Little and large

Sometimes it’s tricky to know which way to point the camera.


Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus)
1/1000, f/5.6, ISO 1600


I’d been photographing the raven, below, when a fantail turned up to my left.  The raven was bathed in the late afternoon sunlight while the fantail was in the shade, so I took a flurry of images on entirely the wrong settings. I quickly changed the shutter speed, aperture and ISO (all of which I can do while looking through the viewfinder) when this fairy-wren appeared for a couple of seconds. I changed the settings again but neither small bird reappeared.

With the late arrival of summer many birds have nested later in the season than usual, including these little fairy-wrens.


Little Raven ( Corvus mellori)
1/2000, f/7.1, IS0 800


Little Ravens and Australian Ravens both visit my property and I usually distinguish them by their calls. The Aussie ravens’ call is higher-pitched, much slower and its drawn-out final note is longer than that of the littles. I used to think I could tell by the throat hackles, until I realised that both species have hackles though sometimes the hackles are so long and shaggy that it’s easy to identify the bird as an Aussie. My favourite way to identify the species is by the presence or absence of an interramal featherless patch beneath the bill. Only the Aussies have the patch, which is generally difficult to see in the field but can be seen in clear images, as in a previous lirralirra post Wrens, raven and Gang-gang Cockatoos

Superb Fairy-wrens measure 14cm, with much of that being the tail, and they weigh about 10g. Little Ravens are 49cm and weigh 530g, that’s the same mass as 53 fairy-wrens!

Spending time with these birds gave me some much needed quietude in these uneasy times.

Peace, love and happy birding



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