Dubbo, NSW

Superb Fairy-Wrens

With months of planning and waiting for freedom from lockdown, a trip to the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo was booked and batteries charged, but sadly someone forgot to tell the animals we were coming. This left us with little to shoot, so thankfully the Brilliant Fairy-Wrens for plentiful, and on this occasion accommodating of photographers with large lenses!

Photographed using

Boasting more than 1000 animals at the Western Plains Zoo, you can imagine our disappointment on arrival to see very few on display. We spent several hours at the Zoo and made several laps of the 6km track to see all the displays, but very little was happening and many of the animals were simply hiding, or just not there.

Ironically it was the animals not in cages that made for a photographic opportunity. Many birds were around on the day of our visit, and in particular the little Brilliant Fairy-Wrens. The males have a brilliant blue plumage on their head and shoulders. The females are a comparatively bland brown colour, but they both share one things in common; they are both very fast moving, and difficult to capture.

We had the time to spend however, and patience paid off. These images are cropped very slightly as I was able to get fairly close to the birds. By using a fast shutter speed, starting with 1/800th of a second, and ultimately using 1/2000th of a second to capture these very fast moving birds with little to no blur.

We focused on a pair of Brilliant Fairy-Wrens with two babies and managed to capture a small male in a tree above me (bottom left image) and you can see just a small patch of blue appearing in his feathers.

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