Monday, May 25, 2015

Catching them on the wing

Most birds look in their element on the wing. Pity it's so hard to capture them in the air. Distant looks at Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena) at Orient Station yesterday don't do them justice.

Did catch an Australian Pratincole (Stiltia isabella) speeding past.

And another catching up with grasshopper.

Then again, sometimes catching a bird on the wing isn't good enough. Thus, one of the Striated Pardalotes (Pardalotus striatus) had to go.

And sometimes on the wing means something different, as with these Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus axillaris).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Noisy Pitta pops out, Grey Fantail pops in, pup pops up

Few calls and even fewer sightings of Noisy Pitta (Pitta versicolor) at Jourama Falls lately.

So, lucky to find one active within grove in middle of camping area today.

Didn't manage to get down to ground level in front of the bird but at least it came out in the open.

Also busy in the same grove, Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa).

An odd extra to the local colour, toy pup left parked in the camping area.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Flying start with Mangrove Robins

Uncommonly early access to coastal wetlands, fast drying out given the failed wet season, means more time with my Mangrove Robins (Peneonanthe pulverulenta) at the end of Orient Road, southeast of Ingham, this year.

Seems almost certain at least three pairs are breeding along a 500-metre stretch of winding and now stagnating tidal creek.

Two nests found, one of those occupied by birds used to me being close to them when nesting.

All doing well, apart from prey in the area, which is going down fast. 

Only  time will  tell how all living things fare later this El Nino year.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Easy as falling off a log - or on one

Some days bird photography comes easy as falling off a log - or falling into focus on one. So, Brown Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora).

Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii)

Red-backed Fairy-wren (Malurus melanocephalus)

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina papuensis)

Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus)

All at Mungalla Station last few weeks.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lovebird Cockatiels brighten my morning

Love birds? I'll say! Lovebirds? Not in cages, thank you. So lovely to see uncommon visitor Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) lovebirding and feeding beside coastal road near Ingham today.

First of species I've seen for several years.

Male sports lighter head and brighter colouring.

Female shows delicate grey barring under tail.

Just what roadsides everywhere need to brighten them up.

Earlier, had less luck seeking better picture of even rarer visitor, female Australian Painted Snipe (Rostratula australis). Found this mate of male (featured in previous posts) amid mangroves the other morning. Today, no trace. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Painted Snipe sets off magic mangrove morning

Well, well, well, look who's standing around on a part-flooded track in the mangroves southeast of Ingham today. My rare friend from a flooded paddock in Orient Station last month, a male Australian Painted Snipe (Rostratula australis). 

And not just standing there, but throwing in a little bit of feather twirling before taking off.  

But look, look, look, almost on top of us both, the target species of the morning, a Mangrove Robin (Peneonanthe pulverulenta). Big bonus, sitting on nest and hopping off now and then to grab a quick feed.

And listen, listen, listen, and look at these lovely singers nearby, Striated Pardalotes (Pardalotus striatus), lerp-eating residents of the coastal gums.

Quite a morning.

Brown Goshawk drops in for brekkie banter

Gidday. Just flying up this track and thought I'd drop in and have a dekko for bit of brekkie. Scared? Why'd I be scared of you, sta...