Friday, June 19, 2020

Ospreys beg for privacy after latest tragedy

Sad news from pair of Ospreys in Townsville Town Common Conservation Park today.

'We've lost our expected increase,' one of the pair (above), asking for gender anonymity, said. 'We are too shattered to speak of the details.

'The loss has cast a pall over the second new home we were driven to build by people intruding too closely to our old nest area.

'Coming on top of being burned out less than two years ago, rebuilding, being blessed only twice since then . . . now this latest tragedy - it's almost too much to bear.

'We have decided to return to our old nest and hope and beg to be left in peace. Thank you.'





Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Birdseed beats other Common dumpings


Bit big for Budgie seed but food is food so Australian Ravens picked and pecked the other day at someone's accidental or otherwise scattering on roadside in Townsville Town Common. At least birdseed beats garden waste, old tyres and other grubby dumpings from grubs 'using' the conservation park. Pity then that the automatic front gate is yet again out of action and thus failing to bar entry between 6.30pm and 6.30am.

At high risk from night-time hoons are the park's snakes, since many species are nocturnal hunters. Small Brown Tree Snake photographed in fig tree yesterday is just one such.

Also endangered, animals such as Agile Wallaby pair in the park this morning. Speeding vehicles bring dangers enough. The same vehicles not infrequently carry dogs unlawfully into the park. Yet another threat to its values.


On a cheerier note, it's starting to feel like springtime. And pair of Rainbow Bee-eaters busily get down to springy gymnastics on the airport fence this morning. No sign so far of any nesting tunnels being dug. Their enthusiasm may come to nothing.


Meanwhile, Zebra Finches juvenile and adult continue to add colour to trees, grasses and weeds near the park entry gate (that's the gate that's almost always out-of-order).

Let's pray for natural order to always outweigh disorder, the disorderly, and the out-of-order.


Sunday, June 7, 2020

Life's looking up - much still in the air

Life's looking up! Lockdown's lifting! Much, though still up in the air. So, casting eyes skyward: Nankeen Kestrel about to make light of large grasshopper.


Blue-winged Kookaburra flashing across field of view, and taking off treewards.


Yellow-throated Miner quitting low perch.



Black-eared Cuckoo, second only listing of species in Townsville Town Common Conservation Park, on wing and shadowed perch.

Carpet Python close to touching sky, high in Leighhardt tree in Ross River Bush Garden.


And, down to earth, young pig reveals air of suspicion when met gobbling on greens in the park.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

On the road to seeing southern Black-throated Finches

So you want to see endangered southern Black-throated Finches? Simple. Drive from Townsville to near Woodstock. Turn right to old Flinders Highway. Drive up and down the five roads and the park leading off it. Repeat this 5-10 times through the year.

You'll almost certainly find many finches - and probably a few Black-throateds. You really want some good pictures? Simple. 20-50 trips should do it!

Pictures: 3 of 5 juveniles beside old highway on Monday.




Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Welcome lack of speed when feed is seed



Juvenile Scaly-breasted Munia (was Nutmeg Mannikin, before that, Spice Finch) tucking into seed of Para Grass - the Town Common's worst weed by area covered - in the Townsville conservation park today. No need for speed for feed of seed. Though granivores are maddeningly quick to take flight.








So too Welcome Swallows, which are also maddeningly fast and unpredictable feeding in flight on assorted insects. And feed on prey so small as to be nigh invisible. About 90 minutes in chilly southerly blasts on Sunday morning produced no quality images. The birds did however slow low over the water at times to take a slender white unidentified insect from the surface or just under the water.


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Great Egrets lead way with aerial action

Bit of an eye on the sky lately, with Great Egrets latest caught up in the air, above Townsville today.

And another dropping in on reeds - and a hidden Intermediate Egret - in the Town Common Cons. Park.

Smaller target, Horsfields (Australasian) Bushlark in flight yesterday.

Plenty of White-breasted Woodswallows in the skies recently.

But not so many sightings of immature White-bellied Sea-eagle.

And a final fluid mover, Water Rat uncommonly hunting in daylight, in the Common yesterday.

Ospreys beg for privacy after latest tragedy

Sad news from pair of Ospreys in Townsville Town Common Conservation Park today. 'We've lost our expected increase,' one of ...