Friday, December 30, 2011

Hail to two standout stayers of the year

Time to farewell 2011 and welcome 2012 - by hailing two of the Tyto stayers, species not even Cyclone Yasi could blow away: Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) and White-browed Robin (Poecilodryas superciliosa).

Happy New Year!
Click pix to enlarge

Monday, December 26, 2011

Honeyeater conned by Koel

Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis) about to feed caterpillar to the cuckoo planted on  it, an Eastern Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus), near Tyto wetlands.

Young Koels demand food for weeks until even the most dutiful parents turn their backs on the greedy offspring. 
Click pix to enlarge

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa presents Little Bittern presence

Look what Santa brought me today in Tyto! Live Australian Little Bittern (Ixobrychus dubius) to play with. 

Just the present for a birding boy, though asking for its presence is a tall order.

And it didn't really want to play very much at all. But that'll do me. Thanks, Santa! And Merry Xmas faithful followers.
Click pix to enlarge

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Black Bitterns ever watchful

The rains begin and Black Bitterns (Ixobrychus flavicollis) get busy in many shadowed Tyto pools. Haven't had luck catching them standing about in water. 

But they have stopped flying far off when first spooked, being content to gain a tree and watch me try to get close - then flying far off! (Female above, male top.)
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pale-faced wallaby stands out

Unusually pale-faced Agile Wallaby stands out amid the Tyto lushness. Female animal may be aged, though no less agile than hundreds of others to be seen some mornings. And even big, burly old males don't go white. 
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bush-hen nothing to crow about

Cackling aplenty in Tyto lately, but only image of Pale-vented Bush-hen (Amaurornis moluccana) nothing to crow about. Early onset of Wet hasn't helped, with cover everywhere thicker than usual.

Rains also mean less action overhead. Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) showed up this week, turned up its nose at fish floating belly-up (too large, probably) and left with tongue hanging out.
Click pix to enlarge

Friday, December 16, 2011

How can you tell he's from the Shaky Isles?

Evidence coming up in three shakes . . . 

Macleay's Honeyeater (Xanthotis macleayanus)

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)

Brown Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia amboinensis)
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kite flies for easy pickings

With Tyto fish deaths comes the Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus). First downpours of this season's Wet last week brought usual rush of fish large and small into newly flooded  areas. 

Not all made it safely back (perhaps, like salmon, they're not destined to). Dead fish dropped on footbridge - possibly one too many for lone Brahminy - previously thrived by 'hoovering' lagoons, often in large surface schools. ID to come. 
Click pix to enlarge

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mistletoebirds out and about

Caught male Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) more or less in the open yesterday near Tyto lookout. Angle does justice to breast colour but misses the glorious dark blues on the back.

Female, from an earlier day, possibly seeking webs for one of the species' soft 'baby bootee' nests.  
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Crimson Finch takes a break

With the species busy nesting all over Tyto as the Wet starts to pour upon us, male Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) takes time out near the hide yesterday.
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Spot of Woodswallow swallowing

Takes more than a spot - or a lot - of rain to stop White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus) if insects are flying. Dragonfly (maybe Neurothemis stigmatizans) today's victim near Tyto hide.

Can't be hunting all the time. 
Click pix to enlarge

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Frogs sitting pretty

The Wet's arrived early and frogs are sitting pretty. Tiny (20mm) Eastern Dwarf Treefrog (Litoria fallax) - all-Aussie green and gold scene.

Solid (100mm) White-lipped Treefrog (Litoria infrafrenata) settles for very green theme, with white edges.
Click pix to enlarge

Rainbow Lorikeets home in on hollow

  Sometimes it's a good thing getting that hollow feeling. Rainbow Lorikeets discuss property inspection, Townsville Town Common Conserv...