Thursday, April 23, 2009

On the wing and showing some skin

Bit of a fling for birds on the wing today. Australian White (Sacred) Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) led off to a promising start. Noticed several birds showing pink breeding bars at back of neck yesterday. None obliged today. Did capture bird coming into tree (below) and displaying bare scarlet skin underwing, another breeding signal. White Ibises often look dirty from a distance. The plumage can be gloriously pearly seen up close, but few people in suburbia want to see these roof-fouling dump scavengers up close.

Black Kite (Milvus migrans) the only one of four raptors caught on the wing. Till the shire dump next door to Tyto closed about three years ago, the kites competed with ibises and Torresian Crows for easy pickings. Now, kites and crows can be hard to find some days. Even harder to find, the other three raptors (all photographed, but from too far off): Nankeen Kestrel, Grey Goshawk, Whistling Kite. 

Eastern Great Egret (Ardea modesta) easier to see today, with five unexpectedly winging in to join one bird that has been around off and on for a few weeks. Blue sky of earlier in the day had given way to light cloud when this bird flew overhead. No matter what colour the sky, pure white birds drive me and the camera nuts.

On a more positive last note, a few returnees: Silvereyes, Tree Martins, Royal Spoonbill, Northern Fantail, Green Pigmy Geese, White-necked Heron, Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike.  


mick said...


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Tony
Egrets always look like Ballerinas of the sky to me. Not so keen on the White Ibis, even when they show their "pink bits".

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