Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bees face property collapse

Don't have to tell these bees that property's crashing these days! Came upon buzzing mass of bees, wax, elkhorn and failed Leichhardt branch beside rainforest margin yesterday. But stayed clear till things simmered down.
Poked about a bit for other life, and found nothing apart from a few flies. Still plenty of material in the hive that remains attached to the tree. So I guess the bees will just get on and rebuild.
Lucky they don't have to see a bank or broker about mortgage extension. There's certainly a little of the subprime about the structure at present.
Other structures are on schedule. The Large-billed Gerygones were busy, busy, busy inside and outside their dangling nest. Fitting out with soft furnishings was taking most of the time. Reinforcing of the critical anchoring point continued at a slower pace.

The bonus of standing and failing to capture images of gerygone nest entry arrived with a male Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto). The black head, chestnut and white body females are hard enough to meet in decent light. The males are so glued to the creek shadows and so actively mobile along the pools that it's a nightmare trying to predict where they'll alight next - except it'll almost surely be in the gloom. The picture was terrible (so it's just as well Blogger stalled in Html mode for minutes and refused to load any more pix!?).

A secondary bonus was seeing an Azure Kingfisher flash across my vision and away up the creek. Azures burrow in forest creek banks. It's likely the bird has a nest hole somewhere nearby. I've found one hole in five years. Should be a cinch to nail this one in, say, three years.

Surprise today at the White-browed Robin nest in a sapling - into which I tried unsuccessfully to peek yesterday. Spotted a juvenile being fed very close by. Assuming fledging was over without me having noticed a thing, I gingerly bent the sapling over. And found two greeny-white brown speckled eggs. Just right!
Seems the nest must be close to edge of a second pair's territory. White-brows will chase other species away from near their nests and are markedly sedentary but I do not recall any territorial squabbling between pairs. May be a case of live and let live. Refreshing!

No good news at the Lovely Fairy-Wren nest. No sight or sound. Sunbirds, Crimson Finches, Red-browed Finches, White-gaped Honeyeaters, Yellow Honeyeaters, Northern Fantails all within five metres today and yesterday. A Collared Sparrowhawk glided by. A Dollarbird circled overhead. And a no-stall push-prop aerobatic plane. But no Lovelies.

Finally, a mystery guest. With a proboscis to make Pinocchio faint. A rumbling buzz of whirring wings signalled the arrival of this insect B-52. Almost twice the size of a Carpenter Bee, it flashed greedily from floweret to floweret and dipped into the lantana with a nectar sipper as long as itself. Where do such strangers come from? Five years in Tyto and never seen the like. Nor is Wildlife of TNQ any help.


Duncan said...

A hawk moth, good one, have a look in the Sphingidae in Don's site.

Tyto Tony said...

Thanks Duncan.
With Don's site help, I think Macroglossum micacea. I just didn't think moth. Late nght, toilet blocks, driveway lights, OK. Not late morn, full sun, wings too fast to follow.

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