small birds

zebra finch

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P1190974I am on a road trip through four of Australia’s seven states, I’ve travelled 2,800 kms from my home on the New South Wales north coast to the middle of South Australia. Currently house-sitting in Cooper Pedy, the Opal capital of the world. It’s a desert region and not a lot happening in the landscape but these Zebra Finches, small seed eating birds, seem to be thriving. This is a male, identified by the chestnut ear-patch. They are a tiny 10cm, like the Southern Whiteface in the previous post and the Double-barred Finch


the english robin

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p1180605I went to the UK last October on a trip associated with family ancestry , as a birder I couldn’t help but zoom in on any birds in my domain. This quintessentially English little bird was spotted flitting in an autumn garden, part of the grounds of the Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye, a stepping off place for one line of my family who immigrated from there to Australia back in the day. Robins are tiny birds around 14 cm and its red-breast is a familiar sight in gardens and woodlands throughout Britain and Ireland. This one performed a little welcome dance in a splash of sun as I entered through the Castle walls, retreading the path of my forefathers. A sweet moment in time.

Chinese ‘sparrow’

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P1160338This little fellow and his/her flock were one of the few wild birds I saw when visiting China last month. In size and colour they were very similar to the sparrows in Australia and were just as flighty.

underbelly of a mannikin

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This capture shows the yellowish rump and chestnut breast of the Chestnut-breasted Mannikin. They have a strong relationship with grasslands as they mostly feed on seeding grass and make a nest that resembles a large globe of flattened grass in long grass where they lay 5-6 white eggs.


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Silvereyes are part of a group of birds called White-eyes (for obvious reasons). White-eyes are small yellow-green birds with short pointed bills, brush-tipped tongues like honeyeaters and a ring of white feathers around each eye. This variety is only 12 cm and is the south-eastern form. They are found in forests, woodlands and heaths and have a lovely warbling giggle. When nesting they make a compact cup made of grass, plant-down and hair bound together with cobwebs, in which they lay 2-4 pale blue eggs … sounds like they are residents of fairyland.