This morning Andrew spotted a striated pardalote (Pardalotus striatus) on the insect-screen of the door to the studio. It flitted away so fast there was no time for a photo, so I’ve used someone else’s.
They are little birds, smaller than house sparrows. Simpson and Day’s Field Guide to the Birds of Australia calls them ‘acrobatic foragers’ and that’s pretty accurate. We saw them yesterday when we were out clearing the fences of summer weeds – flitting on ‘fast forward’ in the tops of the tall gum trees, chasing insects.
We’ve also seen spotted pardalotes (Pardalotus punctatus), in almost exactly the same environment as the one below. This is a female at her burrow – a hole dug in the side of a clay bank.
Pardalotes occur all over Australia, except in the very dry areas. I once found one, dead as a doornail, on the footpath in Sydney as I was walking into the city for a haircut. I put it in a tissue in my handbag and didn’t mention it to the hairdresser. I was able to get a close look at it at home.