Thursday, June 16, 2016

Seek a Little and ye shall rest Azured

Seek and ye shall find. Doesn't often work perfectly for me. But today ventured to bottom southwest corner of Mungalla Station, planted myself beside known kingfisher habitat only lately accessible as surface water disappears, and got lucky twice over in two hours.

Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus) harder to find this year because late Wet season failed to provide the conditions small fish want (they swim into flooded grasslands). Not this year. So the true fishing kingfisher, Little and Azure appear to be much dispersed and missing from some normally reliable sites.

This morning, Sacred Kingfishers stood out for first hour, hawking for insects above water weeds.

Then, Azure turned up, well away downstream to the west. No luck, thought I. With which, bird (only one sighted at this point) flew toward me and plonked down on falled branch low over water. Ten metres closer would have been perfect, but can't complain at result.

Then Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusilla) whizzed upstream and vanished. Don't be greedy, said I to self. Lo, bird sped back and took up the prime perch. Drawback? Species so small, really needed it more than 10m closer.

And got Little Bronze-Cuckoo ...

...and Brown-backed Honeyeater as interesting extras. Extra bonus: the many mozzies were mostly well behaved.

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