Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Today is the spring Equinox down here. And a gorgeous day too with its parallel sun rays and perfect balance of day and night - things I didn't ever think about till the stillness of the bush gave time, and cause.

It prompted me to get the camera out and do what I've been meaning to do for ages - try and get some photos of the if not the most common (though possibly) then certainly the most raucous bird around: the avian larrikin, the Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)

It is a not especially attractive grey and white medium sized Honeyeater, with a not especially attractive loud squark interspersed with a strange honking. But what it might lack in looks and song it more than makes up for in sheer energy and wild spirit: always on the move and always alert to the slightest disturbance. These photos had to be taken with a zoom while keeping perfectly still inside a window. If a bird were ever to be called wide-eyed and bushy tailed, then this would be it.

Larrikin is a term of endearment. I've grown to love their constant companionship and sheer familiarity. And while on terms, 'wattle' has nothing to do with our native plant, but is the fleshy coloured appendage hanging from the neck (think turkey), except for the Little Wattlebird which has none.

                                                                     (click to enlarge)


David said...

Isn't nature wonderful, adding just that tiny splash of red to our plain old Larrikin? I'm reminded of nightingales and nightjars - nothing much to look at, but in their case a haunting sound indeed.

More of the naturepics, please.

Susan Scheid said...

Wonderful photos. The splash of wattle (love that phrase from David) adds such dash. Hope I get to see these birds live one day.