Sunday, September 11, 2016

Young Cassowary heads the week's roundup

Up to Wallaman Falls to hunt for Cassowary and almost fall over big juvenile upon jumping (aged knee joke) from Troopy near known haunt of resident male. Hurriedly grab camera, five frames, junior takes off and gone, swallowed up by forest. Fading juvenile stripes showed down front of bird, which didn't look big enough to be fending for itself. But long search in all directions turned up no trace of adult male (responsible for all hatching and rearing).

Down at Jourama Falls, Topknot Pigeons out and about in scores, though seldom dropping in anywhere near me. About 60 birds coming and going, stopping mostly on native olives (no threat to any farmed olive). Two of 60 was as good as it got for me.

Nearby, Dusky Honeyeater getting stuck into insectivorial side of its diet. Most honeyeaters are happily gymnastic in the hunt for leaf-laid food.

At Mungalla Station, Tawny Grassbirds made rare showings out of their frustratingly enclosing habitat. Closed in slowly on sodden bird during morning wash. Got no closer before it flew on to barbed wire (an ugly look). Then into hiding. But its mate came out and showed off in the open (ugly background but better than on barbed wire).

Among the mangroves at the end of Orient Road found bigger targets than expected, with two of about 30 Pelicans circling low above me after quitting one of last remaining big pools of king-tide saltwater, soon to evaporate away.

At Tyto, Jacana takes in extras along with dead glasswing plucked from the muddy edge of the main lagoon. Ants foraging on the insect carcase are about to disappear into the bird, except those falling back to the surface.

Closing this quick roundup of sites, Red-capped Plover stands its ground along the Lucinda sandspit. Not my target on the day, but all the migrants stayed well clear. Not to worry, the tides are more in my favour later this week. And, who knows, maybe more tidings of Master Cassowary!

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