19 February, 2012

A lot more Pardalotus

Well, not to be deterred from my mission to photograph pardalotes, I headed out on the bike once again today. My first stop was at the same spot near the new Breakwater bridge that I managed to take the shots in my previous post. Immediately I was able to hear Spotted Pardalotes and headed towards the calls. I soon sighted my quarry who as usual proved impossible to photograph.
Unsuccessful, I headed over to the riverbank where I thought I'd seen them before. I spotted a likely candidate, however on closer inspection I discovered I had found myself a single Silvereye who didn't hang around for long. Almost immediately I saw another small bird hopping amongst the foliage. Light body, black wings with white markings, short beak...a pardalote? Well, yes, but not of the spotted variety.

 Striated Pardalote at Breakwater
 Firstly, this little guy was much more obliging than his spotted cousins and happily posed for some shots and was then joined by another who was equally as obliging. Both had yellow markings on their brow and chin, the white markings on the wings were stripes, not spots and the rest of their plumage was predominantly pale grey.

Pair of Striated Pardalotes at Breakwater
A pair of Striated Pardalotes it would appear. Their colours weren't as well developed as some photos I've seen so they may have been juvenile and were probably from a nest in the riverbank near the tree in which I found them. This is the one and only time I have seen the striated variety of pardalote but will certainly be keeping a close eye out for more.
They didn't hang around for an encore performance and I wandered off again in search of the spotted type.
Back on my bike, I headed upriver and on the Highton side once again, found the same little family of Spotted Pardalotes I'd seen one day last week.

Juvenile Spotted Pardalotes near Princes Bridge
This time, they were down amongst the rushes at the water's edge, which made photography a little easier, but of course,they still contrived to have at least one stalk between me and them most of the time. I have read that one of the common names for the Spotted Pardalote is the "Headache Bird". The name apparently derives from their often incessant three-note call (one low then two high notes). I am beginning to suspect however, that they were given the label not for their calling, but by someone attempting to take a decent photograph!
Spotted Pardalote near Princes Bridge
Having said that, the above two photos are probably the pick of today's bunch and still don't really show the amazing colours of the adult males, so I guess it is back to the drawingboard and a few more laps on the bike.

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