Thursday, November 27, 2014

Yellow Wagtails hard on crawlers

How hard can it be to crawl close and get a few decent  pictures of migrant Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis) at Mungalla Station?

Hard, hard, hard. Hard on the knees. Hard on the elbows. Hard on the neck and spine. 

Hard on the heels of one failure, yet another.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Black-faced Woodswallows amid the browned-off

Dry season starting to bite all over Australia with much of Queensland in drought and even greener coastal parts like Ingham turning brown, markedly on grazing properties.

Young Black-faced Woodswallows (Artamus cinereus) right at home on Orient Station post surrounded by seas of parched grass.


Through the Orient and alongside tidal inlet, Grey-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes) similarly reflects the colours of the countryside. Not so plain-Jane grey when seen up close. 

Over the fast-dropping waters of a small earth dam, Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) prepares for drink on the wing (but you'll have to settle for the approach because I couldn't get flying drinker in focus). 

And this was as close to the target as I got today with efforts to catch Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) fishing. Picture me browned off!  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crocs lapping up the sunshine

Is the croc still enjoying freedom and laughing at the high-tech trap in Tyto?

Yes indeed. It's moved sunning spot slightly east and by no more than happenchance a wee bit farther away from the trap.

Meanwhile, smaller croc at Mungalla is in pool barely deep enough to dive into.

Perhaps the nearby deeper pools contain too many dangers - bigger brothers or sisters.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Up early to spot more Spotlesses

Up early to catch Spotless Crake (Porzana tabuensis) or two out on the drying weed mat in front of the Tyto hide today.


The red-eyed 'chocolates' stand out in the light but fast melt into the scleria shadows if second thoughts arise.

And on to three cases of second thoughts, images processed but set aside and later redone. So ...


... Horsfield's Bushlark (Mirafra javanica)


... Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)


... Dragonfly in flight: rare successful exercise with 300mm lens and manual focus.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Masked Lapwing youngsters stand out

Cute youngsters showing out in wetlands these days, without often standing around for picture, so happy to come upon pair of Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) juveniles up close at Mungalla Station.


Pretty sure I've got them both: their parents weren't much help.


Very helpful in Tyto  the other morning, my favourite White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinerea). The more I talk the closer the bird walks.

Unlike distant Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis) in Mungalla today. Flighty migrant kept whizzing across muddy Palm Creek, forcing me into gumboots. Much squelching came to nothing much bar a boot full of mud and salvinia. Still, first sighting for me this season. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Comings and goings on amid the Metallics

Couple of mornings catching up with Metallic Starling (Aplornis metallica) comings and goings in Ingham rain tree.


Coming in to furnish finishing touches to mass nests.


Accidental decoration adds point of interest.


Happy ruffle, no kerfuffle.


Some workers do give a fig ...


... but maybe not all.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

White-browed Crake stepping out


Weed mat in front of Tyto hide starting to offer footing and  feeding White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinerea) finds just right. 


Birds look right at home in the scleria too. Spotless Crake today also out briefly, but too quick for the  camera. Tomorrow ...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hands and knees see success with Thick-knees



Bit of hands and knees work got me seeing eye to eye with Bush Thick-knee (Burhinus grallarius) at Lucinda today.


And sprawl in the sand drew attention of resident Beach Thick-knee (Esacus magnirostris), with sugar jetty as background.


Also at home on the sandspit today, but pictured a while back, leucistic Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis), with more typical brown bird of species.


Another sandspit specialist also previously photographed and singing cheerily as always today, Varied Honeyeater (Lichenostomus versicolor).


Not so commonly found amid the arc of low mangroves 200 metres from  the shoreline, Helmeted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides), one of several today in the honeyeaters' domain. Flight picture minor consolation making up for odd lack of usual resident Collared Kingfishers, unsighted in three recent sandspit walks.