Friday, September 25, 2020

Osprey togetherness bears fish but no fruit

Touch of uncommon togetherness lately for Eastern Ospreys (female on right) near their nest in Townsville's Town Common Conservation Park.

Beginning a second breeding cycle for 2020 - after four months ago abruptly quitting incubation at another nest nearby - the birds were seldom together except when swapping incubation roles. Or on the rare occasion the male (above, landing on favoured perch) brought a fish to the nest.

Such closeness stopped some weeks ago. Unable to see into the nest, I hoped the female (above, early this week) was carrying fish back to feed young, which by my reckoning should have been near fully-fledged.

Events yesterday slammed the door on such hope. No birds near nest early on. Later in morning male arrived with fish. Landed in dead tree away from nest (above). Began to eat. Half and hour later the female arrived, with fish. Landed on branch apart in same dead tree. Ate fish. Neither paid any attention to the nest. Conclusion follows that for whatever reasons there will be no young for this pair this year. 

Irony is that both birds are now unconcerned by anyone approaching them, and the nest tree. 


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Magpie Lark whistles down upon Kite

Whistling Kite finds Magpie Lark whistling down the other day and clearly wishing it elsewhere.

Action came over Rowes Bay Golf Course, close to water hazard residence adopted by two-metre Saltwater Crocodile.

Which has thus far failed to greet me with toothy grin. We live in hope. But keep a safe distance.

Also living in hope, fluttering for prey over nearby salvinia-laden hazard, another Magpie Lark.

And steering clear of the croc's pool, Magpie Goose poses as prettily as the species can manage. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Friday, August 21, 2020

Beware the hazard in the hazard

Hazard in the hazard with two-metre plus Saltwater Crocodile a short slice off the fairway at a Townsville golf club. Snuck around for front-on pictures but got only a muddy blur. Big difference in our reaction times.

Ditto with Yellow-spotted Monitor on road a bit later in the day. Rising afternoon temps will draw more reptiles out into the open. But the warmth doesn't make them any easier to get ahead of.

Did get ahead of flying Brolga the other day. Fluke shot almost exactly filled the frame as the bird passed overhead.

Slightly behind Masked Lapwing today before getting bird in focus. It's a subspecies, Vanellus novaehollandiae, less common in the north than V. miles. Picture shows distinguishing extension of black down back of neck. Pity it only hints at the continuation down to the breast.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Shining moment catching up with shy Flycatcher

Chased pair of Shining Flycatchers back and forth along section of tangled mangroves at edge of small wetland (mostly dry, but muddy!) in Townsville this morning after hearing male (above) calling.
It helps to know the species - especially the male - usually forages predictably, low, along the edges of heavily shadowed wet areas. So, first catch up with the birds, then try to get ahead of them and wait.
Allow for probability they'll turn back and leave you standing. Several times. Also allow for frustration in failing to get clear sightings most of the time.
As also with Leaden Flycatcher the other day. Great pose, pity about the shadow.
Bit luckier with Buff-banded Rail recently. Only this one shot saw bird's tail cocked enough to clear blade of grass otherwise obscuring it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Egret ditches salad before swallowing fish

Catch of the day for Intermediate Egret, fish with salad from pool in Townsville Town Common Conservation Park this morning.

Salad? That's for other birds. First one portion fell away ...

... and then the other. How? That's an Egret secret.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Take a tip on White-bellied Sea-Eagles

Here's a tip on White-bellied Sea-Eagles. They've got two-tone tongues. Standard pink, with grey-brown flexible tips. Looking like claws, as in above image, but actually front section of tongue tightly folded lengthwise (an ability that genetically divides people: many can, many can't).

Another tip: the birds can be remarkably tolerant of a patient open approach. Bit of chat doesn't worry them either. Don't expect much by way of reply. 

And it can be frustrating trying to gain their full attention. They seldom deign to look straight at the camera, no matter how much direction is being given from behind the camera. 

Osprey togetherness bears fish but no fruit

Touch of uncommon togetherness lately for Eastern Ospreys (female on right) near their nest in Townsville's Town Common Conservation Par...