Saturday, February 18, 2017

Red and black brings on brown study

What's black and red with a tricky bit(e) of white and presents a watcher's brown study?

It's the male Red-backed Fairy-wren - with a grub (the tricky bit(e)).

Two brown birds. No male here? Not so fast. Bird on left shows small black patch under upper breast feathers. Last of moult? New colour emerging?

The big question: why do I never see enough blotchy birds to equal the numbers of black and red males here today and gone tomorrow?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Beauty's in the eye of the be(camera)holder

Here's the question: isn't this post-sitting (all right, lying) Possum just the cutest thing?

So, what about the same Possum, showing (I think) pouch-dweller spine outward? Be better if the baby didn't look like something from the butcher, right?

How about Curl Grub? On way to becoming one of several species of moth. Sort of cute, but not so much when inspected closely?

Can't go wrong here. Big Dragonfly. Must be cute. Even as it tears head off prey. Then again ...

The big test. Lesser Black Whipsnake. Little bit dangerous. Among fastest things on no legs in Australia.

Not so cute? Not for many, I accept that. But I can't get enough of them. Depends on how we look at things, doesn't it?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Life's perks are walks in the parks

Life's a walk in the park these days. Well, more accurately, in the parks. And there's driving too, but you get the picture(s).


Pheasant Coucal seldom so still as this male which emerged from stand of bamboo before deciding to take to cover again.

Laughing Kookaburra barely has time for giggle with three impatient mouths to feed tucked away shyly and slyly in the shadows.


Unlike parent and immature Magpies on the hunt together. Though junior still having trouble telling wheat from chaff, so to speak.

Meanwhile female Wood Duck continues to walk alone, unable or unwilling to fly. Nor will it take to water if approached too closely, preferring to walk away quickly even when there's a pond close by.

But Mrs Magpie Goose knows where she wants to be. Bang in middle of small lotus pond bang in middle of big park, bang in middle-ish of city. Her only problem appears to be sister/aunt/midwive persisting in sharing nest platform and walking over sitter, until honked out of it.


Monday, February 6, 2017

My crass mass frass class

Are we sitting up straight, class? See the hairy, crawly mass?


The caterpillars march nose to bottom in lines en masse.

The hairs can really hurt you, so let them pass.

The caterpillars chomp leaves and leave lumps of frass. Frass is caterpillar plop, but plop is crass.

Now on your tablets or laptops enter Bag-shelter Moth (Ochrogaster lunifer) and learn more.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Stroppy Willie disturbs the peace

I'm having a pretty good morning snatching stuff from above the water at Payets Tower when this bleeding stroppy Willie Wagtail turns up and gives me the old shirtfront.

Mad? I was flamin' hopping, I'll tell you. First off, it's my patch. The bird's a bloody blow-in. Room for both of us, I said. No, little bastard wanted the lot.

Then ... then it went for my throat. What could I do? Bigger than me. And trouble. Always trouble with black and whites. Aggressive? I'll say. They'll all have you, quick as that.

All peace and quiet over the pool one minute. Next thing, whammo-bammo, they're into you. I'm thinking of packing it in and heading back into the forest. But these dragonflies go down a treat, so guess I'll stay and see if Uncle Blue-wing mightn't give Warring Willie a whack or two for me. Family's gotta stick together, I say.