I must admit that I really enjoy seeing any of the six Australian species of woodswallows. On the downside, we only can expect to see three of those six species in our garden. To see the remaining three species I would have to travel several hundred kilometres to the north.
In fact, we only have fleeting visits from any of the woodswallows which occur in our area. They might hang around for a few minutes and then they are gone again. On most occasions I only see them swooping around high in the sky, presumably catching flying insects. On one special occasion two species flew in together and settled briefly – but long enough for photos.
Several weeks ago on one of the very hot days we are experiencing here in South Australia a solitary White-browed Woodswallow came to visit one of our bird baths – as recorded in the photos shown today. It was my wife who spotted it first and she was quite surprised; I don’t think that she had seen one up as close as this one. Because it was very thirsty it stayed around for quite a few minutes, long enough for me to take a good number of photos. At one stage it was not afraid to share the water with an Australian Magpie Lark (see below), a much larger species.
I was looking through some recent photos when I came across this one of a juvenile Dusky Woodswallow. I can’t fully remember the circumstances but I think it had just come to investigate the birdbath in our garden. I can’t recall if it actually had a drink or not, and it didn’t hang around for long.
Several species of woodswallow are seen from time to time in our garden or flying above. I didn’t see or hear any others on this particular occasion, though I was inside, probably with the early morning radio on in the background.
At first glance I was puzzled when I first saw this photo. The white tips on the tail give it away as a woodswallow as several of the species have white on the tail. The streaks on the head and neck indicate a juvenile, but the white strip on the leading edge of the wing indicates that it is a Dusky Woodswallow.
To take a closer look at the photo, click on the image to enlarge and then click on the View Original tab.
I took this series of photos during one of our periods of heat waves recently. As I’ve written in recent days, we had here in South Australia one of our hottest summers on record. The bird baths in our garden were extremely popular with all the bird species in our garden. They probably assisted some of them to survive the extreme conditions, with temperatures often reaching into the 40s and occasionally as high as 46C (115F).
The Dusky Woodswallow shown in today’s photos is one species I would regard as an infrequent visitor to our garden. It is an even less frequent visitor to our bird baths, so this was a good sighting.