Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cassowary walks circle round me

Spent three hours looking mainly for Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) near Wallaman Falls today and then heard one behind me in the rainforest. 

Wee bit intimidating for a few seconds. Stand tall, stand still, they say. I did, for a few seconds. Then relaxed to enjoy next 15 minutes

About 1.6 metres tall, bird - probably female - stepped to within five metres and in time - and never more than 10 metres away - circled me. Stopped several times to preen. Not sure if soft noise during preening came from bill rasping through coarse plumage, chest wattles slapping together, or gentle vocalising.

Bird then eased off through the understorey of saplings, tripping vines and barbed wait-a-while leaving no great pictures but great memories.
(Click pix to enlarge)


Snail said...

Oh, marvellous, Tony! What a sighting!

I particularly love the second pic. Long eyelashes and that casque with the jaunty angle.

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Bronwen: One of best quarter hours I've ever had birding. Cursed a bit when second pic proved too focussed on that long beak and not on eyes. But had I not recently bought Speedlite probably would have had almost nothing to show of the encounter.

Gouldiae said...

Wow Tony,
Some experience! One for the memory bank I suspect.

Tyto Tony said...

Hi Gouldiae: Sure was. Problem now is to avoid expecting similar experiences whenever I'm in the rainforest!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Tony

Fantastic shots.
I prefer the 3rd image, with the orange-red neck colour.
A real "poster" shot.
You are right that it may never happen again. But you have the memory, and the pictures to prove it too.
Fantastic experience.

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