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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Spotted Pardalote

Spotted Pardalote (Image ID 46290)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Wed 12th May, 2021 and uploaded on Mon 17th May, 2021 .
Resolution1800x1106
Viewed167
ID46290
CommentOne of the great pleasures for a newcomer to birdwatching is being inducted into the bird secrets of a particular site by a far more experienced birdwatcher. I have been visiting Royal Park Wetlands many times over the past two years, but rarely saw a Pardalote and never an Eastern Spinebill. On a recent visit there, I happened to meet a fellow Birdlife member and contributor to the Birdlife photography site. I had never met him before but had very much appreciated his posted photos. He generously showed me some productive places around Royal Park that, needless to say, I had never looked twice at before. One place he showed me was south of the Wetlands, close to the railway cutting (now the secret is out), where, if I looked carefully for movement amongst the foliage, I might see Eastern Spinebills. He went on to show me, also close to the cutting, another place where Spotted Pardalotes were accustomed to gather, convenient embankment nesting tunnels not too far away. Of course, neither Spinebills nor Pardalotes were in evidence at the time he was showing me. But a few days later I went back to the same spot again, concealed myself amongst some shrubbery nearby, and was delighted to find myself amidst a group of Pardalotes zinging to and fro, and two equally manic Spinebills, all moving around so quickly as to be challenging to photograph. The Spinebills, unfortunately, did not stay around long enough to capture a good image. Nor, for the most part, did the Pardalotes. However, this Pardalote, perhaps not noticing me, stopped to perch right in front of me. Caught in the morning sun, the Pardalote was looking upwards, perhaps nervously keeping an eye on the assertive Red Wattlebirds making their presence felt in the vicinity. From its strikingly bold plumage and yellow chin, he would seem to be a male, member of the Punctatus clan. Pardalote is Greek for “spotted”, hence their name. The attire of this very spotted male, spangled from head to tail with brilliant tiny white fans, streaks, and sequins, is certainly eye-catching. He would no doubt do well in the Eurovision Song Contest fashion stakes, although his somewhat limited vocal repertoire, mainly a repeated monotonous “s-wit peewip”, might let him down.
EquipmentNikon Z7ii, Nikon 300mm PF f4, TC 1.4, focal length 420mm, ISO 1250, 1/640th f5.6. Monopod.
LocationRoyal Park Wetlands, Parkville, Victoria
Keywordsmale, adult
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