Saturday, March 29, 2014

My, what a big eye you have . . .

1: Coprosma (Scrofa) Hawk Moth (Hippotion scrofa) waiting out the day on 
old umbrella after escaping recent rains by sheltering under caravan 

2: Yellow Emperor (Dragonfly) (Hemianax papuensis) drying out on scleria 
stem after early morning crawl from Tyto creek and emergence into the day.

3: Female Eastern Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) has eyes only for fruit on cheese tree (Glochidion ferdinandi) in Tyto. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Portraits in passing along the Orient

Don't take many portraits, but here's a handsome big boy at Orient Station the other day. He insisted on showing only his left horn. 'We've all got out better side,' he said ruminatively.

Close by, Brolga may have been chasing flying prey, but it's more likely only a fluke passing during a spot of splash and dash.

Here's the reason for crawling about in the friendly bull's domain, Zitting Cisticola, temptingly atop paperbark seedling, but never stopping long enough for better closeups.

Just down the road, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper stood around for a wee while though wouldn't stand for my effort to get an image from water level.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Missing something in brown study

Something's missing from this image of White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinerea) in Tyto Wetlands. It's not the feet.

And from this Pale-vented Bush-hen (Amaurornis moluccana), pictured in creek pool close to the crake's territory. Again, not the feet.

Missing are pairs of little and larger black shadows darting through the thick cover alongside and in the creek. Have had no luck this breeding season in capturing pictures of the many chicks scurrying with parents throughout the wetlands. Already, their juvenile black plumage will be giving way to immature browns. Did someone say brown study?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Big birds fussy about fish kills

Mature White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) flies off with fish from Tyto lagoon clutched securely in both talons. But it and other raptors won't take any old dead or dying fish. Recent mass deaths of species unable to tolerate low oxygen levels left fish such as bony bream floating unwanted for days until they sank back down into the unhealthy waters that killed them.

Not even sure this immature sea-eagle has yet developed the skills needed to take live fish. Seemed more interested in chasing after the adult, which showed no  willingness to share its small catch.

Another big attraction over the past week has been an Amethyst Python, sunning itself here on a grass track close to the main lagoon lookout.  Lively and about 3.5 metres long, the snake shows its jewelled colours in morning sunlight.   

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hovering honeyeaters

Side benefit of chasing Zitting Cisticolas along Orient Station road yesterday, a few images of Rufous-throated Honeyeaters (Conopophila rufogularis) in same pasture habitat hovering low in their search for prey amid the grasses.

Nothing really sharp, but a somewhat oriental feel to the scene, specially when cropped horizontally.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Zitting pretty and Shining bright

Before later bogging the Toyota in a metre of mud, chased this Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) at Orient Station on foot last weekend. Picture's for Paul, who's chasing the species as a possible cyclone threatens to disrupt birdwatching around Ingham today or tomorrow. And a big thanks to Craig and Cate for pulling me out of the poo - again!!!

No such embarrassments yesterday as I walked by the bogging site to check on Mangrove Robins. Found four skirmishing over territory, so all well there. Better luck photographing male Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto).

It's also one of few birds seemingly fooled by my terrible efforts at mimicry.

And here's a Brown Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora), on the road a while back, and in almost the same place again yesterday. Wonders of the Orient...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Time to tidy up some leftovers

Bound to appeal: Agile Wallaby on track at Tyto.

Wrapping up lunch: Orb Weaver (with tiny insect on back) wraps up large obscured prey at Jourama Falls.

Some of the frills: Frilled Lizard lounges back on Euodia at Tyto.

Good red eye, 1: Metallic Starlings on nest low in rain tree near Ingham shops.

Good red eye, 2: Pheasant Coucal up close in Tyto.

Bad red eyed: Came upon moth (Aenetus tegulatus) near home yesterday. Quick bad pictures. Place moth safely aside for better later. But moth didn't wait for  darkness and vanished in late afternoon. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Little Kingfisher looks good in blue

Nice blue sky above and nice blue Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusilla) under the trees beside the Osprey nest tree pool in Tyto Wetlands today. The little fish probably tasted pretty nice too.

Bit of technical interest. Top image shot with 1.4x converter attached to 400mm lens. Result? Smaller crop, but some loss of image quality compared to above image, shot without converter and consequently needing bigger crop. Both images have background denoised, steel eye fixed, colour adjusted and some minor background cloning. 

Rainbow Lorikeets home in on hollow

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