Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Herein heron woes back up from here on in

What's wrong with this picture? Well, not close enough (9 metres, not 6); too high above bird (not eye level); lacks killer moment (no prey capture). Too harsh? Too bad, another almost.

Another image of the Striated Heron moments earlier at the Ross River Bush Gardens.

Then there's the Town Common morning when the  prey's taken - by White-necked Heron. What's wrong? Bird, tolerant enough of camera, not close enough. Prey tantalisingly unclear.

This morning, again in the Town Common, Australian Raven gets stuck into leaf-sac spider's nest. The behaviour seems seasonal and somehow related to breeding. What's wrong? Poor light, wary bird too distant, no eye level (comes the time when backs refuse to lie down and take it any more, and lying on mud amid grass and reeds isn't what it used to be).

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Young cormorants and darter in touching relationship

Too chilly in Townsville this morning for birding in shivery shade. Riverbank by Palmetum Botanical Gardens promised desired east-facing warmth. And where were the birds? Sitting - several in clustered nests - along the sunlit Ross. Juvenile Australian Darter stands (below) in a nest touching two others holding pairs of Little Pied Cormorants (above) and close to another with three young cormorants.

Youth also on the water, with immature Comb-crested Jacana treading daintily across waterlily leaves.

Nearby, immature male Rufous Whistler shows breast and head markings about to become bolder mature colouring.

Not so young or close to the camera but always boldly coloured, Azure Kingfisher, one of a pair teasing with fast showings - and goings.

Finally, chance encounter between a Pacific Black Duck and seeming quizzical Freshwater Turtle wanting to know where the bird's right eye is. 'Gone'.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Barefaced blag of birder's bicycle at Bald Rock

This is Bald Rock. Serene. Scenic. Witness to mountain bike exercisers below and around it every day. And birders, on foot and bicycle. 

Home to many Brown-backed Honeyeaters: juvenile above.

And  Brown Honeyeaters - though not in the numbers elsewhere in the Town Common.

So peaceful (juvenile Peaceful Dove above). 1.7 kilometres from the Freshwater parking area, nearest point of legal motor vehicle use. Nobody living within about 4km. No need, obviously, to lock a bicycle left leaning against a tree while the rider goes birding. Right? Think again. Today, bike gone. And new foot pump. And new tube. And repair tools. And bug spray. Slow walk back to Troopy.

Possibly not crime of the year. But one can dream of chaining someone to Bald Rock. And having an eagle eat his liver. Just the once, mind. For eternity might be overdoing it.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Slurpee time for Magpie Geese pigging out

It's slurpee time for the Magpie Geese in the Townsville Common - thanks to the unstinting industry of the feral pigs ploughing into Bulkuru sedge (water chestnut) for the tubers relished by both species.

Birds swooped down in recent early morning chills to follow up the snorting good work by about six sturdy pigs, five of which logged off at 7.15am today.

Not interested in tubers but enjoying fringe benefits, Yellow-billed Spoonbills,  two photobombed by Masked Lapwing.

White-necked Herons another bird turning up to snap up anything showing life on the mud.

Nearby, solitary Red-kneed Dotterel joined scores of sedentary Black-fronted Dotterels on an area abandoned by the tuber brigades.

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...