Monday, December 14, 2009

Bit of patter before a Pitta pity


Frustratingly close to catching up with two elusive species in the rainforest behind Ingham Airstrip today. Well, did catch them, but lacked any 'up', as in up close. So, will open with better couple of birds on sticks. First, male Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) lines up in the morning sunshine.



Second, Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis) intent on higher issues.



And the first of today's distant efforts. Noisy Pitta (Pitta versicolor) in forest considerably darker than it appears. Pittas commonly pitter-patter along amid leaf litter but are more often heard than seen. In part because they spend a lot of time up in trees and birders spend a lot of time looking for them on the ground. Ventriloquial birds, that's what they are.



Second distant shot, immature Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus), announced its arrival with a strangled 'grawwwk'. It then flew low to forest creek bank, peered in, and dived out of sight! I didn't see it emerge. Don't know if it was splash-showering or hunting, perhaps for freshwater mussels (not equipped for chasing fish underwater). Next sighting, image above, taken from 40 metres away. Tried stalking close. Bird off. Just one of those mornings...  

    

6 comments:

Sebastian said...

Particularly attractive Red-browed Finch you have captured here. I know what you mean with the Pitta too...

A bird that similarly spends a surprising amount of time in tree is the Orange-footed Scrubfowl. It just never occurs to some people to looks up!

Denis Wilson said...

Good variety of birds - a Red-brow, a "Nighty" and a Pitta all on the one trip.
Your Red Brow is very pretty (even if I can look out my own window in summer and hope to see some). Common-ness does not detract from beauty, or ought not be thought of doing so. But many bird watchers ignore the common things.
Glad that you don't.
Cheers
Denis

Mosura said...

I keep looking up but still can't find one. I'm fairly convinced there are none here :-)

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Sebastian: Thanks for viewing. Good to see you are beating the gastric bug. Nice Yellow Oriole on your blog.

Hi Denis: We often miss what's under noses, don't we? We go out chasing one or two species and ignore others unless something striking is noticed. To be fair, it can be a way of avoiding getting into a rut.

Hi Alan: Settle for listening for the pitter of reindeer feet on December 24 night.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Tony,
'Oh yeah', thinks I as I open your blog, 'Rufous Whistlers and Red-browed Finches galore around here'. Then you come up with a Pitta!
That's a bit hard to trump. Beaut stuff.
Gouldiae.

Tyto Tony said...

I have a trump in mind. But elusive Oriental Cuckoo keeps flashing overhead too quickly for in-flight shot. Can't even find the bird sitting anywhere. :-(