Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sharing the love at end of great week

Great week birding close to new home topped off today with Red-tailed Black Cockatoos sharing the love in morning sun. Four groups (of 5, 5, 4, 4) seen along stretch of road offering ample plantings of coastal almonds, including golf club parking, right alongside entry to Town Common.

At this very entry male Brush Turkey kicked up storm of litter for half an hour the other morning. He moved a mini mound metres down the road, though still a fair way removed from his home mound under trees several metres off the road. Just practising for bigger things, I think.

Bit further along the road, female Blue-winged Kookaburra , one of surprisingly few seen during the week, showed little interest in the many cicadas on the move about her. Nor did litter skinks on the ground hold her attention. No desired fare showed up and finally off she flew.

Not one to turn up a nose at crunchy cicada, White-breasted Woodswallow gets ready to rip into breakfast today. In places up to 20 of the birds - including lot of immatures - were on the road through the Common tucking in enthusiastically. They and the Rainbow Bee-eaters - whose nest burrows are now apparent in many places beside the road - seem keenest on the insects.

Unlike Channel-billed Cuckoo about to gulp down another Morton Bay fig. Four or more of the giant birds appear settled on sticking close to the Pallarenda end of the Common, and thus moving between the (formal) Town Common Conservation Park and the Pallarenda Conservation Park immediately to the north. To the cuckoos a fig's a fig no matter where it grows. By the way, like most native figs they're only for the birds.

Pretty sure another acquired taste would be anything left alive to swim or crawl in the few remaining pools. 50 or so egrets crowded noisily on shrinking muddy hole in front of Freshwater Hide four days ago. Little Egret, above, one of 44 of its kind.

Two days ago, Great Egret had a bit of competition for the morsels clinging to life in the hot, thick water. (Showing off the frills can be part of threat, not breeding display alone). Today, not an egret to be seen. Time to begin the rain dances!

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