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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

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Striated Fieldwren

Striated Fieldwren (Image ID 45417)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Tue 16th Mar, 2021 and uploaded on Sat 20th Mar, 2021 .
Resolution1400x971
Viewed139
ID45417
CommentI first became aware of this Striated Fieldwren as I stopped at one of the outflow points along Lake Borrie in the Western Treatment Plant. It was doing some very insistent tweeting from some scrub nearby; then I saw it move to perch on top of this Southern Sea Heath (with its crystallized salt on the leaves), the same shrub to which Orange Bellied Parrots are addicted, but, of course, the fabled OBPs were not around (or perhaps had not yet arrived from Tassie), so I had to make do with my Striated Fieldwren, actually also quite exciting for me since I had never seen one before. The species is apparently known for its habit of “often moving to top of shrub to keep an eye on intruding birdwatchers”, as the authors of The Australian Bird Guide wryly note. It kept up with its quite sharp tweeting as I watched, perhaps seeking to alert a partner nearby to the intrusion of yet another one of those irritating birdwatchers drawn to the Werribee Treatment Plant like moths to a flame. There seems to be some difference of opinion about how common they are. The Australian Bird Guide says Striated Fieldwrens are “common in low dense vegetation across Southeast Australia” whereas Pizzey and Knight say they are “uncommon”. Further exploration of the Birdlife Australia Data Zone entry for Striated Fieldwrens would seem to indicate, as is often the case, that the reality is somewhat more complicated. It noted that the Striated Fieldwren population is “suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat loss and degradation (del Hoyo et al. 2007)”. The same entry noted that while Striated Fieldwrens might be in general decline, they may also be locally common, as perhaps is the case at the Werribee Treatment Plant. Unfortunately, in an era of shrinking habitats, designation of “locally common” is only one step away from becoming generally uncommon, which, as night follows day, is only one step away from becoming extinct. The morning cloudy conditions made for a paper-white sky background, a little reminiscent of Victorian backgrounds for bird illustrations.
EquipmentNikonZ7ii Nikon 300mm f4 PF TC1.4 420mm ISO 1000 1/1000th f6.3 Monopod
LocationWestern Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria
Keywordsadult, behaviour/display
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