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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Grey Fantail

Grey Fantail (Image ID 46668)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Sun 13th Jun, 2021 and uploaded on Mon 14th Jun, 2021 .
Resolution1800x1157
Viewed61
ID46668
CommentHaving been alerted by a fellow birdwatcher to the presence of this Grey Fantail in a wooded part of the Royal Park Wetlands, I was able to see it in action around me, doing exactly the kind of things that John Gould inimitably first described in the mid-1850s: “While in the air it assumes a number of lively and beautiful positions, at one moment mounting almost perpendicularly, constantly spreading out its tail to the full extent, and frequently tumbling completely over in the descent; at another it may be seen flitting through the branches, and seeking insects among the flowers and leaves, repeatedly uttering a sweet twittering song” (Birds of Australia, Vol.2). John Gould’s ghost might have been right next to me whispering these words to me as I took this photo and as I followed the Fantail’s further antics and calls. This is the Albicauba subspecies generally found in the southeast and has the whitest tail of all the various ssp. In the middle of one of its acrobat displays, the Albicauba chose to alight quite close to me and fan out its distinctive tail in a particularly striking way, readying for the next leap to snatch an insect from the air. While common enough in most states, it is apparently critically endangered in the Northern Territory. Manic and diminutive maybe but as entertaining to watch, as it struts its stuff and fans its beautiful tail, as many of our larger (and generally more landlocked) birds noted for their astonishing tails.
EquipmentNikon Z7ii, Nikon 300mm PF f4, TC1.4, focal length 420mm
ISO 1250
1/640th f5.6
Monopod
LocationRoyal Park Wetlands, Parkville, Victoria
Keywordsadult, behaviour/display
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