Best on ground

I’ve often been asked to identify a bird that someone has spotted, the conversation generally proceeding along the following lines – “it was brown, it had a stubby bill, it was making this sort of ‘squeaking noise’, it was bigger than a sparrow … but smaller than a magpie”. All useful bits of information and with further interrogation the field is narrowed down to a list of likely suspects. One question that I often politely ask is … “Where was it when you saw it and what was it doing?”

The response is almost always helpful. For instance, if the bird was seen feeding on the ground in an open area it may well be one of the two species pictured below.


Crested Pigeon, Cemetery Road Newstead, 24th June 2015.


Its common to see Crested Pigeons foraging on cultivated paddocks during winter.


Red-browed Firetails chasing grass seeds, Panmure Street Newstead, 24th June 2015.


A glorious small finch

It pays though to be open to other possibilities – Spotted Pardalotes are a species of the eucalypt canopy, but can sometimes be seen feeding on the ground for insects and fallen lerp, especially at this time of year.


Female Spotted Pardalote, Plunkett’s Road Newstead, 24th June 2015.


The male joined the female to forage through the leaf litter.

3 responses to “Best on ground

  1. Thank you again Geoff for sharing these delights of nature
    cheers Tina

  2. Thank you Geoff. At first glance , October 2nd sounds good. I will need to quickly discuss it with the family. We will be well and truly ready. I can call you at Newstead this Sunday , if you are at home. We are going to an opening of paintings by Jeremy Barrett, at Castlemaine on Saturday. Thank you again for your support of the exhibition and the follow up work you have done. I am about to complete a large mural in an Aged Care facility which includes quite q few birds. I have a spot waiting for another bird which, after looking at your Crested Pigeons, it may well be the one I am looking for. Recently when at my brother’s place in Yass, I was watching some Banded Finches which surprised me that they were so small. The following day I found one dead hanging upside down from its quite robust nest. All I could think of was that it was too cold for it , being minus 5 degrees over night. I continue to enjoy your marvellous photographs.


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