Monday, January 30, 2012

Closing in on Red-backed Fairy-wren



More images in the quest for one that does full justice to the male Red-backed Fairy-wren (Malurus melanocephalus). Getting better, but . . .
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Catch and catch again





Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) plays catch and catch again. Too far off and lousy angle, but typical handling of tricky prey by many bird species.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bittern in the light: owl in the night

Four Black Bitterns (Ixobrychus flavicollis) in Tyto today but no image to match the above, taken from the highway at a temporary pool near Ingham the other morning.

Another image standing around for a bit, Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia), atop a Leichhardt tree.

And a little night visitor to the caravan park a while back, young Barking Owl (Ninox connivens) waits for parent to bring in some dinner.
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Keeping track of some little things

A few images from Tyto tracks, starting with young Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) yesterday calling for the cleanup squad.

Rock Dove (Columba livia) looks a little lost near entrance today. Leg band dated 2010 carries ID ending in 579013.

Dragonfly (Orthetrum villosovittatum) perches over temporary pool beside entry track.



Small Carpet Snake (Morelia spilota) on mown track gives an ant a lift, and the lens a threatening stare.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On the wing, and under it

One of fluctuating hundreds of Wandering Whistling-Ducks (Dendrocygna arcuata) on the main lagoon these days takes a turn near the Tyto lookout. Plenty of Plumed Whistlers too, but usually clustered on grassy banks of new lagoons near the info centre.

Young White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) about to make brief touchdown near the lookout. Interesting that one- to two-year? bird caused no alarm among the many birds on the water, very different from reaction mature eagles usually provoke. But perhaps there’s something about eagles’ in-flight behaviour that signals either malign or benign intent.     

Nothing much malign about Spotted (Turtle-) Dove (Streptopelia chinensis), showing delicate colouring on rail in the morning sun. Not universally loved because regarded as pushy import (1860-1920), at least the mostly suburban species no longer is tagged an STD.    
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Female Little Bittern takes turn

Series of calls between two Australian Little Bitterns (Ixobrychus dubius) today before this female appeared near hide.


She ignored all my calls to get out from behind cover.
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Little Bittern makes contact

Lots of contact calls between two or three Australian Little Bitterns (Ixobrychus dubius) today before this male appeared near hide.

Ignored all my calls to get out from behind cover.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rare beauty drops in: rarity drops out

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) dropped in to grace main Tyto lagoon yesterday, first such visit since 2009. Gone today.

Not so with White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinerea), though many more active yesterday – including some little black chicks – than today.

Amid such clear beauty two mystery birds - one terrible image above. Sheeny navy blue and brown coloration. Strongly marked but strangely different in each of the briefly glimpsed birds. Stare at image. Penny drops: subadult male Eastern Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus). Swan proves only rare beauty of the day.
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Goose and fish done to a turn

Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata) – one of trio probably nesting deep in scleria in main lagoon – takes a turn below the Tyto lookout over the weekend.   

Down the road, Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) takes turn with fish whose goose is cooked. Immature bird feeding daily in shallowing pool beside highway.
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Heron in shabby yabby grabby

Shabby image in Tyto yesterday as immature Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) nabs a yabby: first live - for 10 seconds – cray prey I’ve come across.

Young bird active lately and relatively approachable. Unlike the Black Bitterns, which have been haunting same hunting grounds, but much more warily.
Click pix to enlarge  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Closer look at little beauty


 Usually shy, Green Pygmy-goose (Nettapus pulchellus) allowed closer look on main lagoon this week.

Also sitting quietly, Wandering Whistling-Ducks (Dendrocygna arcuata).
Click pix to enlarge

Monday, January 2, 2012

Stalking, talking, walking, gawking

Yellow-breasted Boatbill (Machaerirhynchus flaviventer) one of the species these days making Jourama Falls (30km south of Ingham) and its compact section of riverine forest an attractive stalking ground.


Having a resident population of Noisy Pittas (Pitta versicolor) is a talking point.


Though they seldom make the swim landing a walking point.


And it's not every day one finds a Little Shrike-Thrush (Colluricincla megarhyncha) up close and gawking.
Click pix to enlarge