Winter Visitors

Orange Breast and Eyebrows. We found this fellow at Lee Bay, while on a road tour with guests.


There are always fantails around, but winter seems to bring a marked upsurge in number. I guess coming down to lower levels to escape the worst of the weather. And so at a time of year when it can be a bit dreary …. and the last few days have been very wet, cold and miserable, with a southerly storm sweeping across us… the cheeky faces of fantails flitting around the forest edges and beaches adds a bit of joy to the forest and around the village of Halfmoon Bay. And they never fail to charm our guests.

Never Still

Never Still

I find them extremely difficult to photograph, as they seldom seem to stay still. And even when perching they are perpetually hopping up and swinging from side to side, by up to 180 deg.

And of course their over sized tail, which gives them superb maneuverability for catching insects means they are virtually impossible to capture in flight.


A brief rest. A fantail sitting still for more than 30 seconds is having a realy long rest

I’ve wasted literally hundreds of photos, even when on “burst” mode of 6 frames/second. Lots of empty branches, ends of tails, or at best birds so blurred as to be worthless …. but one day !!!!

I live in hope.


 Black Morph

Although not at all common… perhaps 1 in 40 or 50 sightings …. the pitch black fantail we occasionally see is just a colour morph. And they are always totally black, missing even the white in the tail. This one I filmed on Sydney Cove shows just how hyper-active these delightful little birds are. I once found a family… both parents (??) and a juvenile. All black. Something I’ve never seen since.  And of course no camera, although getting all 3 in a single shot was probably a long shot as well.