Sunday, March 29, 2015

Night walk tracks plenty of Nightjars

Plenty of Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) sightings during 90-minute walk in Tyto last night.

Even better than birds in air and on low branches, one nightjar allowed extremely close crawl into its space at edge of track. Full frame image.

Elsewhere in Tyto yesterday, good numbers on honeyeaters, including White-gaped Honeyeater (Lichenostomus unicolor). Picture  from an  earlier outing.

As also this Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) pictured flying by the Tyto lookout recently.


And active around the hide, Australian Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus australis). Three of this species seen yesterday contributed to my tally of 66 species for the morning, with a further five species added later. Not bad for a 'droughty' Wet.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Yellow Wagtails brighter every day they stay

Getting brighter by the day, Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis) stands out at Mungalla Station as presumed northern departure time draws closer.


Hard to be sure,  though, since this season has so far been remarkably dry. Who knows what migratory birds make of such phenomena? Certainly the Yellow Wagtails have never stuck  around Ingham during the Wet, in my experience. 


It would be exciting to find the Mungalla birds deciding to give Japan or further north  a miss this season and settling down to raise a local family. No harm in dreaming, I suppose.


Meantime, enjoy  their colourful presence while we can.

AND then there were none to be  found. Off, it seems, with the  latest full moon.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rewarding moments with Rainbow Bee-eaters

Rewarding short session with Rainbow Bee-eaters (Merops ornatus) at Mungalla Station this morning.


Birds using dead cottonwood branch to sight and launch at flying prey.


Ever-moving bash and thrash after successful strikes made it hard to get sharp shots.


And the slowish frame rate of the 5D3 and the luck of shutter activation combined to frustrate hopes of a perfect action picture.

  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cycad takes time to identify

Cycas candida,  female, took me time to identify. Took experts much longer.


Only named in 2011. Only found in sites between Townsville and Ingham.


Only growing beside the track leading up to Jourama Falls, isn't it?


Only a youngster.



Extending the post and the  cycad's range,  found this female plant on the lower slopes by the road leading up the road to Wallaman Falls a few days later. Skink is another wildlife bonus.







Sunday, March 15, 2015

Falling back on other Wallaman outings

Hopped up Wallaman Falls road today on scent of Musky Rat-kangaroo (an atypically diurnal marsupial). Sniffed out a couple of animals, but no pictures. The birds wouldn't front the camera either. So, some from other outings:

Brown Gerygone (Gerygone mouki), usually notable active and noisy: quiet today.

Spectacled Monarch (Symposiarchus trivirgatus), immature: several heard in lawyer vine thickets.

Tooth-billed Catbird (Scenopoeetes dentirostris), gone quiet at display areas lately.

Large-billed Scrubwren (Sericornis magnirostra), active and chatty all over the place.

Wompoo Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus), more cooing than wollack-a-wooing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Grey-headed Robins seldom perch so prettily

Few birds spend so much time almost underfoot on and near  Paluma, Wallaman and Broadwater rainforest walks as Grey-headed Robins (Heteromyias cinereifrons). But seldom do they perch so prettily as above bird beside Wallaman track yesterday. Wee bit of cloning to tidy background.

At Broadwater one of the resident pair whose territory takes in the boardwalk to the big fig collects bits of nesting material. Tight crop to shut out untidy background.

And more usual pose, on low branch close to track leading to Golden Bowerbird area along Paluma Dam road, from a fewe weeks back. Another image cropped to focus tightly on bird. 


Sunday, March 8, 2015

French's Longicorn beetle lumbers into rare view

Bird chase in Broadwater State Forest Park west of Ingham brought surprise find of infrequently photographed French's Longicorn (Batocera (Tyrannolamia) frenchi) beetle lumbering mightily over the boardwalk towards the giant fig (somewhat reduced by Cyclone Yasi and even more recent canopy losses).

Couldn't find many images of the 5cm-6cm beetle on  the web, but claimed rarity probably reflects the limited number of beetle watchers in Australian rainforests. Might encourage me to do a bit of night mothing and beetling.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jourama Falls without the kingfishers


Mostly busy looking for kingfishers at Jourama Falls yesterday but came away with no more than bits of their habitat.


Did better with slower moving Australian Brush-turkey (Alectura lathami) a few days ago.


And there's usually a Little Shrike-Thrush (Colluricincla megarhyncha) foraging in the understorey.