Friday, February 27, 2015

Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos deft captains of kernels

Food ... the daily grind. Not always noted for tidy table manners, Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii) male (top) and female show dainty touch as they pry kernels from tough native olives.    

Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) jumps into tasty mango.

Red-backed Fairy-wren (Malurus melanocephalus) picks at possibly insect treats. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Green Tree Frog fancies fence-pipe home

Plenty of green around, but not a tree in sight of this Green Tree Frog atop fence pipe home today.

Warm, secure, dry up high, cool and moist down at ground level,  solid des res for Litoria caerulea.

Of course even handsome frogs need a tiny tweak to make them shine.  

Friday, February 20, 2015

Yellow Wagtail sightings pose questions

Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis) sightings uncommonly high at Mungalla Station as Ingham experiences its dryest wet season for more than 10 years.

Cannot tell if the birds have all been around since November, or if some have perhaps been south and are returning north, or are latecomers to Australia after quitting the Northern Hemisphere late in the Russian or Japanese winter.

One thing unchanged is the difficulty of sneaking close to the wary, flighty feeders.

But almost got close enough today for 'that' picture. And at least got a good look at highly coloured bird. So long as the dry continues there'll be more chances for closer efforts. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bushlark emerges from sea of grass

Hard to find Horsfield's Bushlark (Mirafra javanica) and other grass inhabitants unless they take to the barbed wire above the lush growth these days of a so-far floodless wet season around Ingham.

Most years these Orient Station cattle would here be knee-deep in water in mid-February, not surrounded as today by seas of tall grass.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wood Sandpiper leads the stand-alones

Birds of a feather may well flock together, but some species seem happy to stand alone much of the time. Almost always solo when around Ingham, Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) also often turns up in temporary pools (roadside, above) ignored by others. 

Pied Heron (Egretta picata) less often totally alone, but seldom up this way accompanied by others of its species, though I did see 16 standing on dirt ridge in flooded Orient Station paddock recently. Never before seen such a large group.

Not so notable a loner, indeed sometimes here in hundreds, none the less Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) will happily stick around by itself for weeks without any evidence of pining for company.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Light Pied spied along the spit

Spied this light Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris) along Lucinda sandspit two mornings back.

Bird puzzled when first seen at distance because it was mixing with about 10 Pelicans. By the time it flew off and joined others of its species all was clear: another leucistic bird (joining longterm Eastern Curlew on the spit). Another to keep an eye out for.

Same day, Sand Plovers wheel across mid-distance with last bit of 5km sugar loading jetty as backdrop (I'd have said Greater SPs, but some interesting discussion recently on problems in identifying Lesser and Greater SPs means I'm playing it safe).

Friday, February 6, 2015

Little Red Flying Foxes pass stink test

Little Red Flying Foxes by the thousands killing trees in Ingham's Memorial Gardens have got right up local noses. 'Bats stink,' they sniff. 

But an hour or two underneath them this week (wearing cheap handyman's mask) was notable for noise, not noisomeness, far less noxiousness. They squeak, squeal, squabble and squall - but they do not stink.

Certainly, trees are dying and I don't like bat splat on the Troopy.

But historically huge bat camps have come and gone. And eco-Australia needs every bat camp it's got, even if a few are in the wrong place, for now.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Glossy Ibis worth second look and more

Spent an hour trying in vain to get close to Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) at roadside pool, gave up - and 200 metres down the road came upon this bird feeding hungrily in transient pool on mown reserve beside main railway line and unconcerned by my arrival. Several images, all full frame, the first without any tweaking...

... the second processed from same jpeg with minor colour adjustment and sharpening ...

... the third processed from Raw file, converted to Tiff, with similar colour adjustment and sharpening.

The bonus fourth is starting point of work in progress.

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...