Sunday, July 14, 2024

Calm cormorant tolerates clumsy clamberer

Clambered clumsily over clammy mid-tide rocks to rock up close to tolerant Pied Cormorant near my near-to-seaside retirement unit the other morning. Just the two of us, both waiting for some signs of passing fish. No luck. So, Cormorant took off gracefully, having caught nothing. I bumbled back to coastal walkway, thankfully having caught a few decent frames. Nothing venture . . .

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Jewels under rainforest canopy

Jewels under rainforest canopy, spider and web caught in serendipitous beam of sunlight: Townsville Palmetum yesterday (10/07/24)

Friday, June 14, 2024

Two-storey tall story about Cockies' avian Air B&B

Here's a two-storey story from two Sulphur-crested Cockatoos after they triggered false fire alarm in Townsville's Town Common Conservation Park this week.

Birds were so busy cleaning out hollows in recently burned out dead tree the clouds of fine white ash particles issuing forth looked from a distance like smoke, as if fire was still smouldering within.

Cessation of the work and emergence of the somewhat dusty pair from the connected hollows told the true story. The birds may have previously bred in another tree hollow about 200 metres away. It also offered two hollows, but they appeared less closely connected. 

Makes one wonder if such a notably clever species might be getting into multiple mansions. Maybe even thinking about avian Air B&B?

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Dusty pickings for magpies on dunes

Dry and dusty pickings for Black-backed Magpies on the dunes at Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park, Townsville, these recent blue-sky days.

But nearby neighbouring Sacred Kingfisher shows off probable Asian House Gecko, though perhaps the missing tail became part of a magpie's dried diet.  

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Looking down is looking up with 200-800 lens

On the road with my new 200-800 lens in semi-macro mode: hairy caterpillar curled up; curl grub also curled up, naturally; processionary caterpillars; velvet slug. While birds are in low numbers this year, looking down is looking up - but looking up binomials isn't my thing.  

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Splotchy sighting breaks fairywren drought

Low bird numbers in Townsville Town Common Conservation Park most of the year. So I was happy that when a Red-backed Fairywren bobbed up the other day it at least stuck around long enough to get sharp shots of its charming splotchiness. First of the species in more than 10 long surveys in the park. Of course, three others turned up, briefly, elsewhere in the same morning. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Quality results from versatile 200-800 lens

Finally got my hands on Canon 200-800mm lens after 3-month wait. Just what I'd hoped for: not far short of 100-500 image quality at 500, equal to plastic 800 prime's performance. Extra bonus, which won't be everyday use, short minimum focus distance, allowing for limited semi-macro shooting.


So, ignored gusts battering at me and tottered along Townsville breakwater the other morning. No great reward for the experience but OK pictures of Darter and Reef Heron.

Yesterday, snuck up on Black-necked Stork pair in Rowes Bay Sustainability Centre Wetlands and luckily wound back frantically to catch female turning in flight towards me. Missed male capture of fish but got wee part of his water-dance sequence.

And Straw-necked Ibis near crash gate 8 in the Town Common allowed me to wander in close enough about a week ago to capture some of its glorious colour. 

Pretty, and pretty good for a lens that didn't come close to breaking the bank, I reckon.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Some birds close to my heart of things

Home's where the heart is, close to home's where many of my birds are. Benefit of buying into retirement village surrounded by conservation parks and other wildlife and marine areas. Some sightings lately:

Brahminy Kite, one of pair often seen on local dead trees.

Brolga foraging and flying close to the kites' lookouts.

Australasian Figbird about 100 metres from Brolga's reed patch.

Pheasant Coucal close-up and close to Figbird's perch.

Scaly-breasted Munia (was Spice Finch, then Chestnut-breasted Mannikin) by coastal walkway.

Not quite all in one day's walk, but part of my recent days' walks.



Saturday, April 6, 2024

Pelican's 'catches' out but cuckoo catches on

Pelican might have done double take, or double miss, at nearby Rowes Bay lagoon as first a small fish executes a teasing jump and then a spectral fish forms from back splash created by passing Little Black Cormorant (obscured by Pelican's head). Typical fisher's tale of the ones that got away.


No such bad luck for juvenile Brush Cuckoo about to receive insect prey from parasitised Brown-backed Honeyeater 'parent' in local park recently. So quick was transfer that though I was shooting at 12 frames per second the grab and gulp fell entirely between frames. 

Monday, March 4, 2024

Head up for dragonfly, head off for fish head . . .

One moment it's dragonfly trying to dance on White-bellied Sea-Eagle's head, the next it's all go for fisher's discarded fish head rolling in the light surf at Cape Pallarenda, Townsville, this morning.

Head off to rip into one's snatch of the day. 

Calm cormorant tolerates clumsy clamberer

Clambered clumsily over clammy mid-tide rocks to rock up close to tolerant Pied Cormorant near my near-to-seaside retirement unit the other ...