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Showing posts from May, 2018

Darter catches the early sunlight and the eye

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Struck gold early today with female Australian Darter displaying in the early morning sunlight at Aplins Weir on the Ross River, Townsville.

Male Cotton  Pygmy-goose finished second in the beauty stakes.

And male Little Bronze-cuckoo fittingly came an attractive third, after some cosmetic help.

Messing about along the river's banks

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Ratty, Mole and Co loved messing about in boats. Without boat, next best is messing about on riverbanks. One river running through Townsville City, so been messing about along Ross River. Above, female Magpie Goose preening in paperbark growing alongside a footbridge.

Waiting hungrily below, Short-necked River Turtle (a natural Greeny), one of scores on view (and thousands along the Ross). Stand for a while looking down on the river and the turtles hurtle (speed is relative) closer in hope of easy feed.

Downriver the other day, Pacific Black Duck adult looks caring but all is not as it seems. Duckling should have been elsewhere with seven siblings and parents but had become separated, maybe ducknapped. It paddled off upstream alone soon after in search of family.

Also alone one day in the same area, where Aplins Weir holds the freshwater Ross back from the tidal Ross, Australian Pelican looks ever bit as content to be on the river as ever were Ratty, Mole and Co. Musn't be too bo…

Ballad of the bold Brolga seeing off the Birder

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Brolga family out for wander
Spy a birder over yonder

No worries, says the mister,
I'll  soon see off this blister.

Up he comes with low hisses
But fearsomeness he misses.

Worry not, says birder man,
Now with pictures in the can

You can forget hokey heroic
And stalk back to mum and chick.

Townsville Common early today





Female Blue-winged Kookaburra masters bill and coup

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Old female friend crashed in on recent morning scout for early birds at entry to Townsville Common. Sudden rush of wings, rustling in bushes and Blue-winged Kookaburra emerged with breakfast firmly lodged in long-broken bill.

She's not merely a survivor but appears to be queen of a territory centred on the entry gate. But even so familiar a sight has - along with other kookaburras - been less often on show lately, perhaps because Forest Kingfishers are about in considerable numbers and outcompeting their larger cousins.

Hard by the entry gate, and  escaping the attention of predators (bar those with neat little new waterproof, shockproof microscopic-function cameras), Large Brown Mantid hangs around for a minute before returning to dangling upside down under fig leaves awaiting passing prey.

Upside down because sitting about on branches is not such a good idea. It's one thing to have a neat little new etc. etc. poked right in your face, it's altogether another as a vulner…

Red-winged Parrot helps find Black-throated Finches

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Red-winged Parrot not primary target of quick drive 40km west of Townsville but this male feeding on roadside weed seeds took the eye. Which was just as well since the stop near a cattle station gate led to finding a mixed lot of finches and mannikins feeding on fallen seeds.

Among Plum-headed and Zebra finches, four Black-throated Finches, two of which flew to within a metre of me at the gate before heading off across the road. But one of the two others paused in a nearby tree before darting away again.

Taking the eye elsewhere, female Figbird with the species favourite food.

And Red-tailed Black Cockatoo female getting to the tasty section of a coastal almond.