Thursday, October 7, 2021

Time, tide and chance - and Mangrove Robins

Getting close to Mangrove Robins usually means getting gumboots out of the old Troopy and - after clumping along for a bit - getting into the muddy habitat they're most at home in. At home with, among others, mozzies and midges and myriad webs festooning foliage. 

At home, but seldom welcoming intruders. They let the Brown Honeyeaters and Mangrove Gerygones dart about the outer mangroves while they stay tucked away, often for long spells without any of their rather mournful calls.

So, it's a happy morning when time and, importantly, tide and chance play their parts and two or three birds for some reason overcome all natural caution and come forward close to the stranger in their midst. Not, perhaps, once in a lifetime event, but certainly a memory to enjoy for a lifetime. 


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

My name is AussieManDeus, King of All Things


                  My name is AussieManDeus, King of all Things;
                  Look upon my Works, Universes out there, and Despair!


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Assailant stork seals rat's hash

Sorry about terrible pictures, but not as sorry about things depicted as unwary Water Rat. Caught attention of male Black-necked Stork in Town Common Conservation Park this morning.

Stork failed with first strike. Returned to para grass at edge of pool a few minutes later. Rat hadn't learned lesson. Strike two too fast. Stork swiftly carried rat off to back, shallower, part of pool.

Rapid series of plunge, drop rat, strike, plunge, stab, plunge, stab, stab put paid to rat, drowned or battered to death.

One final grab, first gulp and rat gone. Stork's partner, close by in pool, ignored it all. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Osprey gobbles Tilapia gobbet

Large red gobbet of Tilapia for male Osprey today in dead tree near recently vacated nest beside road into Town Common, Townsville. Partner vanished swiftly at my approach in long grass and tangles of fallen trees. And no sign of juvenile, only 10 days or so since it was perched above one of the pools from which today's Tilapia almost certainly came. 

Also in the area, Little Pied Cormorant, on fallen tree in fast-evaporating pool. Bird allowed uncommonly close approach - walk and talk has its merits.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Lesser Black Whipsnake lightning fast at breakfast

Lesser Black Whipsnake lightning fast at breakfast in Town Common, Townsville, this morning.

Look away, skink lovers. Seems first strike at prey hidden in recent grader scrapings catches skink's tail. After second strike snake reverses with writhing skink grasped firmly around middle. 

Three speedy grip changes and twitching skink is being swallowed head-first.

Gone in less than 90 seconds after second strike. One of Australia's fastest moving snakes no slouch at swallowing moving feast. 


Monday, August 30, 2021

Much better late than never from overdue Ospreys

Weeks after I gave up on them, pair of Eastern Ospreys have produced the goods. The two pairs of pale yellow-eyed birds at the nest with a gold-yellow-eyed juvenile suddenly on show. Why so late? Who knows, perhaps one or two eggs laid in first week or weeks on the nest failed. Maybe no laying at all in first weeks of female sitting on and fiddling with nest. Anyway, I've offered my apologies to the pair. Another humbling brush with the facts of life. Seems we're never too old to get these things wrong. Above: Juvenile, on left, obscures third bird.

Other raptors up in the air lately include Brown Goshawk, seen above at other end of the Town Common, Townsville, before tangling with Brahminy Kite. And below, Brahminy with snatch and grab on its mind.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Discord - Cocky screech v possum hiss-snarl chords

Screech! Screech! Screech! Hiss-snarl! Hiss-snarl! Hiss-snarl! Screech chord. Hiss-snarl-chords. Discord.

There's nothing Sulphur-crested Cockatoos like more than a good screech. Any trigger will do. Finding possum in hollow dead branch set four off in Town Common Conservation Park today. But birds stayed outside the hollow. Hissing, snarling, clawing possum not to be messed with. Ten minutes of vocal violence and they were off. Nature's not so red in truth at core.

Update: Still limping along, but leg wound healing, stitches out soon, all going well. 

Time, tide and chance - and Mangrove Robins

Getting close to Mangrove Robins usually means getting gumboots out of the old Troopy and - after clumping along for a bit - getting into th...