Friday, December 31, 2010

Pick of the day, pic of the year

Final Tyto stroll for 2010 found one Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) standing out among the usual plenty. Sometimes the bird is only part of the picture. 


Too much to expect hyperactive Red-backed Fairy-wren (Malurus melanocephalus) to adopt artistic pose. Sprayed sedge an unwanted species.


Much easier to catch Rufous-throated Honeyeater (Conopophila rufogularis) in front of hide. Nest nearing completion.


Female Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) stayed in paperbark just long enough for quick shot.


Finally, two images to wrap up the year:


Brown-backed Honeyeater (Ramsayornis modestus) in paperbark by Tyto hide.


And my picture of 2010, Striated Heron (Butorides striata) with muddy catch near a coastal boat ramp.   
Click pix to enlarge

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rain sets Rufous-throateds back

Boxing Day flood of about one metre washed through wetlands and apart from spreading problem weeds did little damage. But the teeming rain washed some nests from the trees.


Rufous-throated Honeyeater (Conopophila rufogularis) among those starting again today.


Here's a sunnier effort taken from the hide a wee while ago.


And a fluffier look, also taken from the hide.
Click pix to enlarge

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Crimsons counter cyclone blues

Super wet Xmas morn at edge of Cyclone Tasha, so festive cheer needs a boost.


How about two cheers for Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton)?


And another for Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (Lonchura castaneothorax)?


Greetings to nature lovers everywhere.
Click pix to enlarge

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Olive-backed Oriole heads tidy-up

Super Wet set in last night, bit of flooding around Ingham today. More on way. Time to tidy up held over pictures, headed by maturing Olive-backed Oriole (Oriolus sagittatus), showing plumage changing about the head.


Sought better images of Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) for months, but the birds stayed high in the trees before quitting the wetlands altogether. 


Still a few Brush Cuckoos (Cacomantis variolosus) in Tyto, mostly heard rather than seen lately.


And plenty of Pied Imperial-Pigeons (Ducula bicolor) in the area, though more often in small flocks overhead than perched in rain trees.
Click pix to enlarge

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Two heads not always better than one

Two heads may often be better than one but not usually in bird pictures. Bush Thick-knees (Burhinus grallarius) above look well matched, but all too seldom do the heads show equal appeal. Nothing remarkable in the observation. It comes simply because a few pair pictures have cropped up.


Here's two Pied Oystercatchers (Haematopus longirostris) at Lucinda yesterday. One's almost sharp! Plenty of terns and various shore birds out on the sand bars. None close enough to camera (which came close to disaster when I became stuck in clinging mud).


Trip to coast in part to check on Striated Heron (Butorides striata) nesting by Dungeness boat ramp. Three juveniles in nest tree wouldn't gather for group portrait, so two had to do.


Back at Tyto, Wandering Whistling-Ducks (Dendrocygna arcuata) look to be enjoying bit of morning splash and dash. Some creatures appear to enjoy life more than others. Appearances, of course, are deceptive.  
Click pix to enlarge

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jacana plonks eggs on pool weed

Nesting no big thing in world of Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea). But usually the eggs are plonked on growth or debris more substantial - and less exposed - than Azolla, in a shallow creek pool.


This is probably the male, today seeming to avoid going near the new-laid eggs, yet never quitting the pool. Not sure if he's accepted responsibility for sitting, and the rearing. Presumed female egg layer, seen briefly, lacked colour: may be young, and unwise in egg plonking. Time may tell.


Meantime, here's another Jacana, showing off those toes!!!   
Click pix to enlarge

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hello, hello to Yellow-faced fellow

Lively Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) stopped darting about in flowering Euodias long enough on Friday to be identified and join the Tyto species list. Common enough species, but never ticked here before.


But nothing came of weekend efforts to get more sightings or better pictures. Still, two species new to the list in three days (three in two months: Superb Fruit-Dove, Common Tern) may owe more to La Nina than to coincidence. A few more newcomers to the all-time list would compensate for the wet-weather reductions in overall species and bird numbers.       


Pacific Baza bulletin: All four thriving: juveniles sticking more or less together, though smaller bird originally rescued from ants a week ago (presumed male, above, two days ago) still more venturesome.       
Click pix to enlarge

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Willies thriving; mozzies diving

Almost time to quit the nest for these three Willie Wagtails (Rhipidura leucophrys), handily located beside bench on southeastern section of Tyto track. Not pictured, hundreds of mozzies lining up for lingering photographers. 


Elsewhere today, terrible picture of Superb Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus superbus): a first for Tyto list.  Female showed up briefly with Scaley-breasted Lorikeets. 


Almost as rare, but not photographed, White-throated Nightjar (Eurostopodus mystacalis) flushed three times near track. No recent sightings of the more common Large-tailed Nightjar.  


Pacific Baza bulletin: One parent seen soaring: one junior heard at distance.     
Click pix to enlarge

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Am I my Baza's keeper?

Here's the quandary. Friday morning, juvenile Pacific Baza (Aviceda subcristata) 25 metres below the nest, behind the Tyto info centre. Nest tree one of several towering paperbarks on small island connected by metal footbridges in landscaped lagoon precinct surrounded by Ingham suburbia and football ground. No way to get bird up into the trees. What to do? Interfere only as last resort. Back off. Let nature do its job. Return twice later in day and first find bird on concrete pillar in lagoon and then in small tree beside lagoon. 


Early Saturday morning no sight or sound of Bazas, but late in morning and here's junior in bigger trouble. Bird's travelled 200 metres west from nest island, and become grounded in long grass in an area swarming with green ants. What to do? Nature can be too cruel. Toss plastic parka over bird. Pick all the (now getting angry) ants off. 


No sign of parent birds, so put junior up into the small tree from evening before. Today, juvenile Baza calls coming from deep within trees in flooded section of the wetlands. It's up to the parents now.    
Click pix to enlarge