Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kookaburra takes long lunch


Extra-long lunch for this Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii) in Tyto yesterday.


Common Tree Snake tries to delay the end.


But it's about to go down, down, down ... though the bird flew before the end came.


Shorter snack for Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) the other day.


Not so much playing with it's food as getting a more secure bite.
Click pix to enlarge

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's no snip snapping Snipe


Weary and wary, Latham's Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii) make their way south away from the Asian winter.


In past few years the birds have reached Ingham early in August.


Bit later this year, but no easier to close in on.


They will, however, on occasion allow the old Camry to sneak up on them.


Just a familiar Japanese background, no doubt! :-)


But haven't had much luck in capturing picture of prey, which sometimes takes considerable effort to slurp up.  
Click pix to enlarge

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day out for Night-Heron

There's a Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) breeding hotspot just 10kms away at Cattle Creek, but few show out in Tyto.


Bird above revealed itself today as I watched Royal Spoonbills, Intermediate and Great Egrets and a White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) feasting on life in a fast-drying creek pool.


Also active in Tyto lately, Pacific Heron (Ardea pacifica).
Click pix to enlarge

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Brushing up on two cuckoos

On a post, but not railing at sunny shot of Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis) in Tyto today.


And for those interested in the differences between species, views of Fan-tailed 
and Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis variolosus).
Click pix to enlarge

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sidling up on Brolgas - and a salty


Used the Camry hide to (s)idle up on Brolgas (Grus rubicunda) at roadside pool near Ingham today.


Immature bird even less alarmed than parent (top picture). Useless snippet: one of Australia's largest birds comes with one of shortest names.

Also looming large just down the highway, at Cattle Creek, two-metre-plus saltwater crocodile. Yesterday's picture. Today, very quick into water, possibly on to pattern in my appearances. 


Definitely non-threatening, pair of Olive-backed Sunbirds (Nectarinia jugularis) show typical cheek on tourists' campervan at Jourama Falls yesterday.


Also at Jourama, Wompoo Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus).


Bird busy defending food tree from - among others - Topknot Pigeon (Lopholaimus antarcticus). Both species more often found in higher forest - before Cyclone Yasi.   
Click pix to enlarge

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Martins amid mud at Macknade


Found small flock of Fairy Martins (Petrochelidon ariel) busy mixing building and foraging today at Macknade Wetland Project near Halifax. 


Pink blob is out-of-focus water lily.


Not so many Red-browed Finches (Neochmia temporalis) in Tyto lately. 


But small group turned up the other day and messed about amidst Yasi debris. 
Click pix to enlarge

Monday, August 8, 2011

Figbird gives no fig for rivals


See a slightly aggressive air about this Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vielloti)? The solitary male has been defending a fig tree against all comers for more than 10 days. The Benjamin fig fruit is dry and tasteless. And most birds chased away have no interest in it. But the figbird cares not a fig for that. It's 'his' tree!


Yellow Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavus) not too worried about competition for insects on pink lotus. Today, an Australian Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus australis) made a sudden and rare appearance on same flowers, but dashed off too quickly for me :-(  
Click pix to enlarge

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bigger fish catch on

Commented a bit back that Intermediate Egrets (Ardea intermedia) usually take very small fish. Naturally, along comes an exception.


Poised motionless for some time before jumping into action.


Quick return to Yasi debris tossed to lagoon margin by shire cleanup team.


Near head-first positioning of fish, ready for fast swallow.


More distant, and a Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarba melanoleucos)  matches the egret's catch size. 


Footnote: Fishing world full of ones that got away, but only rarely would such stories be told in the bird world! 
Click pix to enlarge