Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Stone the crows! Gravel-voiced pair hit road too early


Torresian Crow (updated 8/9 to Australian Raven after maturing juveniles revealed telltale pink patches on necks) siblings quit their Townsville Town Common nest too early yesterday morning resulting in some anxious moments on the road through the park before I guided them into safer spot.

Though unable to fly well, four hours later they were high in eucalyptus and being fed by parent.

Youngsters doing well elsewhere include White-bellied Sea-eagle juvenile (parent above) rescued last week from beneath nest (this week flapping vigorously for carer Deb Carter) and its sibling still in nest near Freshwater Trail.


Meanwhile, meet Snaggletooth, Freshwater Crocodile snuck up upon beside Ross River the other day. Got to within three metres but could not capture more than part of jaw and head.

Today, caught Red-bellied Black Snack snoozing in the sun along the earth dam wall between Freshwater and Bald Rock in the Common. Barely pink in northern habitat.





Thursday, August 22, 2019

Young Sea-eagle owes thanks to rescuers

Every day's a fight for life in the wild. And few have the odds so stacked against them as young raptors. The survival rate for those getting to one year is about 30 percent. That's for those making it through the chancy days and weeks of life in the nest. Falling from the nest before being able to fly isn't any way to improve the odds. So juvenile White-bellied Sea-eagle above will owe thanks to several people should it survive an unknown number of lonely cold hours in the undergrowth below its nest in the Townsville Town Common Conservation Park.

Three regulars passed the bird's plight along through a series of often frustrating phone calls and discussions about assistance before Deb Carter of Bird of Prey Rescue raced to the rescue from the other side of Townsville.

She found the bird, though intially seeming healthy enough, was very thin. It may therefore have out of the nest for longer than we thought. But towel and baby blanket in hand she quickly gathered the bird up and carefully cradled it in her arms on the walk back a kilometre or so to her car.

Here's hoping for survival. It may be however that the bird cannot be returned to the nest. In which case it may end up being reared and trained for return to the wild by Deb. At least this young bird has beaten its encounter with a common cause of death in the wild. Thanks to all involved. All in all a mostly uplifting morning.


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Brown Snake proves an obliging subject

Wonder of wonders! Went out today geared up for snakes rather than birds and found an obliging 1.4m Brown Snake waiting patiently for me.

Very patient in fact. Lay motionless for series of long shots alongside much-used track between Pellarenda and Jacana hide in Townsville Town Commmon Conservation Park.

Sensed that I needed look at other side of head.

Must always get good look at the forked tongue. Then slid quietly away when I was done.

Bit like Red-bellied Black Snake a few days earlier. Apologies for single frame from bad video but be thankful I cut 50 seconds of boring inaction while I walked around another co-operative reptile.

And here's a placid Water Python happy to have me get close. So placid it didn't move when unaware passing hiker planted size 11s within 1.5m of its head. (Amazing what some fitness freaks miss seeing in their heedless headlong matches.)

But Freshwater Crocodile basking within 20 metres of popular Ross River walking path not so keen on posing for closeups. Stayed in place for an hour between being photographed as I birded in Ross River Bush Gardens and my eventual drive through suburbia. But hit the water in a hurry when I tried sneaking within 10 metres.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Hiding food piece of toast for crafty Torresian Crow

What's this? Toast for brekkie. Must be my lucky day.

And it's soft white toast-cut bread.

Stuff the health bread nonsense. This is the real deal.

OK, that's enough for now. No thieving rellies around. Where to stash plenty for later?


Behind that wee pandanus will do. Not even that nosy photographer can see behind there.


Go back for that other little bit. Tuck it under a few loose leaves. Right. Off now and tell the others there's no food lying around here today. They'll believe anything, cos I'm the craftiest of corvids!
(Torresian Crow, just outside Townsville Town Common Conservation Park, today.)

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Overturned turtle lucky turn for havering Raven

Too early for Xmas, but seems to be a tasty gift here for me. Take it slow, make sure it's not booby-trapped.

Nope, looks like that greedy White-bellied Sea-eagle finally left me some good bits.

And here's that bloody photographer thinks he can sneak up on me.

Fat chance. Australian Ravens smarter and faster than Kiwi gimps. See you later, mate.
(Town Common, today)

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. ...