Becoming Healthy, Birds

Birds on my walk

Three birds have snagged my attention today – apart from Crimson Rosellas, Galahs and Cockatoos.

By Ric Raftis (originally posted to Flickr as Striated Pardalote) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ric Raftis (originally posted to Flickr as Striated Pardalote) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

1. The little pardalotes are back.

From Wikipedia...

The striated pardalote (Pardalotus striatus) is the least colourful and most common of the four pardalote species. Other common names include pickwick, wittachew and chip-chip. It is a very small, short-tailed bird that is more often heard than seen, foraging noisily for lerps and other small creatures in the treetops.

2. Even though the Willy Wagtail is a very common bird here, I don’t notice it all that much in our yard. Lately it has been very cheeky and flying close to us (me and the dog the dog and I).


A Willy Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens By Taken by fir0002 | Canon 20D + Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (, via Wikimedia Commons

From Wikimedia Commons…

The willie (or willy) wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) is a passerine bird native to Australia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Eastern Indonesia. It is a common and familiar bird throughout much of its range, living in most habitats apart from thick forest. Measuring 19–21.5 cm (7 1⁄2–8 1⁄2 in) in length, the willie wagtail is contrastingly coloured with almost entirely black upperparts and white underparts; the male and female have similar plumage.

Three subspecies are recognised; Rhipidura leucophrys leucophrys from central and southern Australia, the smaller R. l. picata from northern Australia, and the larger R. l. melaleuca from New Guinea and islands in its vicinity. It is unrelated to the true wagtails of the genus Motacilla; it is a member of the fantail genus Rhipidura and is a part of a “core corvine” group that includes true crows and ravens, drongos and birds of paradise. Within this group, fantails are placed in the family Dicruridae, although some authorities consider them distinct enough to warrant their own small family, Rhipiduridae.

The willie wagtail is insectivorous and spends much time chasing prey in open habitat. Its common name is derived from its habit of wagging its tail horizontally when foraging on the ground. Aggressive and territorial, the willie wagtail will often harass much larger birds such as the laughing kookaburra and wedge-tailed eagle. It has responded well to human alteration of the landscape and is a common sight in urban lawns, parks, and gardens. It was widely featured in Aboriginal folklore around the country as either a bringer of bad news or a stealer of secrets.

3. I had a second walk this afternoon, and on the way back a Willy Wagtail, a Striated Pardalote AND a Flame Robin, lined up on the fence in front of me – all in a row with about five or six feet between them! Even if I had the phone camera with me, it couldn’t do the birds justice – so the images are as cited.


Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea), Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania. 4/09/2013 By Tim Collins (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

From Wikipedia…

The flame robin (Petroica phoenicea) is a small passerine bird native to Australia. It is a moderately common resident of the coolest parts of south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Like the other two red-breasted Petroica robins—the scarlet robin and the red-capped robin—it is often simply called the robin redbreast. Like many brightly coloured robins of the Petroicidae, it is sexually dimorphic. Measuring 12–14 cm (4.7–5.5 in) long, the flame robin has dark brown eyes and a small thin black bill. The male has a brilliant orange-red chest and throat, and a white patch on the forehead above the bill. Its upper parts are iron-grey with white bars, and its tail black with white tips. The female is a nondescript grey-brown. Its song has been described as the most musical of its genus.

Todays extra walk was brought on by my latest very determined effort to lose some weight – and hopefully gain some extra years of life. I’m now the proud owner of a Vivofit band (plus a heart rate monitor).garminvivofit Does anyone else have one of these particular activity trackers?

I LOVE it.  I’m a bit annoyed that gentle strolling about will not get rid of the red line which tells me I have been inactive too long. Vika was happy to have the extra time out of the yard today. I’ve still got 1290 steps to do the day out today out of the assigned goal by Garmin Connect. I’m keeping track of calories on myfitnesspal, and it syncs with Garmin. Today was my first food entry and it said that if I kept my food intake at the same level, it will only take 5 weeks to get down to my goal: 63 kgs.  😮  LOL. I wish.

