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Bird Log 31st June 2008

Today I went to the western end of Ash Island which is an estuary island of the Hunter River. I stopped just near the start of Schoolhouse Road. There is a section of rehabilitated cassia and melaleuca trees where a few grey fantails were twittering around in the trees. I took a few shots but it was difficult as I had all the focus points selected and it was difficult to nail the focus on the bird with all the branches and leaves fluttering around in the strong wind.

I went there in the afternoof from about 2:30 to around 3:30 pm. The weather was very windy again. The weather bureau said there were gusts of up to fifty knots blowing today around about midday. I reckon when I was there that the wind was from the North West at about twenty to thirty knots, if not more. It was a clear sunny day but there was a lot of haze around because of all the dust being blown around by the strong winds. The temperature was about nineteen degrees Celsius. All I saw in the way of birds was a few grey fantails and some cranes flying around being buffeted by the strong winds. Plus I surprised a rabbit who bounded off terrified. I think I was more startled than he was - I just about walked on top of him.

Grey Fantail

grey fantail
Camera settings were : 1/200 second, f/5.6, ISO800 with a 400 mm lens. The camera was a Canon 40D.

The Grey Fantail has a scientific name of Rhipidura albiscapa (fuliginosa). They are a very erratic bird and flit around from branch to branch swinging their tails and twittering away in a very pleasant bird song. They usually live in forests or woodlands. They have greyish white under the throat and two white patches on the head - one above the eye and one behind the eye. The tail feathers are tipped white and the back is a grey black. The grey fantail has black eyes, bill, and legs. The size of the grey fantail is between fifteen and seventeen centimetres.