Saturday, June 29, 2019

Why is Brown Snake black and white?

Puzzling snake seen after failing in attempted cannibalism, Townsville Town Common Conservation Park, this week.


Identified for me as probable subadult Brown Snake. Sighting comes not long after my first look at a black and white Common Tree Snake (formerly Green Tree Snake). Nothing simply black and white about snake colours!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Trust him not, for here is an upstart ... Australian Raven

"Yes, trust them not, for there is an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers, that, with his Tygers heart wrapt in a Players hide, supposes he is as well able to bumbast out a blanke verse as the best of you; and being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrie." - Uni-educated Greene whining about the Bard's blitz of the boards. Greene wined and bawded too much, died penniless and diseased. Will died at home feted by friends and fated to become seen as the greatest. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Brown frown comes too close to licking chicken legs


Tried standing still as Brown Snake tracked through samphire in Townsville Town Common yesterday but stepped back as it came within a metre and - still unaware of me as potential threat - turned towards my feet. Yes, I know, some will shudder, and others say 'stupid'. But advantage of surprise was totally with me and danger all in the mind. And the final picture's worth it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Chiming and charming - Butcherbird esPied

Townsville Common Conservation Park, bund wall, Thursday morning. Probably only Butcherbird in the park and one of two that popped up unexpectly in adjacent Cape Pallarenda Cons. Pk last month.
First of possible series - "Birds in one line'.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Nutting out questions about mannikins

What's in a name? Nutmeg Mannikin (Lonchura punctulata)? Or Scaly-breasted Munia? Or Spice Finch? Still Nutmegs for most these days. But Munias may come out on top. An interesting question about finches, mannikins and munias in the Townsville area has been their fate in the wake of Cyclone Oma's aftermath 12-day, two-metre deluge flooding the region. My numbers have been roughly 60-70 percent down since March, though flocks of juvenile mannikins are now showing up. But adult numbers remain down. Not sure why. Working on it.


Ironically, a cemetery nearby is part of  home base for a flock of mostly adult Zebra Finches. A happy conjunction of life and death.


Meanwhile, counter to the trend with small seed-eaters (granivores), Peaceful Doves are everywhere locally in their usual abundance. Perhaps a combination of size and more generalist diet meant they avoided the likely fate of many adult finches during and right after the deluge.
 

Jabiru adjusts for takeoff with lightening jet propulsion

Getting ready for takeoff, male Black-necked Stork lightens the load at Melaleuca viewing area, Town Common, Townsville this morning. ...