I’m going to take my real camera on my walk tomorrow. And hope for sunshine.

Lerps? Wikipedia says… “In biology, a lerp is a structure of crystallized honeydew produced by larvae of psyllid insects as a protective cover. These insects are commonly referred to as lerp insects.”

Learn something every day!


16 thoughts on “Birds on my walk

  1. Such pretty birds. I especially like itty-bitty ones. Thanks you for the Wiki info.

    Congratulations on your new endeavor, Christine. It takes work, I know.
    I walk twice a week with a friend but she cannot walk fast. I should add extra days by myself but haven’t managed to fit it in. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a treadmill. I put it in another room before Christmas. Out of sight out of mind… then I had a sore knee … then I got out of the habit. So, tomorrow, I unload the junk tossed on it, oil it up and off I go. In the meantime the dog thinks I’m weird walking up and down the kitchen or around the clothesline!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What unusual, interesting, beautiful birds you introduced me to today. I’d love to see them some day for myself. What a wonderful name Willy Wagtail is for a bird. It would be fun to use it in a poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Brave Willy Wagtail – Poem by Francis Duggan

      Nearby on a low branch of a wattle tree
      A little black and white bird that i often see
      In the early sunlight just after daybreak
      His familiar song one could never mistake.

      Of humankind willy wagtail is not shy
      He shows little fear of me when I’m nearby
      As he chases flies his tail wags to and fro
      He is the small bird everyone seems to know.

      For one of his size he puts on a brave show
      He challenges the much bigger magpie and crow
      At nesting time his mate is his only friend
      The brave little willy his borders defend.

      From bushes and trees or from fence rail never far away
      The brave willy wagtail i see every day
      One might say he is more foolhardy than wise
      He displays too much courage for one of his size.

      Though not one of the finest songsters of the Spring
      His scratchy notes to them have a familiar ring
      He wags his long black tail when he chase flies and bees
      And he is never far from the bushes and trees.

      This poem was submitted to by the author. I hope he doesn’t mind me publishing it here. His work can be found on various poetry sites on the web. Born in Ireland, Francis Duggan now lives in Australia and has been penning poems since 1973. He captures the essence of the willy wagtail perfectly. I do hope you see one for yourself.


    • Hello Barbara. They seem a curious little bird. Last year one kept peering in the kitchen window at me – so I thought – it was probably just looking for lerps! I’m jealous you had a nest and all. I hope they come back to you again. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely photos, Christine! We don’t seem to get Willy Wagtails down here — but we do have lots of other delightful small birds. If only I were a good enough photographer to capture them

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sue ouzounis says:

    Lovely pics, isn’t it nice living in the country. Just don’t fall over when you are walking along looking to the skies for your birdie friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve come close to turning an ankle a few times. Sue! I did fall over Vika a couple of times when we first started walking (well, actually I was running!) but now she makes sure she stays on my left and if she suddenly notices she is on the right, she stands still, looks at me and then crosses back by going behind me.


  5. I just wrote this little rhyme for you:
    Should it be
    I or me?
    Take away the other
    To see!

    Take out Vika
    Then you’ll know.

    Here are all the possible combinations:
    Lately, it’s been flying close to me and the dog, or the dog and me.
    Lately, it’s been flying close to I and the dog, or the dog and I.

    Now, let’s do them without Vika:
    Lately, it’s been flying close to me.
    Lately, it’s been flying close to I.

    You had excellent first instincts, Christine. You were right the first time!

    I love the little Flame Robin!
    And I’m glad Vika is such a smart and observant dog. My friend A. (yes, that A., not the other one) had a bad fall when her dog got excited about another dog and tangled his leash around her legs while out walking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you Babe! I couldn’t be bothered looking up the ‘rule’ but I did know there is one. The first way is how I would say it. Vika is clever but sometime a little too quick to jump through a doorway as you get to it – anticipating incorrectly the direction one is going to go. 🙂


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