Notes to readers of this Blog


Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens around Kalkarindji and Daguragu

I have been sitting near the edges of the Victoria River around Kalkarindji and Daguragu, two remote communities about 450 kms south west of Katherine in the Northern Territory. It is quite a famous area due to Vincent Lingiari's-led walkoff in 1967 from Wave Hill Station to fight for equal work equal pay.

The Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens around at the moment are not really in their breeding colours. For a little while these birds were a bit of a bogey bird for me, I had trouble finding them, until I managed to listen to the calls on my Pizzey and Knight app on my iPad before I went looking for them at the Victoria River Roadhouse, and from that moment I seem to find them quite easily. In a place like Kalkarindji and/or Daguragu, it is easy to sit quietly without anyone walking past for quite a few hours, and the birds get used to you being there and end up just going about their business.

The female in the first photo or two is one who I have a special attachment to, as she warned me about a nearby snake. It wasn't until I walked near the snake that I realised what she had been doing. I did think it was odd she had been sending out the alarm calls when she was not far from me, and as far as I could tell, no-one else had walked nearby, nor were there any birds of prey, or any threats I could see. But she knew better, and that was just after she had popped up out of the shadows to present me with this delightful photo:

As I said, this was before the snake encounter. She and her group of young males continually hopped around, coming within 3-4 metres.

Move to a different place and day, and again I managed to sit quietly and this time the birds came even closer. They were after maggots, and despite some initial concerns, soon let me sit there, take photos (and almost gag on the stench) while they got their food. Some birds have a great sense of smell, I have a feeling these birds can cover their nostrils because that smell was terrible, but they didn't seem to mind. Again, a female and a number of young or non-purple-coloured, males:

So, just to be clear, the females have the maroon colouring around their eyes, and the males have the black colouring around their eyes. The males also get the beautiful purple crown when they are in breeding season.  You can just see the beginnings of the purple in the third photo of the last group of 5, so he is starting and hopefully when I return in a month or so, the birds are still here, and I can show you the stunning males in all their glory.


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