Monday, November 27, 2017

Koel gets blue in the face over honeyeater


Female Koel gives Blue-faced Honeyeater an earful today while standing her ground against gang of hostile honeyeaters and friarbirds. Two male Koels ignored by the unwelcoming committee added their raucousness before all three slipped quietly away.


Nearby, helpful breeze reveals usually unseen white neck underplumage of Torresian Crow and thereby helps identify accompanying immature bird. At issue is balance between the only corvids around Townsville: Torresian Crow and Australian Raven. Crows dominated 10 years ago but it appears they are now outnumbered in places. More to come on this.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Great! Egret similarities breed contretemps

Eastern Great Egret stands amid mixed mob of 100 or so egrets, ibises and spoonbills clustered in fast diminishing reedy shallows today showing off breeding plumage and accompanying dark bill.

And the usual aggression against others of its species: ditto Little Egrets and Intermediate Egrets. Spoonbills and ibises - more sociable flock feeders - ignored the skirmishes around and above them.

Elsewhere, Leaden Flycatchers seen busily beginning nest early in the week (and completed yesterday) lost the lot overnight. Selfish thought: they'll build again, but probably without being spotted and offering photo opportunities.

Also unlikely, more sightings of Burtons Snake Lizard, seen above in the middle of Town Common road during a spotlighting drive. Lack of working legs didn't stop it hot-footing it into roadside grasses. (It may have been more than coincidence seeing slimmer but three times longer Brown Tree Snake nearby on the road.)

 


Sunday, November 19, 2017

What's a little mud, grass, tidy, tickle between friends?


White-browed Crake strolls across drying area at edge of Payets Tower pool in Townsville Common, ignoring intruder slopping alongside in mud-enclosed boots. But what's a little mud between friends?

Bit wetter underfoot for Comb-crested Jacana. Not quite in the clear either. But what's a little grass between friends?

Below the tower, Crimson Finch cleans up (as requested) after getting stuck into sticky grass seeds. But what's a little tidiness between friends?

In the tower itself, resident Possum also happy to smile (well, sort of) for the camera. No madness this, being up the pole: warmth, protection, peace (most of the time). But what's a little tickle between friends?







 






Thursday, November 16, 2017

Yawny Tawny ignores Aussie mozzie

Deep in the heart of Mozzieland sits the Tawny Frogmouth. Unmoving, as usual.

But wait. Things are stirring. Pesky Brown-backed Honeyeaters want the Tawny gone.

Which brings what counts as frenzy from Tawny. Sleepy eye opens. Head turns. Nothing to see here. Back to snooze.

Mozzies? Let them join crowd and cloud around photographer.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Flycatcher flurry of feeding for lucky little Leaden

Little winner today, juvenile Leaden Flycatcher fresh from nest with devoted parents shuttling food in every few seconds.



No surprise having the young bird appear from 'nowhere'. Leadens build dainty camouflaged bowl nests which defy sighting from below the limbs and forks supporting them.

Little losers today, Brown-backed Honeyeaters with part-finished nest almost within touching distance outside tower hide. Nest found at base of paperbark, blown down by ongoing gusty winds.
A minor setback given the industry and persistence of Brown-backeds.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Kookaburras find life full of laughs

Kookaburras like to laugh, and might often do so as they watch other birds toiling to build complex nests. They just don't dig such toil. Better, they chortle, to take over readymade hollow, or do minor mining on used termite nest in tree.

Here's a prime possie right by the beach, plenty of food on the surrounding paperbarks, eucalypts and acacias, and mostly congenial neighbours, though bit of a problem with flies (Kookaburras don't rate nest hygiene highly).

And perhaps unseen nestlings can be fussy. Parent bird made several efforts to pass on spider, and couldn't find a taker. No such reluctance from within the nest when insects were offered. Imagine comment inside the nest: Spiders? You must be joking! Having a laugh, are you? Yuk, yuk, yuk.

Not far away, female Olive-backed Sunbird goes about serious business of weaving a 'real' nest. No time to mess about laughing the day away here!   

 


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Rainbow Bee-eater tunnels take their toll

Many Rainbow Bee-eaters turn up on migration from the north looking rather spiffy.

But that sharpness often gives way to wear and tear - at both ends - as the sand flies from nesting tunnels.

Many birds show blunted and broken tips of bills, and tatty tail streamers.

On the other hand, imagine looking this good at one's worst!

Helmeted Friarbird tips foes through the tulips

Helmeted Friarbird takes break from chasing other birds from African Tulip Tree beside Mundy (or Mundi) Creek, Townsville, yesterday. ...