Standing up for oneself widely admired, but not so desirable for bird picture - as evidenced by this Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (Lonchura castaneothorax) in Tyto today. An upright avian citizen indeed. More generally, immature flocks of mannikins are starting to gather. Soon there'll be groups of 40-50 young birds foraging amid the seeding grasses.
In past years Rainbow Bee-eaters (Merops ornatus) also have gathered in large flocks. But not in the wetlands recently. Have almost given up hope of decent aerial shots.
Even more limited exercise of capturing birds with intact tail-shafts showing clearly has proved trickier than expected. Who said practice makes perfect?
Shining Flycatchers persisting with nest today. Noticed male's only role is to chase Wille Wagtails away. Appears to do nothing toward building.
Months of seeing back half of snake slipping away into long Town Common grass without being absolutely sure of species ended with Greater Black Whipsnake yesterday finally presenting front half to camera. The para grass surrounding the pool at Payets tower is probably home to more than six snake species. Mostly they're seen when swimming across open water.
One of their prey targets, Two-lined Dragon well out of snake danger on bonnet of Troopy. Nope, not my doing. It appeared from 'nowhere' the other morn. Clear bonnet one second, Dragon hood ornament the next. Odd, because dragon claws don't grip like skinks'. As seen when it nipped through open driver's door to inside Troopy but was easily scooped up as it kept trying to scale rubber matting over transmission tunnel, getting halfway up only to slide back down again.
Wouldn't be easy scooping metre's worth of Yellow-spotted Monitor from inside Troopy. But though the invitation's been made a few ti…