Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) - New South Wales, Australia
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) - New South Wales, Australia 

I thought I'd go back to my bird / wildlife photographs for a change and give you guys a break from Europe.

The wagtail is a common resident found throughout Australia. It is very restless and its name is derived from the fact that it constantly waves its tail from side to side. It is the best known of the Australian Fantails. I have photographed these birds in Sydney, in the hunter region and at Myall lakes on the Central Coast of New South Wales.

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) - New South Wales, Australia
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) - New South Wales, Australia

The nesting Wagtail in the photograph above was feeding a brood of two or three chicks. The nest was built on a branch above a lake and was not easy to spot. The adult birds, who are aggressive when protecting a nest, gave away their location as they were flying in at regular intervals to feed the young. I did my best to not disturb them while taking the photographs above. They didn't seem too bothered by my presence as they just continued flying in at regular intervals with food.

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) - New South Wales, Australia
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) - New South Wales, Australia

The other photographs on this post were captured on  friends farm in the Hunter region of New South Wales. Farms are ideal habitats for these birds as they prefer open grassland. I watched a couple of these birds for a while as they fed on small insects. They used sudden flicks of their wings to flush out hidden insects.

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) - New South Wales, Australia
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) - New South Wales, Australia

The Wagtail is found throughout mainland Australia but its habitat does not extend to Tasmania. It is also found on the Solomon Islands and New Guinea. The nest of the Willie Wagtail is lined with some sort of soft material, usually soft grass, fur or hair. Interestingly, if soft material is not readily available, it is often taken directly from an animal.

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) - New South Wales, Australia
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) - New South Wales, Australia

The second image was captured with a Canon 400d and a 70-300mm lens. The other images were captured with a Canon 7D and a 100-400 mm lens.
Share on Facebook
Post a Comment