Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Competition hopes start with Peaceful Doves

Wee Birdlife photo group's comp this month calls for pigeons or doves. Lacking anything decent or recent of either group, I spent some time crawling about the grass outside the caravan this morning when the resident Peaceful Doves (Geopelia striata) came picking and pecking at goodness-only-knows what (they have always ignored any offerings scattered by me).

Best view was a distant look at the cocoa colouring under the wing of a stretching bird. The colour is - I think -  used as a signal between the birds but doesn't seem to come into play during courtship.

No winners here so we'll just have to keep working at it and come closer to the ideal. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Young Jacana takes catch of the day

One species not put off breeding by the lack of flooding rains this year has been Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea). Plenty of immature birds about. This one faced flurries of challenges from a mature bird seeking to drive it off the feeding zone, a pool at the tail end of Palm Creek on Mungalla Station.

But the youngster persisted and was rewarded by the biggest catch of the day. I'll leave ID to others, but prey seems to be short of legs.

Elsewhere on the station, Red-backed Kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius), a first for the Mungalla list, boosting total to 208 species. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

White-browed Robin luck only for the local

Why be expert when being lucky works so well sometimes? Chasing White-browed Robin (Poecilodryas superciliosa) in Tyto yesterday, with handheld 600mm lens, mistakenly ended shooting on pre-set aperture f11 rather than manual f11. Result was shutter speed of 1/30 instead of 1/800 (with fill flash, -1).

Miraculously one of three images proved almost tack sharp in spite of snail-speed shutter. But wait, there's more luck. For another hour or more tried to find a robin for two birders from Sydney. Not a peep or even the briefest of glimpses. Of course after they'd reluctantly been forced to quit the hunt another three birds showed themselves, without offering anything like so attractive a setting. Sorry, Nancy and Dirk!

Did get Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis) in super setting. Too far off and so a big crop, but all else is bang on (after minor twig removal).

Reverse case with Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta). Almost certainly the only one of its species in the wetlands, the bird stayed so close underfoot the 600 couldn't focus and all efforts to get in-flight shots failed totally. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Gobble, gobble, gobble - without turkeys

Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vielloti)

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae)

Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Plum-headed Finches 100, Birdbrain 1

Battle of wits continues with 100 Plum-headed Finches (Neochmia modesta) beside truck layby south of Ingham.

It would seem the score is roughly Birds' brains 100, Birdbrain 1. 

Perhaps Crimson Finches (Neochmia phaeton) simply show more sympathy because they see me so often.

And on the sale front (previous post)? Going, going...