Crazy times at the birdbath

Bird photos from near Pambula Australia

24 March to 4 April 2016

These photos were taken over a week or so.  It was a great time for small birds, in particular honeyeaters and insect eating birds.  This was because the 30m high gum trees were flowering profusely, attracting fruit bats (flying foxes) and possums at night.

No special effort was made to attract the birds which were buzzing around all over the place, other than filling a bird bath with water and watching the many (100s?) of birds washing and drinking from the bath.  It needed to be refilled a couple of times a day as the water was splashed out.

The images below are roughly in the order taken.  They were all shot with a Canon 70D and Tamron 150-600 lens.  Due to the short distance and dull light at times, this necessitated the use of higher ISO than normally used and a wider aperture which resulted in a shallow depth of field for images taken at 5 -10m.  The weather was generally sunny, but could windy and the birds seemed to often favour times when the bath was in the shade.  Their presence was also influenced by a hungry looking 0.5m monitor lizard that sometimes sat in the gutter on the roof of the building that I was photographing from.

An early visitor was the Yellow Tufted Honeyeater – one we had not seen before.  The pair was around for about 5 minutes.

The most common visitors to the birdbath were the New Holland Honeyeater which came in pushy groups that often chased off other birds, the Yellow Faced Honeyeater, and Grey Wagtail and White-eyes.  The New Holland arrive in groups of 5 to 20 birds that bombed other birds and splashed vigorously.

There were many rare visitors such as the Scarlet Honeyeater and the Crescent Honeyeater.

A fleeting visitor to the birdbath to have a drink was a Lewin’s Honeyeater.

We usually see the colourful Yellow Robins, either singly or in pairs, and on this occasion there were also some grey robin-like birds that we thought we Jack Winters.

Eastern Spinebills are quite common and usually pale and dusky coloured but on this occasion they were darker coloured and included a vibrantly coloured male.  A late visitor was a solitary female Bower Bird.

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