White-winged Triller visit

This afternoon I had a delightful surprise. We had just arrived back from our lectures in Adelaide and were enjoying a cuppa in the spring sunshine on the front veranda.

An unusual bird flew into the eucalypt tree next to the driveway about twenty metres away. I instantly recognised it as a male White-winged Triller. It sat there for no more than ten seconds before flying away. It must have only spent about thirty seconds in our garden so there was no time to get the camera from the office.

This is one species I would love to get a photo of but so far have drawn a blank. Last year on holiday in NSW I chased one around a few bushes for about twenty minutes, but he refused to show himself in the open.

On checking my database of bird sightings I last recorded this species here in Murray Bridge in 1986, so it has been a long time between sightings. I usually have to travel to see this lovely bird. I hope he liked what he saw and returns – long enough to pose for a photo.

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UPDATE :  in September 2009 we had another visit from a male Triller. This time I was able to get a photo.

White-winged Triller (male)

White-winged Triller (male)


11 Responses to “White-winged Triller visit”

  1. Alan says:

    I had one in the garden once in about 1995 up in Tamworth. Mine hung around for a few days but after that I never seen one again. Unfortunately I did not even have a camera suitable for bird photography at the time.

  2. Trevor says:

    They can be somewhat elusive birds Alan. I heard of a report of another one seen this week at Karoonda, about an hour’s drive east of here. Seems they might be moving south at present. I’d love some to hang around for a few weeks – that way I would stand a chance of getting a photo.

  3. kasia Cichonski says:

    To my parents and my delightful surprise our garden received a visit from this beautiful bird in Naracoorte this morning.
    It’s the first time we have ever seen one here although my
    father spotted him sitting on a fence at the end of
    our 45 acre property some weeks ago.
    We are hoping he might have a mate hidden away somewhere.
    I did get to take some photos.
    If you’re interested and if the quality is ok I’d be happy to send some to you…he hung around happily
    eating on the ground for a good 10-15 minutes and didn’t
    appear shy or afraid of us at all.
    Our pair of Willie Wagtails and a house sparrow came to
    check him out and he wasn’t overly concerned about
    them either.
    It was very nice to come across your website while looking
    for more info on this lovely bird Trevor and also to
    read Allan’s comments.
    I read with interest on another site that these birds while
    they do make their own nests will happily borrow the empty nest of the Piping Shrike and as luck would have it we have a pair of Shrikes who have nested right next to our house in a tall Casuarina…so maybe our little visitor
    has been keeping an eye on the goings on of the other
    birds in our garden. Here’s hoping!
    Will keep you posted on any more sightings.

  4. Trevor says:

    Welcome to my birding blog Kasia. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a long comment.

    Unfortunately the one I saw only stayed around for less than a minute so I didn’t get a chance to take a photo.

    Feel free to send several photos to me – use my contact form (see the side bar).

    If suitable – can I use them on this site? With acknowledgment to you as photographer of course.

  5. Trevor says:

    Hi again Kasia – I forgot to mention that the female is a dull brown in places where the male is black, so if one appears, don’t be confused.

  6. kasia says:

    Hi Trevor..well unfortunately no more Triller sightings so
    far and the photos I took with my parents 3x zoom camera
    are pretty pathetic 🙂 actually really pathetic.
    I should have jogged the short distance to my house for
    my camera which has a more powerful zoom but was
    afraid I’d miss getting any shots at all.
    Turns out I would have had time, how frustrating!
    I will send you the photos though, even if only for you to see how bad they are but you will see they are definitely not beautiful crisp quality photos suitable for posting here.
    You’ve inspired me to save up and look around for
    a really good camera…any suggestions, what brand etc would be appreciated.
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  7. Trevor says:

    Hi Kasia,

    I wrote about my camera here:


    My setup cost about $800 in mid 2005. You will probably get a similar camera – or better – for probably much less than that today. Determine your budget and then head out. Do your research first – there are many excellent camera sites and blogs out there. A good camera shop should have competent salespeople who know their cameras.

    I would recommend that any digital camera these days MUST have image stabilisation (IS). With this I can get away with not using a tripod – even on 12x zoom.

    I would recommend at least 10x and preferably 12x zoom. My results speak for themselves and mine is 12x zoom (though I must try to get a 1.5x converter which would make it an 18x zoom. Mine also has 4x digital zoom making it effectively a 48x zoom but the result are often disappointing at that magnification. (Digital zoom can be viewed on the camera but is best done on the computer).

    There are many other considerations – too many for this discussion.

    Have fun.

  8. kasia says:

    Thanks so much Trevor! I appreciate your advice, my current
    camera has a 10x zoom and that’s the only good thing
    about it…for some reason it doesnt’ reproduce colour
    accurately or reliably, most of the time it lets in
    too much light or not enough…time to buy a high quality camera.
    I’m off to check out the link in your comment.
    Thanks again!

  9. Trevor says:

    I guess the general rule of “you only get what you pay for” applies to cameras. Pay peanuts and you will shell out good money after bad.

    In a few weeks time I will have an article about my son’s camera – a Canon EOS 40D – wow that is one heavy piece of photographic artillery. And he carried it and its heavy lens on extended treks in South America in January. He has a stronger back than his father.

  10. kasia says:

    So true. I Look forward to that article about your sons

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