Saturday, August 17, 2019

Brown Snake proves an obliging subject

Wonder of wonders! Went out today geared up for snakes rather than birds and found an obliging 1.4m Brown Snake waiting patiently for me.

Very patient in fact. Lay motionless for series of long shots alongside much-used track between Pellarenda and Jacana hide in Townsville Town Commmon Conservation Park.

Sensed that I needed look at other side of head.

Must always get good look at the forked tongue. Then slid quietly away when I was done.

Bit like Red-bellied Black Snake a few days earlier. Apologies for single frame from bad video but be thankful I cut 50 seconds of boring inaction while I walked around another co-operative reptile.

And here's a placid Water Python happy to have me get close. So placid it didn't move when unaware passing hiker planted size 11s within 1.5m of its head. (Amazing what some fitness freaks miss seeing in their heedless headlong matches.)

But Freshwater Crocodile basking within 20 metres of popular Ross River walking path not so keen on posing for closeups. Stayed in place for an hour between being photographed as I birded in Ross River Bush Gardens and my eventual drive through suburbia. But hit the water in a hurry when I tried sneaking within 10 metres.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Hiding food piece of toast for crafty Torresian Crow

What's this? Toast for brekkie. Must be my lucky day.

And it's soft white toast-cut bread.

Stuff the health bread nonsense. This is the real deal.

OK, that's enough for now. No thieving rellies around. Where to stash plenty for later?

Behind that wee pandanus will do. Not even that nosy photographer can see behind there.

Go back for that other little bit. Tuck it under a few loose leaves. Right. Off now and tell the others there's no food lying around here today. They'll believe anything, cos I'm the craftiest of corvids!
(Torresian Crow, just outside Townsville Town Common Conservation Park, today.)

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Overturned turtle lucky turn for havering Raven

Too early for Xmas, but seems to be a tasty gift here for me. Take it slow, make sure it's not booby-trapped.

Nope, looks like that greedy White-bellied Sea-eagle finally left me some good bits.

And here's that bloody photographer thinks he can sneak up on me.

Fat chance. Australian Ravens smarter and faster than Kiwi gimps. See you later, mate.
(Town Common, today)

Monday, July 29, 2019

Boar War survivor shot today by Canon

Minutes after finding second dead boar killed lately by illicit overnight hunter/s and dog/s in Townsville Town Common a probable family litter-member trotted into view this morning. Didn't know how lucky he was to be shot only by Canon 1DX and 'bazooka' 600mm lens.

Elsewhere, used Troopy as mobile hide yesterday to drive within eight metres of Zebra Finches in Chinee Apple growing near Belgian Gardens Cemetery. Only one posed unobscured by twigs.

Nearby, Golden-headed Cisticola also ignored high-top Troopy nudging through high grasses.

On foot, got lucky with young Swamp Harrier flying low down overgrown creek. Swerved away quickly after spotting me standing on road crossing the creek but not before staying in focus just long enough for five sharp frames.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Ravenous Raven catches House Gecko outdoors

Australian Raven catches up with Asian House Gecko in Townsville Common today. Bird began ripping at dead branch in tree near Payet Tower, followed fragments to ground and snatched gecko from the debris. Seconds later, gecko gone!

And just up the road Green Tree Frog's last croaks led to search through trees and find of Blue-winged Kookaburra with doomed prey.

Another recent catch in Common, Osprey carries Tilapia back to nest atop comms mast near Pellarenda.

Yesterday, Australian Raven rips at kill far too big for it to be at without the illicit help of night hunters, presumably with dogs and bayonet/s. Happy to see pig numbers cut, not so happy about illicit hunting.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Little spot with little-seen Little Kingfisher

Found a quiet little spot to spend a little time lately with little-seen local Little Kingfisher. Seems to lack a partner, so all pictures presumed to be same bird.

Sharing the kingfisher's fishing hole, Striated Heron, one of a pair in the same Three Mile Creek, Townsville, mangroves.

And a Shining Flycatcher female, also possibly without partner, though this bird shows up infrequently and males generally keep more to the shadows.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Hide? They've got a hide calling some hides hides!

Bit of a vent about bad bird hides. Specifically one in Townsville Town Common Conservation Park. But with application to many, many hides. So, the hide. Lots of slots. However, limited angles. No seats. No benches. Ugly and intrusive. No way into the hide without being seen. 

Secondary vent: sprayed and slashed surrounds. Seems Queensland Parks and Wildlife puts cosmetic vistas for casual visitors wanting comfortable looks at hundreds of, say, Magpie Geese, or huge mobs of egrets and herons, ahead of natural habitat (full of troublesome weeds though it may be). But spraying and slashing creates dead zones, pushing the birds away.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Helmeted Friarbird tips foes through the tulips

Helmeted Friarbird takes break from chasing other birds from African Tulip Tree beside Mundy (or Mundi) Creek, Townsville, yesterday.

Other birds included jumpy juvenile White-eared Monarch.

And Little Friarbird, with liberal coating of pollen from the attractive flowers.

Pity that the tree is yet another of Australia's pest species. Far too prolific in the Wet Tropics for native trees struggling to compete with its vast seed production and superior growth rates.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The raptors are all looking down on me

White-bellied Sea-eagle takes a dim view of me possibly too close to her (probable gender) in Townsville Town Common Con. Pk today. Should be another set of eyes (juvenile) looking out from nearby nest soon.

Osprey overhead at dam wall. Several aborted plunges, two big splashes. No fish. But did see off presumed partner to female Sea-eagle.

Swamp Harrier skirmished briefly with Osprey and Sea-eagle before heading south out of their territories.

Black-shouldered Kite nowhere to be seen today. Hard stare came yesterday as I walked under dead tree much used by several raptor species near the airport fenceline.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Why is Brown Snake black and white?

Puzzling snake seen after failing in attempted cannibalism, Townsville Town Common Conservation Park, this week.

Identified for me as probable subadult Brown Snake. Sighting comes not long after my first look at a black and white Common Tree Snake (formerly Green Tree Snake). Nothing simply black and white about snake colours!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Trust him not, for here is an upstart ... Australian Raven

"Yes, trust them not, for there is an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that, with his Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide, supposes he is as well able to bumbast out a blanke verse as the best of you; and being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrie." - Uni-educated Greene whining about the Bard's blitz of the boards. Greene wined and bawded too much, died penniless and diseased. Will died at home feted by friends and fated to become seen as the greatest. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Brown frown comes too close to licking chicken legs

Tried standing still as Brown Snake tracked through samphire in Townsville Town Common yesterday but stepped back as it came within a metre and - still unaware of me as potential threat - turned towards my feet. Yes, I know, some will shudder, and others say 'stupid'. But advantage of surprise was totally with me and danger all in the mind. And the final picture's worth it.

Brown Snake proves an obliging subject

Wonder of wonders! Went out today geared up for snakes rather than birds and found an obliging 1.4m Brown Snake waiting patiently for me. ...