Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mungalla mob masses amid mud

Massed Egrets and Spoonbills crowd Mungalla Station wetlands for final feeding flurries before the shallows become fast-drying mud, probably  within a fortnight as the dry season intensifies.



Some migratory visitors are more than happy to see more mud. Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) numbers lower than in past seasons but starting to rise.



Also showing up to spend time on the mud, Red-capped Plover. Nonbreeding plumage gives only hints of the birds' breeding colours. 


From an earlier, rather colourless day, pair of White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinerea) poke about among blue waterlilies. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Shining moments with Flycatcher

Shining moments with Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto) at two nest sides along tidal boundary at Mungalla Station this week.

Female doing most of building at one site...


...and feeding at the other.

Where's the male? He'll be along sometime, I hope.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Night drive proves owling success

Night drive west of Ingham proved an owling success with Eastern Grass-Owl (Tyto longimembris) and Eastern Barn Owl (Tyto javanica) found along 100-metre stretch of country road beside a cane field.

Dark female Grass Owl stood without concern as I gradually moved very close and didn't move away even when all light was taken off her.

Different story with Barn Owl. Fled its post after just a few quick shots from the cab of the Troopy.

And this male Grass Owl didn't hang around long when flushed in Tyto Wetlands the other morning. Recent sightings suggest last year's breeding pair in Tyto are not together right now. But their swamp ricegrass habitat is still too flooded for creation of grass tunnels and breeding sites.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Corellas bring buzz but don't fully fit the bill

Finding four birds rarely seen anywhere near this patch gave me a buzz yesterday on main road west of Ingham. 


Problem. Birds don't truly fit either of only possible species: Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris; a South Australian) or Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea; mostly west of Great Dividing Range). But escapees have established themselves near some eastern cities, including Townsville (130km south of Ingham).


My birds may be hybrids: the bills aren't quite long enough, but Littles don't have red throats.


So, don't know where they came from, where they went, what they are, if I'll ever see them again. Isn't birding wonderful?!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Slow and kneesy gets close to wary Glossy

How to sneak up on a wary Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)? 

Slow and kneesy does the trick. Camera and low tripod first through long grass and chomped hymenachne, knees in mud and bum near heels.

No fun, but beats crawling. Anyway, did the trick at Mungalla Station today.

And here's a walk-in shot from another day.