Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rufous Songlark stands firm

Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi) stands firm in face of stiff easterly at Mungalla Station today.

Not always easy to find in the browning grasses, the bird has stuck to the old stockyards area for several months.

Another longterm stayer has been this Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis), often seen previously with three others but lately walking alone.

Also alone at the station, handsome eucalypt (motionless during a recent still morning: there is a bird on show, by accident).  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Willie Wagtail whistles into intruding Kite


Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) may look menacing in flight above Mungalla Station but ...

... Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) doesn't scare so easily. (Always bet on the black and white bird in any avian conflict: the kite moved on).

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pallid Cuckoo scores on football ground



Uncommon visitor to the Tyto precinct, Pallid Cuckoo (Cacomantis pallidus) drops in for  hairy caterpillars on the football ground yesterday. Bird found the rugby posts a splendid vantage point. No thoughts of offering the prey a sporting chance.

Most other birds sticking to the trees, which are being added to lately through various small plantings about the wetlands. There'll be more Leichhardt trees for Eastern Great Egret (Ardea modesta) to overtop after locals get in to plant seedlings provided by the shire this Sunday.

Elsewhere, Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa) takes a bough (geddit?).

As does Northern Fantail (Rhipidura rufiventris).

And Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii).


Finally, sunning at front lagoons,Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarba melanoleucos).

Monday, August 19, 2013

All aboard the Captain Cooker

Two pirate baconeers, coxswine and feast mate, about to turn turtle after boarding a deadwater prize. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Brief chat about finding rare birds



Brief chat about finding rare birds: pray to all the avian gods for more  than your fair share of luck. Then go out all the time looking at birds. Then stop looking for rare birds. Enjoy seeing all there is to see. And there may, just may, suddenly appear from nowhere, a rare unlooked for species, like, say, a Yellow Chat (Epthianura crocea). At Mungalla Station, hundreds of kilometres outside its range. A range confined mostly far inland from Ingham, apart from a small, isolated population near Rockhampton. Brief surprise sighting on hymenachne at the Mungalla wetlands yesterday. No sight or sound today. But who knows what's out there tomorrow, or all the tomorrows of a birdwatcher?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Many warbling around the hide

Busy, busy, busy in and around Tyto hide today as several Australian Reed-Warblers (Acrocephalus australis) entertained self and other visitors, particularly P and G from Nambour. Too busy talking to concentrate on taking pictures, so image above goes back a few days.

So too this early-morning shot of Golden-headed Cisticola (Cisticola exilis). Mornings are just starting to lose some chilliness. But pre-dawn venture into Grass Owl habitat today turned up nothing.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bronze-cuckoo snacks in the sunshine



Little Bronze-Cuckoo (Chalcites minutillus; probably Gould's C.russatus again one day) one of many cuckoos enjoying Tyto caterpillars and sunshine today.



Happy with the sunshine, Bush Thick-knee (Stone-curlew; Burhinus grallarius) stand quietly and mostly unnoticed at Tyto carpark.

And - better late ... - Latham's Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii) circle above Tyto front lagoons after being flushed this morning. Species usually fronts on August 1.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bit of a spat at the sandspit



Bit of a spat at the sandspit: Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) puts down but loses Lucinda splash and dash.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Little Grassbird pops out





Commonly shy and uncommon up this way, Little Grassbird (Megalurus gramineus) pops out in the morning light at Mungalla Station. Rare sight worth two looks.


Much less shy and much more common, Tawny Grassbird (Megalurus timoriensis) stands out amid the hymenachne. 


But making the absolute most of the soft light, immature Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaetonon scleria.