Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who's singing his heart out?

Who's this singing his heart out in the early morning? The sweetly-shrill notes of a Rufous Songlark (Cinclorhamphus mathewsi) rise from a bare bit of ground in the light industrial area I cycle through when entering Tyto by the 'back door' (from the south).
For four days the bird has been running parts of its song sheet. Won't do much good I'm afraid. All very well for the guide books to show Ingham and further north as songlark territory. The birds simply don't often make it this far northeast. When one does, it's likely to stay lonely till it gets the message and heads southwest.

In the meantime the mature male is more than holding its own competing for food against assorted trillers, woodswallows and - naturally - Willie Wagtails. As to voice, no contest!

And speaking of mannikins, this pair of Chestnut-breasteds caught the eye in the morning sun today. As did the Crimson Finch (below).

As predicted (he said smugly), the wader count in Tyto continues to rise. Six Marsh Sandpipers today, plus two Sharp-taileds, and the lone Wood. Looking close to their spectacular breeding plumage best were a pair of Glossy Ibises.


mick said...

All those great small birds and waders too - definitely not fair! Those last two photos are really spectacular with the birds against. the blue sky

Mosura said...

Love the Mannikins - the birds as well as the photo!

Tyto Tony said...

No more than the (self)righteous merit, Mick! ;-)

They're flocking in 50s and 100s, Mosura. But very flighty.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Tony
I have never seen a Crimson Finch. Stunning. I love the Chestnut breasted Mannikins.
Great photos all of them.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Tony,
Yet another post of yours to brighten the start of my day - and to make me a little envious. 50+ years ago, my first aviary finch was a 'Chesty'.
I don't know if I've heard the Rufous Songlark's call, but according to the description, it must be good on the ear.

Duncan said...

Well, I'm going to say something nice about your pictures of the Rufous Songlark, shows the black interior of the beak very well. We've got a few down here again this season, not as many as last year, but still welcome.

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Denis: They are rather nice, aren't they?

Gidday Gouldiae: Delighted to give your day a lift and trigger happy memories. Past breeding now, are we? ;-)

Thank you, Duncan: Down the throat was bit of a fluke - and the pros would have been using flash - but I was trying for singing shots so some luck seems fair.

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 ...