Sunday, August 30, 2015

Splish, splash I(bis) was taking a bath

Playtime in rare recent road puddle for Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis), one of seven splishing and splashing at Forrest Beach.

Might not get a similar chance for weeks or months with El Nino setting in and no Wet until late December at the earliest.

At Tyto, Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) steps out across a shrinking kidney lagoon (now two lagoons with a mud bar as evaporation takes over).

For the time being the fishing comes easier but this part of Tyto may be totally dry come December.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Night screamers on display by day

Mad screams at night, hissy fits by day. you could accuse Bush Stone-Curlews (Thick-knees) (Burhinus grallarius) of being drama queens. But there's every excuse for male's threat display and hissing at Tyto this week: female in background is on two eggs. Pair on third clutch - all laid close to cars coming and going in parking zone four metres away - and not deterred by me poking nose in from time to time.

Another noisy night-timer usually with less to say during the day, Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides), on twiggy tree in area burnt off recently close to Orient Station eastern boundary fence. Bird stuck to branch until I was three metres away. It flew into nearest taller tree, opened eyes wider, and ignored me from then on. Meanwhile and surely coincidentally, probable partner began series of remarkable pig-like grunts from unburnt woodland on other side of the fence. Target for another day.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Falcon small dark and handsome

Small, dark and handsome! What could be better to spot yesterday atop bit of cane trash than dark morph Brown Falcon (Falco berigora)?

Something so beautiful is worth another two looks.

And another up for 'raptorousness', Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), atop dead tree, enhanced by blue-sky morning.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Jourama birds stay on after burnoff

Dawdled around Jourama Falls woodland and creek forest today after planned burnoff 'exceeded expectations'. Birdlife little affected: 33 species listed during my walk, including Lemon-bellied Flycatcher (Microeca flavigaster), though pictured bird was snapped nearer the coast yesterday.

Also from another day but again on show today, Rufous Fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons). Bird was following a Brush Turkey through the understorey at Jourama last week. The burnoff  was never a threat to this species, which seldom leaves the rainforest shadows.

Large-billed Gerygone (Gerygone magnirostris) seldom go far away from creek, naturally enough given they build their long skinny nests over water, Another bird from another day, but also seen today.

Monday, August 17, 2015

And now for something completely different

Trundled across lower reaches of Mungalla Station today looking for waders on the lower lagoon system, opened two years ago to saline inflows at big tides. Didn't find any birds of note (listing on eBird Eremaea for those interested) but after leaning against big paperbark took a closer look at some of its inhabitants. Haven't seen such clusters for years, probably because the birds are higher and the snakes lower than this mob: they're not caterpillars of course, but Paperbark Sawfly larvae (Pergagrapta polita)

And this is, a nice chubby Garden Orb-weaver (Eriophora transmarina) part tucked under paperbark flap. 50c coin size, might even find one tucked away around house in eastern Australia. Apparently ready biter but I found this one absolutely unaggressive.

Time to look away if you're squeamish. Below is cow munching unconcernedly near another station yesterday with prolapsed uterus dangling bloodily behind her. Told jack- and jill-aroos, so she should have all tucked backed inside and a stitch or two holding her together by now.

Still with us? Here's another reddish behind, but much, much nicer: female Blue-winged Kookaburra, on post beside sugar cane road yesterday. (Males don't have red/rufous in tails).

Friday, August 14, 2015

Forest Kingfisher marks memorable morning

Memorable morning of sharing binoculars and enthusiasm for nature with visitor to Jourama Falls today included close look at Forest Kingfisher.

Not the bird above, which is this one with caterpillar from two days ago.

But I promised something of beauty on blog for delicimo (yes,I know it's not a real word) friend.

Earlier in the day, crawled to about 30 meters from Saltwater crocodile at edge of large pool by the highway at Cattle Cree(top image 400mm lens, below it 600mm lens). Not quite so attractive as my later encounter!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Quick quiz follows quirk quitted

Have listened to all the gnashing of teeth over rash decision to strive for full-frame perfection and not postprocess images. So, back to the past. In truth, the decision created unforeseen conflicts with workflow and upset archaic chronological filing system.

Bit of catchup follows (can you name them all?):

 Jabiru, Brush Cuckoo, Peaceful Dove, Cotton Pigmy-goose, Grey-headed Robin, Golden Bowerbird 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Victoria's Riflebird as shot at Jourama Falls

Full morning in rainforest along Clearview Creek at Jourama Falls today highlighted by close looks at female or possibly immature male Victoria's Riflebird (Ptiloris victoriae).

Typical heavy rustling gave the bird away. Didn't get any images of it ripping away at folded bark in its hunt for insect food.

But luck brought bird across me to feed on ripening fruit, or seeds in the fruit, or perhaps insects eating the fruit.

Victoria's Riflebird is the Hinchinbrook Shire emblem, with a range limited mainly to high forest in tropical North Queensland. The species has become increasing difficult to find in many parts of its range.

Wee change from today: all images will almost always be presented exactly as shot, apart from downsizing to 1400x933 pixels. So, no cropping, no sharpening, no colour alteration. I'm hoping the exercise will force me to think more about each shot.

Of course if I can't get close it'll be rather obvious. Magpie  appears because it was standing near the Jourama turnoff today, roughly 30km from Ingham and TytoWetlands. It's been 7-8 years since I saw a Magpie so close to Tyto. Listings of the species in Tyto in recent years seem to represent expectation trumping actuality.   

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fluke heron fills the frame in flight

Fluked this full frame in-flight shot of Pacific Heron (White-necked)(Ardea pacifica) in Tyto today. No cropping needed here.

Also spent some time with the same bird or another along the edges of the main lagoon the other morning.

The species is usually shy but seems sometimes to forget that and allows a chatty approach.

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...