Sunday, September 4, 2011

Australian Magpies & Willy Wagtails, Sydney



Centennial Park gave us the chance to get very close to plenty of species. These Australian Magpies (the youngsters still grey where the adults are white) have learnt quickly to exploit the scraps around the roofed picnic area; one in particular wouldn't leave us alone, and so the least it could do to reciprocate was to pose academically with its book of choice...





Arguably even more entertaining was this Willy Wagtail (not, sadly, a slightly sketchy Wind in the Willows reject, but a ground-dwelling cross between a flycatcher and a Pied Wag). Employing a novel technique to catch insects which involves short sprints, wing-quivering and (most effectively) tail-spreading, this bird - evidently attracted to the prey I was inadvertently kicking up as I walked through the grass - not only hung around me for a while, but even ran between my legs....