Monday, August 5, 2013

There for the "ticking"! Red-browed finch

I'm sure many birders wonder about birds they've unwittingly walked past or under without realising. It must happen every day. We do rely on movement or noise.

I had just turned away from photographing a New Holland Honeyeater to spot a group of a dozen or so finch feeding on the grass within metres of me. A couple of birds obligingly perched briefly then returned to the fray.

I turned from photographing this New Holland honeyeater and encountered these finch

The striking thing was that after this introduction they disappeared but without flying away. Whatever interested them was deep enough in the grass root and stem system to require a little grass "burrowing". I was about 5 metres from the birds but couldn't get a clear view of them!
The birds are here at the bottom left of the picture but can't be seen!
From a distance the grass did not appear long. This is a parkland adjacent to a freeway and transmission lines. There is a bike trail with a steady flow of cyclists. The scene made me ponder just how often I might walk, jog or cycle past an unseen something I would happily stop for!
I spent some 20 minutes waiting for some individual shots!

Red-browed finch

What's Mick got?
Bird on!


  1. Hi Phil these are lovely little.birds. The last time I saw these birds was when I was having lunch and they were only feet from me on the lawn up near the Tablelands, Queensland.

  2. I certainly do experience that being so engrossed in one certain bird, only to start to depart and startle something different that was nearby and have missed the photographic opportunity. It's sure to be a commonality between us 'birders' 'bird photographers'. The red-brows are a favourite of mine too; there were a lot feeding there and you did pick up some good pics even though it was difficult in the grasses. Well done Pete

  3. These are great images of a splendid little bird - I saw my first of this at Wilsons Prom - I'd been in Australia for less tha two weeks - I thought my eyes were going to pop the amount of new things I was seeing!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  4. These are great photos! I even like the ones where the birds are partially obscured by grass - it seems an "honest" view of them!

  5. You've got some wonderful shots here Pete! I understand the obsession of watching a particular bird and then just as I'm leaving, discovering another.
    I recently visited a nursery up on the Sunshine Coast (Yandina) which is known for an incredible array of birds. They have a monthly birding group breakfast meeting and birding walk around the nursery. It was an very early start (8am)... a bit too early for me as we had to leave Brisbane at 6:30am! There were so many birds and many were lifers for me. I found myself wishing I had I good birding lens like yours, especially when I saw a huge group of Red-browed Finches feeding in the grass. Unfortunately I didn't come home with any great images. I was somewhat disappointed. Suffice to say, I will go back soon.