Monday, January 23, 2023

Hobby launches into big bird, lunches on dragonfly

Australian Hobby gets right into the face of passing immature White-bellied Sea-Eagle in Townsville Town Common Conservation Park this morning. Bemused big bird betook itself away smartish.

Can't imagine the Hobby thought of the Sea-Eagle as competition for the dragonflies it was launching after and lunching upon. Shouldn't be crabby - because near none in the Common.

And when an intruding Brahminy Kite came along and launched itself into the water-lilied waters and flew off with talons full of weed and maybe obscured prey the Hobby took no action. But loads of action for the observer.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Female Dingo unsure about photo session

Female Dingo unsure she's looking her best for morning photo session on Townsville Town Common Conservation Park salt flat behind Pallarenda township the other morning. Eventually she trotted off to join more wary male mate. Welcome sight for me, perhaps less so for the many dogs and owners in Pallarenda. Howling from husky (the voice, not the breed) male should have triggered responses from domestic dogs yet in this case did not. As usual I couldn't resist the vocal challenge but was out-yowled decisively. Fewer Dingos being seen in the park these days after park rangers hazed cheekier animals away to more distant sections of the park for their own welfare. One or two were losing all fear of people, which can lead to danger for park visitors and for the Dingos.   

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Leucistic Brush-Turkey stands out from the rest

Stepping out at Cape Pallarenda a day ago, the conservation park's well established but seldom so easily photographable leucistic Brush-Turkey. As striking as ever, probably female - based on lack of male markers: peaceable solitary behaviour, no mound building, never displaying extended yellow neck pouch.  Makes it unlikely there'll ever be an explosion of precocious whites scrambling from an active breeding mound in the park. Meantime, enjoy the one we've got!

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy 2023 from Water Rabbits, Possums, Dragon

Couldn't find a 'Water Rabbit' for Chinese New Year 2023 so Possum pair located close to Town Common pool volunteered to wish you all a Happy New Year. And I've looked for first time at my birth dates and I'm a Dragon. Ego-enhancing! Modesty forbids . . . And, yes, I know Chinese New Year comes later on.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Need to look sharper as Kites whistle in

Whistling Kite all set to grab dead Tilapia from Townsville Town Common pool. I caught the action but got caught with slow settings because I'd been after Black Cormorants 'fishing' much closer to me and in shadow. So, after processing with Canon's DPP4 and sharpening to its full extent on 1-10 scale, the images, converted to.JPGs, got more sharpening in Gimp (which I'd use more often if the super freeware only had a worthy Raw converter. Fully sharpened picture above. Partially sharpened below, followed by extra-sharpened in sequence.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Darter stabs and nabs vacant title - Jabberoo!

Australasian Darter comes up from Freshwater pool in Townsville Town Common Park this week with Tilapia securely impaled. Taking no chances, bird took fish out of water (and out of my sight) to swallow the catch. Since Black-necked Storks are no longer Jabirus the name, or something like it, seems a good fit.

Same morning and not far away, Australian Pelican makes a diving splash and grab. Another Tilapia down the hatch. First time I've seen a Pelican make such a nonstop move and perhaps creating a risk of the bird somersaulting over a bill full of water. That would be a picture to treasure!

Monday, November 28, 2022

There's Bushlarks and there's bush larks

Here's a Horsfield's Bushlark. Often seen these days on the bund between Freshwater and Bald Rock in the Townsville Town Common Conservation Park. Note it's a Bushlark, not bush-lark, nor bush lark. There are eight other subspecies but Horsfield's is nominate (first classified). It wasn't always thus: for years it was a Singing Bushlark. But taxonomy rules. Anyway, onwards. 

Many visitors to the park, probably in truth most, don't seek Bushlarks so much as bush larks. These include hoonish driving on the much potholed corrugated metal road and predictable damage to vehicles and trees. Fast-food container and other rubbish disposal along the road. Guy in utes with dogs (forbidden), looking for pigs to hunt (forbidden). Multiple visits for no apparent reason (if not forbidden, maybe unsavoury). Explains big collection of X-rated old vids found under a prickly pandanus a while back. 

But carrying larks to a real carry-on began last Saturday night (I believe: following is my guess at start of events). Bloke and young lady enter park late (automatic front gate out of action lately). Ignore parking bay and drive down walking track to Payets Tower bird hide. Good time up in tower. Comes downfall. Buckets of rain. 4WD on flooded grass. Gets bogged. Call help. Sit out night. Help arrives in morning. Older bloke with 4WD and big dog (forbidden). Mother of young lady in small car. Tow-out begins. Tight angles. Tension between mum and bogged bloke. Newly arrived birders watch on. Tree loses bit of bark. Blokes bark a bit. Dog silent. Young lady silent. Mum not. Nor bogged bloke. Finally, tow success. Another bush lark gone wrong.

Better sticking to Bushlarks, I say.

Hobby launches into big bird, lunches on dragonfly

Australian Hobby gets right into the face of passing immature White-bellied Sea-Eagle in Townsville Town Common Conservation Park this morni...