Bird Sighting – Thornbill or Weebill 9-5-12

On the weekend I spotted a flock of very tiny birds flitting through my garden shrubbery. I had seen these a couple of times recently but never in previous years. They were so tiny they could have been mistaken for butterflies but with a different action. This time I decided to pay closer attention so I could identify them. They had a body no more than 1 1/2 inches or 35mm long plus the head and tail. Colour generally grey to brown with a yellow underbelly and a posture similar to that of a wren. Their call was very faint and a soft ‘seet’ sound. I went to get the  binoculars but they had gone again when I returned.

There were at least 100 in the flock and they all kept within the foliage.

Using my copy of Peter Slater‘s ‘A Field Guide To Australian Birds‘ Volume 2 Passerines I was able to work out that they were a variety of Thornbill or Weebill.  In order to better identify them I will have to observe them with the binoculars when they appear again.

I noticed that these birds never actually landed on the ground but seemed to prefer the foliage and were seen feeding on the seed heads of ‘fat hen’ or huazontle.

My first guess is that it is a ‘Striated Thornbill’ seen below courtesy of Wikipedia.

Striated Thornbill

Striated Thornbill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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