Saturday, December 30, 2017

Little Egret, Red-capped Plovers fight for last bites

Last days of 2017, last days of action on, around and over the last two pools as Townsville Common wetland hardens under baking sunny days - which may last past January. So, bit of pressure for last of prey, as above with Little Egret flexing muscles and wings and things to see off fleeing rival.

And junior Red-capped Plover letting older bird know who's stud of the mud.

Red-necked Stint sticks to stints picking up prey and avoids those picking fights.

Black-necked Stork won't be walking across Payets pool with any more tilapia until next year's Wet (if it comes - no sure thing for Townsville). Even the hardy pest fish species are dying in the deoxygenated water.

But there's still prey enough in the air on and just above the water to keep Gull-billed Tern coming back every day.

And there'll always be the birds to keep me there day after day, wet or dry. Here's to 2018 and more Peregrine Falcons, White-bellied Sea-eagles and Whistling Kites, and . . .

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year from some Townsville Common friends

Crimson Finch, Golden-headed Cisticola, Dollarbird, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Black Swan, Pelican and Royal Spoonbill, Red-backed Fairy-wren, and one of two unexplained recent arrivals.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Nature in the raw . . .

Be sad for Grey Teal, glad for Australian Raven: nature in the raw today.
 Raven chanced upon injured or sick Teal in Townsville Common Conservation Park.
Quickly plucked breast plumage away from dying bird and began feeding.
 Flew off, to clean bill and return later.     No room for sentiment in the wild.             

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mud, mud, glorious mud . . .

Sloshing around muddy edges of fast-receding shallows at Melaleuca viewing area in the Townsville Common Conservation Park lately brought dodgy footing and images, including low overflight by young Brolga - bill much muddied - today.

Down on the 'ground' (mostly mud bounded by thick para grass), solitary Greater Sand Plover highlighted yesterday and today.

More numerous, thinly scattered Sharp-tailed Sandpipers came and went without troubling the plover.

As also did Red-necked Stints, in lower numbers and all flightier than others marching and munching across the mud.

And poised high and dry above it all this morning, Golden-headed Cisticola sings from dead sedge stalk.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Egret gets kicks in out of pool possession

Resident Mr Big among Eastern Great Egrets in the Townsville Common doesn't like sharing the waters at Payets Tower with others of his species.

Sometimes, as today, the intruder needs a lesson in egret kickboxing to get the message.

Seemed even enough at first, but as most agree, possession is nine-tenths of the lore.

Also showing competitive physicality, immature Black-necked Stork (Jabiru), apparently challenged to water race by Little Black Cormorant.

Long legs take time getting up to speed so LBC swam away the honours.

Also entertaining in recent days, catch-of-the-day comps. White Ibis made grand start with fish capture.

Sadly, quickly found that any number of failed swallows don't make a summa, a summit, or summat like that.

Junior Jabiru's dad showed he was the real deal with feel in taking prize for the biggest eel.

Played to the crowd with many grabs and drops before flipping eel up, into, and down, down, down bill and throat.

Two Pelicans were disqualified for refusing to reveal their many catches. 


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Big boar takes uncommon amble through pool

Uncommon seeing one of the Common's unwanted feral pigs ambling around in full morning sun unaware of nearby watcher.
Even less common having big boar fill the frame as he walks through shallows less than 10 metres  from the earth bank beside Payets Tower pool.
Make that closer to five metres. And not a hint of concern as he looks up at the lens.
And off he goes toward other end of the pool to chomp on aquatic greenery. Not a pretty sight, and a pest creating ugly damage, specially in and near wetlands, but - like most pests - a survivor and problem of our making.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Storks brighten Melaleuca mornings

Adding colour to latest mornings at Melaleuca viewing area, pair of Blacked-necked Storks - and on occasion their shy brown offspring.

Pa Stork can be bit of a showoff. But, then, when you've got it . . .

Ma Stork mostly busier stabbing around for fish amid the weedy shallows.

No big catches seen, but here's hoping.

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...