Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Juvenile Mynas drop in for the New Year

In with the new, two juvenile Common Myna (Sturnus tristis) both prematurely out of nest and picked up from driveway outside my caravan this week.

Yes, I know, the birds top many hate lists. But a bird's a bird.

And which species has brought about the rise of Mynas and other unloved creatures? Anyway, here's to getting a few things right for 2015, starting with .............? Your choice!

No New Year resolution from me, merely a reflection that sometimes beauty's in the bigger picture. Though it's a pity the Greenshanks didn't stay in pool above.

But every now and then a bird pops out of nowhere and completes the picture. 

Thus, Striated Heron (Butorides striata) at first unnoticed along a mangrove creek, later caught closer as it stalked beside the water. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Treesnake and python stare into the lens


Change of pace with few birds on the Orient Station fences today, but Common Treesnake stayed on the barbed wire for close approach.

Typically feistier small Carpet Python in Tyto Wetlands yesterday not impressed by camera in face. Stalemate after a couple of futile strikes at lens.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Glossy Ibis does Xmas turkey impressions



What to serve up on Christmas Eve? How about Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) doing turkey impressions.  

No reindeer visible lately so Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

and Brolga (Grus rubicunda) will have to do as potential sled-pullers.

Coming back down to ground, Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) lights up any forest scene.

And cooing over all, Pied Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula bicolor).

Bonus poem (after fun minutes two morns ago in Tyto):

Birdhide  footbridge  handrail
treesnake handheld  overarm
outswing  paperbark  highrise
                                  farewell

May all be of good cheer this and every season.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Godwit tailed across mud just in time

Early morning walk out on Tyto mud came just in time yesterday to capture sole Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) of the season feeding at western end of main lagoon. Overnight came the Wet. Goodbye now to such walks till late 2015.


Goodbye too to Spotless Crake (Porzana tabuensis) foraging out in open near the hide. Species likes secure footing, vanishes inside scleria when the rains come.



Even White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinerea) won't be so easily walked up on as prey becomes harder to find with the lagoon's rise. On the plus side, Bitterns Black and Little will be among growing numbers of birds benefitting from the Wet. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Metallic Starlings seen in the best light

Cloudless morning showed Ingham's social-nesting Metallic Starlings (Aplornis metallica) in best light early today.

Not many immatures out and about yet, but plenty of  adults bringing in food for unseen hungry mouths.

It's not all for sharing. Sometimes seems more about showing off some red treasure. Matches the eyes nicely.


Though who needs props when just sitting on a branch looks so splendid?



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Golden Bowerbird without highlights the highlight

Two trips up to Birthday Creek Falls, Paluma, didn't quite get the male Golden Bowerbird (Amblyornis newtonianus) where I wanted.

But yesterday's effort did produce images without the annoying white highlights created by camera flash hitting the yellow plumage. Top  image, ISO6400, background denoised a bit.. Next two, ISO3200, no denoise.

Well, some noise, from me carrying on several long chats to one of my favourite individual birds.

Flash shows the bird's beauty, but creates unwanted highlights.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hunt for Yellow Wagtail leads to gold



Set out once, twice and thrice more for Yellow Wagtail at Mungalla Station and come home with gold - mostly Golden-headed Cisticola (Cisticola exilis).


And Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae) shares much the same habitat beside Palm Creek.

Where - less often since the first thunderstorm of the Wet season - the target Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis) does still show up, but never close enough.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Intermediate Egrets fight over flying fish

Elegant backflip gains fish brief aerial freedom as two Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia) fight over catch at Mungalla Station today.

Fish continues dive from danger. 

Flurry of feathers ends with both losing out.

Two other Intermediates from same session in the salvinia, above captured with 600mm lens, below - from almost same distance and almost equally sharp - with 600+2x converter. Tribute overall to 600's quality.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Stork stalks away from snaky breakfast

Nothing like a long white to start the day, so female Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) looked set at Tyto Wetlands this morning.

But not all breakfasts go down easily. And the long white had a dark side. 

Water Python stopped playing dead. Stork tried again. Snake writhed. Another grab. Another wriggle. Stork lost appetite for contest and stalked off.

Not so lucky some time back, fish for Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris). Seconds after capture (mine and bird's) fish was toast. So, Little Blacks beat long whites at breakfast.