Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winged whingers and sweeter singers

Tawny Grassbird (Megalurus timoriensis) perches high during 10-minute burst of persistent calling with partner in Tyto.

Most members of the species most of the time sound somewhat aggrieved: two in 'concert' top the bill as winged whingers. Totally unfair to the birds, of course.

Elsewhere, Horsfield's Bushlark (Mirafra javanica) decorates roadside barbed wire and adds sweet song series to the morning. But Bushlarks always sound happy.

All human nonsense of course, sound alone often being unreliable guide to birds' state of mind. Just as high praise for the 'beauty' of other birds' songs is unfair to lesser songsters. It's all in the mind, you know!

Also mostly in the mind, fear of snakes. Above, young Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) intent on a scent trail. After spotting snake I crawled toward it, hoping for action closeup, perhaps even threat display. Didn't happen. Snake ignored me until I was about 1.5 metres off (minimum focus for 300mm lens) and then sped off down a weedy bank. I know snakes aren't for everyone, but such meetings are fun. So long as there's no risk of harm to snake or to me!


Andy said...

Always a pleasure to visit.
Great capture on the Bushlark pose.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Tony
Good to experience the prolonged display by the Grassbirds. They must have a more interesting call than their southern cousins - a drawn-out three note whistle.
The Bushlarks seem to love their barbed-wire fences.
And as for you getting down and facing off with the Snake, no matter how small, that's something I will leave to you. Threat display is not just for the sake of "art" you know. If you trigger that, they mean it, if you get my drift.
Mind you, you obviously out-scared the Snake.

Mosura said...

Nice snake shot. Watch you don't get too close!

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Andy: Thanks for visiting.

Hi Denis and Alan: Never fear. I pick my snakes, mostly, carefully. Though blog to come might suggest otherwise.

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