Thursday, February 28, 2013

Budgies building at the double


The small flock of Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) along Orient Station road grows exponentially: first 10, then 20, 40, and this week 80+.  

And still no closer to any picture doing their beauty proud. 

If only there were similar numbers of Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tantalising glimpses of paradise


Don't see many Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfishers (Tanysiptera sylvia) near Ingham. Caught this seasonal migrant deep in creek forest at Jourama Falls yesterday. Long white tail streamers just visible. Quick glimpse and no picture today. 

What's needed is for the bird to sit up nicely like this Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) at Dungeness recently.

After that there's the little matter of processing the image to get the best out of it. Or not such a little matter ...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pickings picnic on wet grass


Uncommon to find Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) foraging on grass. But super high tide pushing flooding Herbert River sideways from the Hinchinbrook Channel at  Dungeness the other day meant bird's usual pickings were being washed into picnic area.  

Much more at home on grass, though more often seen deep in forest shadow, Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) bejewels the camp ground in morning light after overnight rain at Jourama Falls.  

No surprise seeing Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) surrounded by grass, in seasonal pool beside the highway at Ingham. Flood flushes mean food for all.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Of peppermints in a pig's eye


Up Wallaman Falls way and scouting for Cassowary yesterday when along trots Miss Piggy. Gidday, says I. How're goin'? Grunt, says she. Grunt, grunt. Yeah, well, says I, would you like a peppermint? Grunt. grunt. Snap, crackle, chomp, chomp, chomp. You're supposed to suck them, says I.  Grunt, grunt. See you, says I. Grunt, grunt, grunt ... and off she trottered.

Today, after some mud-bashing at the end of the Orient Station road, found juvenile Mangrove Robin (Peneonanthe pulverulenta) plaintively 'pee pee peeping' at parents.  - and refusing my offer of a peppermint.

No wonder there are more feral pigs than Mangrove Robins.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Grace and slapstick from Silver Gull


Usual grace and moment of slapstick from Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) in stiff breeze whipping over whopping high tide at Dungeness boat ramp today.

Metal posts perfect for posing ...

... but steel pipe and gull feet less perfect together ...

... leading to moment of comedy (or terrible 'slapstick' - for male cyclists!). 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ratty Kite more glare than share


Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) posted along Orient Road this week looks in no mood to share lunch (possibly rat).

Another notable sight along the road, flock of 10 Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus).  My first sighting of a flock anywhere near Ingham. Birds probably won't stick around, though pasture grasses are seeding prolifically at present.

Which is of little interest to Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus), pausing from  breezy pursuit of insects, more or less as the Budgies looked down from their chosen eucalypt.     

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Magpie Geese still dropping in


After the flood flush feast many birds have flown from the wetlands, but Magpie Geese (Anseranas semipalmata) turn up in low numbers most mornings. 

Just can't teach them to land closer to the camera.

Also sticking around in low numbers, Hardhead (Aythya australis). Another bird that won't listen when ordered to fly closer!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Flood food brings Egret breezing in



Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia) fluffs out and gets legs crossed in a brisk Tyto breeze. Flush of easy flood pickings brought this bird and many others to temporary spillway across track. Flood gone, food gone, bird gone.