Woodswallows, wasps and dragonflies

For the past fortnight a small flock of White-breasted Woodswallows has been gathered at Joyce’s Creek. This species, a breeding visitor to the Newstead district, is almost always found near water.

I’ve found them breeding in small, loose colonies at various places around the lake in recent years. After they’ve fledged the juveniles stay with their parents and ‘learn’ the craft of a woodswallow – aerial gymnastics in pursuit of flying prey. The rim of the lake makes a terrific training ground, with a multitude of flying insects – some of which are no match for a woodswallow. I witnessed adult woodswallows snatching dragonflies and wasps from the air as the youngsters either flew with them or begged for attention from their perches nearby.


White-breasted Woodswallows, Joyce’s Creek, 2nd March 2017


Juvenile White-breasted Woodswallow


Adult with a dragonfly caught on the wing


Adult and juvenile (with wasp)


Juvenile White-breasted Woodswallow with wasp




All species of woodswallows are renowned for their ‘huddling’

4 responses to “Woodswallows, wasps and dragonflies

  1. Love that wasp Geoff – nearly as wide as the birds head! Beautiful birds and photography.

  2. Sue Lanchester

    Love these little birds. So clever not to get stung from the wasp. Wonder if they might
    ,earn to eat European wasps. Hope so. Sue woodend

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Chris Johnston

    Fantastic images – great to see behaviour captured so well – thanks Geoff

  4. Thankyou for your wonderful posts, information and amazing photographs. Am I able to use them to inspire my painting? I look forward to hearing from you, regards Nicky Sage 0421286622 sagern@bigpond.com

    Sent from my Sony Xperia™ smartphone on the Telstra™ Mobile network

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