Showing posts from March, 2011

More meat for Yellow Honeyeater

No surprise to find Yellow Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavus) with juicy green caterpillar in Tyto yesterday. Cyclone Yasi and much rain since then have reduced honeyeaters' feed options. So, Yellows and Rufous-throateds have stayed around, but most Browns - keener on pollen and nectar - have left the wetlands.    
Click pix to enlarge

AF misses the flycatcher action

Wee trip north today to Five-mile Swimming Hole just south of Yasi-ravaged Cardwell offered plenty of action with Lemon-bellied Flycatchers (Microeca flavigaster) and Leaden Flycatchers (Myiagra rubecula).

Missing in action through much of a frustrating hour, auto focus and/or external flash. Birds came and went, so did camera functions.

But even on best behaviour camera would have struggled for sharp capture of sudden spat between two birds.

And in-flight grabs at prey seldom come out much better than the above. Of course, back at home camera works perfectly. Damn it!
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Finch sticks around for picture

More super Wet and flooding in Tyto early this week, giving way to weak sunshine from Friday.  

Today, found slight increase - to 31 bird species - over previous Sunday. Notable rise in numbers of Chestnut-breasted Manikins. Very few ducks and cormorants. No egrets or ibises.

This Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis) one of few birds that stayed close enough for a picture.
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Squelching the numbers . . .

Squelched into Tyto today after 740mm of rain and widespread flooding through the week finally gave way to mostly dry roads and sullen grey cloud. Tracks overgrown and some knee-deep in water.  

Found 26 bird species. Few in usual numbers, apart from White-browed Crakes and Forest Kingfishers. Even Crimson Finches and Willie Wagtails notably reduced. 

But did surprise a Black Bittern in spot flushed from soon after Cyclone Yasi crashed through last month. A creature of habit, possibly partner of bird above, pictured in January.

And while looking back, two views of a Sooty Oystercatcher from my flying visit to NZ.

Painful crawl over volcanic rock on Manukau Harbour foreshore brought little reward!  
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Old images antidote to cabin fever

Rain, rain, go away! Five days of it. Ingham cut off. Cabin fever setting in. Antidote: take a few unused images.

Sunnier shot, but didn't think it sharp enough: Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) with dragonfly, in Tyto early this year.

Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops) stands amid some morning sparkle. Put picture aside because didn't like the angle.

And two rather wooden Brown Falcons (Falco berigora).      
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Riding on a (Grey)hound from hell

I'm back!

After the bus trip from hell.

Saw plenty of family and friends in NZ. But not ready to live in manicured green paradise yet. (No, not going to relive the quake tragedy.) So, score cheapish, perfect flight Auckland-Cairns.

Need bus to Ingham. Enter Greyhound office. Omen: snotty child spilling juice all over floor. Two females with attitude booking rides without pausing cellphone calls (another omen).

Three hours to bus time. Steamy morning drags on.
Bus arrives 12.15 for 1pm departure. Driver steaming after hosing outside of bus in futile cooling effort.  12.30: Passengers mill around. Stressed driver flaps about getting fares and baggage in confused disorder. Passengers told to climb aboard, without being given seat numbers. Bad move. Anger later as shifts ordered.

Time drags on. So, too, late arrivals. Driver near meltdown. Some fares too. Incluing disturbed barefooted woman getting home after troubled night in police cell 'care'.

Bus hot. Fares hot. Driver sweating t…