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Showing posts from January, 2013

Cuckoo in strange company

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Uncommon enough circling low over the Wetlands, this lone Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) today added to distinction by flying and perching with mixed mob of egrets and cormorants in Tyto before heading off east with its new-found chums. Not a longterm bond, I feel.


Uncommonly close at Mungalla today, Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) almost fills frame (crop top only) as it floats over Palm Creek. Almost sharp too. Almost...

Bush Thick-knee catches the eye

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Not much stirring near the beaches after a week of floods but this Bush Thick-knee (Burhinus grallarius) caught the eye on the Lucinda foreshore yesterday.

Amethystine at attractive angle

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Angle is all when it comes to showing off Amethystine Python's colour shifts. 

Nothing spectacular from flash beamed straight at head, but colours glow as light bounces off body scales. (Caught up with python on last night hunt for owls, in grasslands  now  superflooded following 72 hours of Cyclone Oswald's low-pressure tail. Ingham's again cut off north and south. )

Last looks before the Wet

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Won't be catching up with this immature White-gaped Honeyeater (Lichenostomus unicolor) at Mungalla Station again soon. The Wet's arrived and it's goodbye to some birding spots for several months.

Mud yesterday, under water today where this Little Curlew (Numenius minutus) stands on a Mungalla track beside Palm Creek.

And Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) - yesterday teasing me at Orient Station - will today not be bothered by photographers.   

'Who are you calling Common?'

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Even if I spent much more time at the beach the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) would be an uncommon sighting.


More than a year since my last encounter.


But at least this bird at Dungeness, east of Ingham, was uncommonly trusting.

Zed is zee place to start ...

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Zed is zee place to start, with uncommon sight of Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) along Orient Station road the other day. Sign of the delayed Wet, because species shows up here and dazzles only in the dry.

Zere's also ziss Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) along same road. Seldom does the species ever look so true to type.

And talking of looking, Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) takes a long hard gaze at someone in the Tyto hide. 'Hey, good-looking!'

Rainbows dazzle amid blue skies

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No pot of gold for the Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus), rather a tum of many colours.

Many standing out in dazzling Tyto sunshine today. 

Though most with thoughts turning only to the stomach.

Great Bowerbird treasures his trove

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Busy, busy, busy most mornings is male Great Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus nuchalis) under bushes hard by Tyto's  parking spaces.

Red  and white plastics, green fruit, screws and nails, and paper feature in  his treasure avenue.

Haven't yet got him in good position to show off lilac-pink crest. Need a few exciting females to turn up and turn him on. 

Stumbling upon a Grass Owl ...

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More night driving turned up this Eastern Grass Owl (Tyto longimembris) west of Ingham early this morning. Had to stumble down and up other side of flooded sugar cane railway cutting to get just the one passable image. 

Been a similar story elsewhere lately. My friendly Saltwater Crocodile refuses to pose on her billabong bank for more than a minute or two.

Noisy Pitta at Jourama Falls offers teasing distant moment before flying from sight.

And the quail insist on doing runners whenever I draw near. Stubble Quail above head off at Mungalla Station.


Brown Quail sprints across Mungalla entry road after deciding the grass didn't provide enough cover.

Black Bittern quits flooded Tyto creek and takes to the trees.

Black-tailed Native Hen pauses while darting around old Mungalla stockyards.

Never mind the quality, feel the quantity!  

Not such an ordinary picture

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Very ordinary picture of less than ordinary bird, at Mungalla Station, Ingham. First thought, hybrid Little Egret (Egretta garzetta). But it is probably melanistic Little Egret. Here's hoping for more rarities this year.