Saturday, May 31, 2014

Strolling with sandspit Thick-knees

Stroll along the sandspit at Lucinda yesterday found Beach Thick-knee  (Esacus magnirostris) family also out and about. Can't be certain, but I think it's parents as the twosome.

Junior running off with something it finally dropped as more interesting than edible.


And one of the three flying off.      

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Going to ground and crawling around the mound

Becoming a bit of a crawler lately. Getting down isn't too hard, but age shows in the creaky rising. And there are certain mounds of material best avoided. But those same mounds come in handy, as above for Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae).


Plenty of the same in dusty territory of Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), another local at Mungalla Station.

As also is this Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis), in a greener part of the station.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

On second thought ... loosen up!

Sometimes too much bird really is too much. Posted this Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) on Feathers and Photos. Okay, but ... too tight a crop most thought.

They preferred looser crop.

But maybe not too loose.

And here's my own second thought ...

... with Cotton Pygmy-goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) at Tyto.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sunnier time for Grey Goshawk

Grey day dawning as night's drizzle drags on, so time to highlight Grey Goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae) seen on a sunnier day in Tyto recently.

For years one or two Greys turned up in April, haunted the scene, preyed on local birds for a few weeks and moved on.

Past two years species has arrived later, been seen once or twice and then gone. So, lucky to get a few images, which could be it for the year.      

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Little problem with Little Egret

Want to identify Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)? Easy. Look for the black bill. Unless, as above, the bird is new-fledged.

And yellow under the feet. Good luck with that one. Impossible to be sure of such a colour even when the bird does its best to help, as today at Orient Station.

Another uncommon sight at the station, two days ago, more than 30 Australian Pratincole (Stiltia isabella) feeding beside and in shallows receding after the final act of this season's Wet. Today, only two Pratincoles to be seen. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Python debarked at kingfisher haunt

Sighted this Amethyst Python (Morelia amethistina) three days ago near one of the kingfisher haunts in Tyto Wetlands.

Yesterday found the snake still digesting big meal (large lump at top of image) and still in quiet sunlit patch of blady grass. Then noticed significant injury: large blade of bark sticking out of jagged tear in flank.

Picked back half of snake up, pulled bark free and released patient to glide off into the grass. With luck the wound will heal. Note insect life: putative maggots just above torn flesh, and insect (first image) near eye.

And here's the Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus) I've been chasing. No flies on this one. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sea-eagle wins another battle of sits

When you want them to fly they won't, and when you want them to sit they don't.

Focussed on distant White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) in Tyto today with determined effort to get exposure spot on and then add 1.4x converter and see what changed. All locked up on tripod.

No reason for bird to take off, so of course it did. 

Tried to follow by panning on ball and socket and failed miserably. 

Had I been hand-holding camera and asking bird to fly there'd have been the standard 20-30 minutes of two lives on hold: and I always lose that game. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

An Azure deep in the darkness

Hiding deep in the early-morning darkness leading to Jourama Falls today, Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus) allowed just one flash and was off down the creek at high speed.

Slower speed from the water tumbling through the grove and under the walkway across the creek. No birds hidden anywhere in above image (to show I'm not obsessed!).

An earlier visit to Jourama caught this immature Noisy Pitta (Pitta versicolor) standing still for a second. Species mostly quiet and much harder to find now. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Crimson Finch numbers down

Seems timing of the wet spells this season has not been to benefit of 
Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton), though above maturing male looks to be coming along nicely.

Fewer young birds around Ingham and the juveniles are popping up in ones 
and twos rather than threes and fours to a family.

Better days for Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), popping up in healthy numbers on grazing properties everywhere in the area.

One of the important soil inputs makes a top vantage point.

Among the reed beds at the Orient Station the other day, Brolga (Grus rubicunda) pair had been joined yesterday by more than 30 others stalking prey in the pasture. Probably be hundreds on the coastal stations soon.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Unsure moment for Azure Kingfisher

Wondered why Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus) suddenly turned aggressive/defensive on fishing perch in Tyto yesterday.

Only after downloading images did I spot Little Kingfisher entering the frame. Two of them around today, but Azure didn't show up.

Here's the only closer look from soon after yesterday's wee bit of tension and just before the bird took off for parts elsewhere. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kingfishers bring splashes of colour

Splash of colour at Mungalla Station as Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) dries off after diving into morning ablutions.


Same perch, hungrier eye looks for breakfast.


At Tyto, Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii) lights up wooden  handrail.


And Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusilla) shines in sun


and cloud on favourite creek possie.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Carpet python bit shirty on the road



Wash my face and brush my teeth? What am I, a clean freak? The shiny new skin's starting to come through. And I'll grow all the new teeth I need, thank you  very much. A bit of gunky saliva never hurt anyone. Bugger off and leave me be.