Varied Sittella

One of the regular tasks I usually attend to each week is to hang up the washing on the clothes line. I enjoy this simple task for a number of reasons. Importantly it gets me away from the computer keyboard or my study books for a break. Good for the eyes. Good for the brain to crank down a little. And good for the lungs to get some fresh air.

But the most important reason I enjoy doing it is for the birding I can do. When one is hanging up the washing, your eyes are often cast skywards. In this way I am able to see birds I normally would probably miss. Then I will also hear birds I couldn’t hear from in my office.

This is what happened a few weeks ago. Nearby I could hear some birds chirping. I immediately realised that this call was not one of the normal species we have in our garden. I raced inside for the binoculars. Sure enough, the birds I heard proved to be a small flock of Varied Sittellas. These wonderful little birds are widespread in our district without being common anywhere.

Sittellas are widespread throughout much of Australia. There are 5 or 6 distinct races but there is hybridization where the races overlap in their distribution.  They are very communal birds, moving through woodlands in a small family group of 5-7 individuals. They feed on insects found under the bark of trees, hopping along the branches in their quest for food.

I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo on this occasion.

To see several photos, and to read more information about this species go to the Birds in Backyards web site.