Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Honeyeater sees, seizes sawfly

Yellow Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavus) nabs a Paperbark Sawfly (Lophyrotoma zonalis) outside the Tyto hide today (click pic to enlarge). Don't often capture honeyeaters in such an insectivorous moment, but no surprise about the prey, considering the hide is ringed by three Melaleucas.

One honeyeater feeding leads to another. White-gaped Honeyeater (Lichenostomus unicolor) comes up with a bill full of wild passionfruit flesh. Plenty of birds and insects are drawn to the passionfruit flowers. Can't recall seeing birds previously showing fondness for the flesh. The dwarf fruit has a thin, soft skin, and is full of smallish black seeds.

Also with thin, soft skin - and not long for this world - was an unidentified caterpillar, plucked from a part-flooded grass track today by this immature female Magpie Lark (Grallina cyanoleuca). Young Magpie Larks can be quite trusting. For several minutes I trailed close behind as this bird grabbed small morsels. Didn't do so well in encouraging it to stand still and eat slowly! 

Elsewhere in the wetlands today (and two days back), came upon three Black Bitterns, two at one end of the lagoon system, the other at a favourite (for the bird) shaded spot by a culvert outflow. All three, as previously, headed for distant trees and vanished into them.

As did a Collared Sparrowhawk, disturbed in its flight across a corner of the lagoon by a Masked Lapwing, which thereby put paid to any hopes I had of getting the small raptor in flight. The bird has been a presence more felt than seen for about three weeks. It's almost got me shouting: 'Come on out! I know you're in there.' But I'm sure it knows a bluff when it hears one!

Finally, after so much feeding, a Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis) poses perfectly as an end piece to the post!  


mick said...

Great photos with all the birds eating something, but I especially like the dove and the background you have. Much nicer than mine against the sand!

Duncan said...

Nicely captured all Tony, beaut post.

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Mick: It's an odd thing, but I've few good pix of either BSDoves or Peacefuls. The background was what appealed to me. But we often don't have too much choice, do we? And I didn't notice the deposit till processing image.

Hi Duncan: Bit of sunshine today after another 200mm rain in 2 days lifted the spirits - and the birds did their bit!

Tyto Tony said...

Oops. Forgive grammar. Sunshine lifted spirits. On the other hand, what's another 200mm? In context up here this month, barely more than a long shower!

Denis Wilson said...

There goes the Queenslander in you, Tony, describing 200mm as "barely more than a long shower!"
Nice images, by the way.
The Green Honeyeater is an unusual looking creature.
Your BS Dove looks like it is dancing!

Denis Wilson said...

Sorry I meant Yellow Honeyeater, but it does look green. I got confused with its Lichenostomus generic name, which sound "greenish".

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Denis: The sixties song 'At the Hop' perhaps?

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