Heading for a falls
Starting at the beginning, a 20-minute, 2-hectare transect across the reed flats and through the Scleria, looking for Little Bitterns. Furtive movement high in Razor Grass. Away flies male bittern, showing typical glorious chocolate and custard yellow colouring seen from behind. Top start!
On to the pool of death. Almost all evidence of total fish kill sunk without trace. But here's a blue frog drawing the flies. Blue? Yes. It's a dead Green Treefrog (Litoria caerulea).
Scientific name is said to spring from specimens pickled in alcohol when preserving fluid ran out during Joseph Banks' collecting. Blue and yellow equals green. But the frog yellow is alcohol soluble. So the taxonomists in England poured blue frogs from the bottle.
The birds, though uncooperative, are worth a few words. First up was a Wompoo Fruit-Dove, 'wollack-a-woo-ing'. Sorry about the picture. Bird refused to leave the shadows.
Even harder to see and impossible to snap, a pair of hyperactive Spotted Catbirds. Their mewing and yowling forces smiles from the glummest birdo. Fifteen minutes with the green clowns and I'm laughing for the rest of the day. In the same patch of rainforest, a Noisy Pitta, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, and Black-faced Monarch.
Highlight still to come: on a forested track by Stony Creek (which feeds the falls). Series of one-note calls. Glimpses of biggish dark bird. Finally, some distant light - on orangey-brown breast, red bill and blue head of a migrant Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher. Azures pale in comparison. But couldn't see anything of white tail streamers. And no picture.
A final bonus. I caught sight of a leech on my leg before it put the bite on me!