Spotted Pardalotes (Pardalotus punctatus) are tiny birds, with a wing span of about 50-60 mm. They spend much of their time feeding high in the canopy of gum trees. They have a distinctive double note call, and for much of the time they are easier to hear than see. They nest in tunnels that they excavate into banks, such as stream side and road cuttings.
These birds were nesting just below a bridge over a small stream (drain!) in a local park, and their regular movements in and out of the nest hole made them much easier to see than normal. I think I have seen them described as 'confiding' and they certainly came closer to me than most birds do. There were a number of branches that had fallen over the stream that they tended to land on prior to entering the nest hole. They are very fast moving and great fun to watch.
The male birds have a yellow chest and white spots on the crown, while the females have plain chests and yellow spots in the crown.
Unfortunately, a couple of days after I took most of these pictures we had a day of heavy rain and the stream where these birds were nesting flooded, submerging the nest tunnel. The pair of birds were still in the area, so maybe they will try to nest again. I will keep an eye on these birds, as the park with the steam is one of the few places I can visit during lockdown!
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