Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Metallic Starling show(er)s the way

Metallic Starling (Aplornis metallica) wouldn't spring first to mind in a quick post featuring wildlife and water. Tenuous link. Starlings have switched rain trees in Ingham for their semi-communal nest building this breeding season. Many of the new nests are close to the sugar mill's waste water re-oxygenation sprayers. Result? Misting around the trees much of the time. But Metallics always look as if fresh from an oily shower, don't they?

Yellow Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavus) emerges from self-created shower of spray in the last of Tyto's creek pools. (Even the main lagoon is evaporating fast after three months without more than two minor moments of rain.) Honeyeaters will persist in bathing in low-light areas!

Australian Water-rat (Hydromys chrysogaster) also usually sticks to darker spots. But this one surfaced sleekly yesterday during my long and fruitless wait for a crake to emerge from cover. Australia's biggest rodent is sometimes mistaken for a platypus (different bow wave) or even (by tourists) an otter (an understandable error).

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) shows off its long, long toes as it crosses a channel close to the rat's surprise appearance. I've never witnessed interaction between the rats and Jacanas, but can't imagine them as best friends. It takes more than a love of Wind in the Willows to change many minds about rats.


mick said...

Great photos. I especially like the honeyeater with the drops of water spraying around it. Very apt comment re Wind in the Willows :-)

Tyto Tony said...

Thanks Mick: 'Ratty' snuffling around again today.

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