Monday, September 23, 2013


Having been travelling again since leaving the Sunshine Coast, Queensland in early May, we have seen some wonderful sights and fantastic birds.
Previously I have been trying to keep a chronological record when posting, but with lack of time and internet coverage, I will publish random highlights of our ongoing journey, at least until we settle somewhere for a while.
Meanwhile, here are some images of four of the six fairy-wren species found in Western Australia. Currently in Geraldton, we are are too far north for the Red-winged Fairy-wren, a WA endemic, and the Blue-breasted we have still to find.

This male Variegated was busy advertising his territory to all and sundry in Mirama National Park at Kununurra. 

Variegated Fairy-wren (race rogersi - Lavender-flanked form) 

The two birds below weren't anywhere near as co-operative, especially the male who was in full breeding plumage, quite vocal and loud for a fairy-wren. These shots were taken at Victoria River in the Northern Territory, although this species is also found in the Kimberley just over the border in WA.

Purple-crowned Fairy-wren - female 

Purple-crowned Fairy-wren - male

 I've included a much better image of this exquisite member of the Malurus family, courtesy of Ian Mongomery's fantastic website:

At Cape Range National Park we came across another form of the Variegated, one of four races across Australia.

Variegated Fairy-wren (Purple-backed form - race assimilis) 

Also at Cape Range, the White-winged were showing well, with the male not far off being fully coloured up. 

White-winged Fairy-wren - male 

White-winged Fairy-wren - female

At Nerren Nerren rest area, along the North West Coastal Highway, we observed a small group of Splendids going about their daily activities right near our campsite. One male was very inquisitive and came in very close when responding to my squeaking. I only had a few seconds to capture this stunning little fella while he hopped out into the open, and I was stoked with the results.

Splendid Fairy-wren

In Kalbarri National Park, a family group of what I thought were Blue-breasted were frustratingly staying out of range in the thick scrub, until some squeaking brought a male out for a quick ID shot. It was a Variegated, this species being very similar to the former, their ranges overlapping in this limited area of WA.      

Variegated Fairy-wren 

Cheers and Happy Birding