 PF and a TC 1.4  Nice, light, easy to carry, and as long as the temperature doesn’t go up, a much better performer than I can remember.



Warm sunshine schmoozing
Warm sunshine schmoozing
There is obviously more than one point of view in this discussion and she has them all.
There is obviously more than one point of view in this discussion and she has them all.
And he could give back as good as he was getting
And he could give back as good as he was getting
Ahhh, Kik kik kik kik kik
Ahhh, Kik kik kik kik kik
It's enough to make you put your bill in the water
It’s enough to make you put your bill in the water