Monday, December 31, 2012

Trust me, it's not always this easy


What's great about this Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) is the trust allowed.

Walked in close and enjoyed a long chat, at Dungeness.

Also trusting, White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) sits tight, near Orient 
Station.

Even more trusting than usual, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata), near Ingham.

Trust me, Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) usually more wary; on Tyto lagoon.

Trusting for even better in 2013, Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Right-o Tyto trio ...



Bit of late-night driving lately for mixed outcomes: best, Eastern Barn Owl (Tyto javanica) on the dry forest flats along the Wallaman Falls road last night.

Worst, shaky image of (Lesser) Sooty-Owl (Tyto tenebricosa multipunctata) three nights back. No sign since.

So-so, flight shot of Eastern Grass-Owl (Tyto longimembris) over the Tyto Wetlands. Site now
waterlogged, but owls sticking with it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Seasoned greetings to all ...


'Tis the season to gobble, gobble, gobble.
Making tummies wobble, wobble, wobble.
Who's the turkey then?
Australian Brush-turkey (Alectura lathami)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Eastern Grass Owl: 'Don't ask me where I've been.'




'Don't ask me where I've been. I'm here in front of you now, aren't I? Take your pictures and run away and boast about finding an Eastern Grass-Owl (Tyto longimembris) in the Tyto Wetlands after failing for eight years.' 


'Out of focus? Out of focus??? Can't you get anything right? I can't stand around here all bloody night waiting for you to take a simple bleeding picture. That's it? Done, are you? Right, I'm off to give some rats hell. No, I won't hover above you for a few minutes so you can get an action shot. Later? When I'm in a better mood? Maybe. For Christmas. See you.' 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Three heads and no tail in sight


Small Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis) didn't like being held up in middle of road up to Wallaman Falls at 4am today. Lots of threat but little danger from the weakly venomous species. Fewer liberties taken when a much more potent Small-eyed Snake idled across the road a few minutes later. So it got away.

Sadder tale of getaway for Gould's Monitor (Varanus gouldii gouldii) this week. Came upon big fellow in middle of track. Lying flat atop 'prey', which rasn off. Oops! Mating halted. See the frustration on his face. Not a happy chappy.
Also refusing to stick around, Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), sunning  beside billabong near coastal Halifax this week. Probably same female that nests in the area. But loses out each year when the Wet floods her eggs.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bassian Thrush out in the open


One of four Bassian Thrush (Zoothera lunulata) along short stretch of Paluma Dam road yesterday.
Surprising to see them out in the open, even more surprising to find the species not previously listed in the area. 
No surprise to find Tooth-billed Bowerbird (Catbird) (Scenopoeetes dentirostris) in full 'song', though perhaps 'raucous voice' might be more accurate.
Nothing seems to keep them quiet for long.
Elsewhere, on fire trail behind Tyto Wetlands, Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) sits undisturbed by bright lights and camera flashes in the night.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dry and hazy but not so dusty


Bit dusty along Orient Road these days as we await the Wet, but images of Horsfield's Bushlark (Mirafra javanica) from earlier in year not so dusty. From memory, the idea was  to show that level wires (and birds) beat the as-shot tilter.
Lesson from Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto) at Jourama Falls is clear: the bird isn't  close enough. In passing, the creek-loving pair recently abandoned a sturdy nest - after having a previous effort collapse into the water.
Much haze turning stealing all blue from the sky this past week, so Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) in Tyto pales in comparison to many shots of the species, though the delicacy of colour pleases me. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Varied offering after sweet walk


Sweet walk today near Lucinda's 5km sugar jetty, mainly to see delectable Varied Honeyeater (Lichenostomus versicolor) pair whose territory covers attractive open mangrove patch ringed by sea and sand.
The dulcet-songed birds didn't disappoint.
And an image from earlier in year.
Plus, two in-flight snapshots: Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis)
Nearby, Dungeness boat ramp's Striated Herons (Butorides striata) out and about as usual (but not so confiding as when these shots were taken!). 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Scruffy visitor from the Far North


Scruffy image of scruffy Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis), one of three among some cattle near wetlands yesterday on Mungalla Station, a private historic property just east of Ingham. The Wagtails migrate south to escape far Northern Hemisphere winters. 

Also showing out near the cattle, Australian Pratincole (Stiltia isabella), trying to lure me away from ...

... Prat Junior, trying not to show out after a brief sprint.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Some time with Australian Little Bittern

Long chat today with male Australian Little Bittern (Ixobrychus dubius) near Tyto hide.

Some flights.

Some calling.

Some sitting.

Some preying

Some camouflage.

Some morning!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tyto longing long time coming

Took eight years, but last night my time in Ingham finally produced a living Eastern Grass Owl (Tyto longimembris). Very little of it was my own work, though I did manage on my ownsome to spook the Mungalla Station bird (which luckily was refound). Special thanks to Ian Boyd for ace spotting. And to others for their tolerance! Go, Boca! 

Today, among an interesting list at the station, Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) stood still under a barrage of drive-by cameras. Hoping for better pictures of Little Curlew and Stubble Quail  soon.