Friday, June 29, 2012

Getting sneakily technical with wee Grebe


Sneaky way to sneak up on Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) in Tyto this week: (tech alert!) attach Kenko 2X converter to 100-400mm F5.6 lens. So what? So Kenko somehow tricks Canon 7D to retain some autofocus, which it won't allow with Canon 1.4X converter, let alone 2X. Image quality suffers a bit, but even at ISO1600 above picture not bad (tech ends). 


Nothing technical about Australasian Darter (Anhinga novehollandiae) closeup. Bird surfaced in small Tyto pool but wouldn't risk emerging fully to fly off, so ducked and dived for several minutes until I walked away.


Long-distance noisy 400mm shot of Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides) on fallen tree near Orient Station this week was to be paired with 2X image, but bird put breakfast ahead of posing.   


Soft image high-angled Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), near Orient Station, also put food first and took off before tripod could be deployed for steadier picture.


Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus), in Tyto, sits still, too far away for sharper detail. No 2X at hand at time, but nothing technical fixes things if the bird is simply too far off.   
Click pix to enlarge

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Killer stare on the way


Here's a glimpse of what small birds fear from Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrocephalus).


Look away, then suddenly ...


... here comes the killer stare! Immature bird in Tyto this week.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rats! Brolga strolls off with corpse


Rats! Not quick enough to get a sharp image of Brolga (Grus rubicunda) strolling away with unlamented victim of cane harvesting.  


Rats! Immature Southern Boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae), rodent lover, stays far off and obscured on brief rare visit to Tyto. 


Rats! Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans), another meat lover, stays too high.
Click pix to enlarge  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kingfisher, Falcons pose for post


Still chasing 'the' picture of Red-backed Kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius) lately resident near Orient Station, southeast of Ingham.

Must make do in meantime with recent willingness of bird to pose for a post.

Brown Falcons (Falco berigora) along same road also share liking for posts.

Too bad so much barbed wire gets into the scene.

And why can't they simply sit still in midair?  
Click pix to enlarge  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Casual Cassowary walk on the mild side


Here's my new best birding buddy. We spent 90 minutes close together on the Wallaman Falls road yesterday.


He doesn't say much, so I did most of the talking. Nothing new there.


He did most of the eating, including unknown small fruit mashed by motorists.


He's got a splendid casque for butting through the forest, so he's Casca, 'my' Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius)
Click pix to enlarge  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Conspicuous and ravenous


Conspicuous in Tyto yesterday, ravenous Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus). 


Uncommon visitor spent an hour scooping up and wolfing down fish before leaving majestically for elsewhere. Could be the only Pelican of the year on the main lagoon. 
Click pix to enlarge  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seen lately in the pink ...



Mrs Croc with lotus


Mr Jabiru on long legs


And Pink-eared Duck 
Click pix to enlarge  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Baza dinner towed from a hole


Forget toad-in-the-hole, Pacific Baza (Aviceda subcristata) about to dine on Green Tree Frog  towed from a hole and toed in the whole. 
Click pix to enlarge  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Scrubwren shows out in the shadows


Trundled up to Paluma Dam yesterday for the first time since Cyclone Yasi blasted through 16 months ago. Much quieter and forest system recovery years away.  But Large-billed Scrubwren (Sericornis magnirostra) still darting about in the shadows.


And Grey-headed Robin (Heteromyias cinereifrons) busy here and there.


Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Chalcites lucidus) hunting from dam rocks.


Here's a Little Bronze-Cuckoo (was Gould's)(Chalcites minutillus), in Tyto the other day, for comparison.
Click pix to enlarge  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stork stalk starts Jabberwonky


Could the birds be watching me? When all along I've thought myself the observer? Yesterday, near the coast, this Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) flew by near enough to straight over top of me. Today, almost 80km to west up the Herbert River Gorge, same bird, same slow flight over me. Any more of it and I'll be getting the  J-J-J-J-Ja-Ja-Jabber-Jabberoos.
Click pix to enlarge  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Red-backed Kingfisher drops in



Red-backed Kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius) seldom shows up around locally, preferring a drier, quieter life inland.


But bird above has become attached to a fallen tree in a coastal paddock which appears to offer plenty of small prey.


Have not, as yet, been able to get close enough, even when perch shifts to post.


Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), on same fenceline, proved a little more obliging the other day.
Click pix to enlarge