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Feather duster

Fairy-wrens foraging and courting in the dune vegetation are fidgety creatures at the best of times. They live life in the fast lane, rarely sitting still for the camera. Your best chance is when they land on a prominent perch above the vegetation to sing for a few seconds.

When they're foraging among the spinifex grasses on the beach, they switch to overdrive hyperactivity. Perhaps it's because they feel vulnerable at ground level without a commanding view of their surroundings.

When I've seen them on the sand it has usually been on areas spoiled by the footprints of other creatures: man; dogs; foxes; rusa deer. But this morning was different when I saw a pair working on clean sand in a spinifex forest. As they bounced around the place I followed them through my viewfinder and shot bursts whenever the camera beeped to signal that it had found focus.

When I reviewed the images on-site through the viewfinder I was delighted to discover this one. Big isn't always better, and some might wish the bird to be bigger in frame. This is one image, however, where printing it BIG will reveal the magic of its detail. With the limitations of online presentation in mind, I've included a 1:1 portion of the frame to reveal the dusting of sand grains in the wake of the female superb fairy-wren as she flits back to the dune.

The high-key rendering of the photograph lets me imagine that she's flying through a snowy boreal landscape.

1/4000th @ f4 & 600mm ISO 1000 monopod ®

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Keywords:Malurus cyaneus, actions, activities, animals, attributes, beaches, birds, environment, fairy-wrens, fauna nature, flight, flying, landforms, passeriformes, passerines, sand, sandy, scenery, scientific names, taking off, wildlife, _publishedZenfolio

Feather duster