Hole in the ground hides Red-backed Fairy-wren nestlings
Here's the mystery. The nest hidden in long, thick dry grass is empty. But the Red-backed Fairy-wrens keep sneaking in with insects and leaving empty-billed.
Couldn't solve the poser yesterday. Put bit more thought into it overnight and searched more thoroughly this morn.
Found these two tucked into hole on ground close to deserted nest. One poser answered.
However, what happened to number three, or number four? Fairy-wrens don't usually do these things by twos.
As yet, no answer to that. There is a strong possibility, which remains unstated for now. Feel free to speculate.
Another question arises from the feeding pattern observed. Why should the female do almost all the catching?
Could it be because the male knows research shows that many clutches are multi-fathered?
Which means the male may be helping females at other nests. Which, in turn, possibly helps explain why fairy-wrens are so sociable and (though not in this instance) work in kinship teams to feed nestlings.
Months of seeing back half of snake slipping away into long Town Common grass without being absolutely sure of species ended with Greater Black Whipsnake yesterday finally presenting front half to camera. The para grass surrounding the pool at Payets tower is probably home to more than six snake species. Mostly they're seen when swimming across open water.
One of their prey targets, Two-lined Dragon well out of snake danger on bonnet of Troopy. Nope, not my doing. It appeared from 'nowhere' the other morn. Clear bonnet one second, Dragon hood ornament the next. Odd, because dragon claws don't grip like skinks'. As seen when it nipped through open driver's door to inside Troopy but was easily scooped up as it kept trying to scale rubber matting over transmission tunnel, getting halfway up only to slide back down again.
Wouldn't be easy scooping metre's worth of Yellow-spotted Monitor from inside Troopy. But though the invitation's been made a few ti…