Monday, January 27, 2020

Adding something extra to Spotted Whistling Duck

So, too many Spotted Whistling Ducks lately? No, wait, this isn't yet another one on the new borrow pits in the Townsville Town Common Cons. Pk. Look closely and you'll see a Blue Percher on the rightmost waterlily flower head. So it's really an insect picture. Honestly!

Well, perhaps not totally honest. But you can't argue about image of Honeybee at borrow pits laden with pollen. Before the present somewhat disappointing rain.

What about mosquito sitting late yesterday afternoon on head of Green Pygmy-goose? Nothing much here to be proud of but it's the first half-decent picture with super-duper new camera-lens combo. Gonna be a steep and long learning curve, I think.

Here's a Frilled-neck Lizard yesterday showing off bulging tongue and looking rather prehistoric with it. Unseen, because cloned out, one of hundreds of cigarette butts in the area. 'Nature-loving' chain smoker parks regularly at site and leaves evidence of addiction littering it. Wait, 50 years ago I was doing more or less the same. Yeah, but times change. Right? Anyway, I've changed.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Brown Goshawk springs from the shadows

Taken more than three years to capture Brown Goshawk up close in Townsville, but action in Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park yesterday made up for that. First spied bird on ground in dark shadows. Flew to acacia, in dark shadow. Vanished into, yep, more shadow. Follow. Nothing. Circle back. More nothing. Movement ahead. Suddenly, bird on open branch in bright light! Better yet, flying toward me ...


To another open branch, close above. Great. But ... always a but. There's something clinging to the bird's mandibles. Good luck scoring bird; bad luck finding messy eater.

Unlike Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. At times messy mischief-makers, they show more delicacy when intent on feeding. Bird above one of 38 chomping on weeds and seeds sprung up beside the Ross River since the banks were flooded and heavily silted last year.


Chance to stand among them and grab a few flight shots.


Not at all interested in daytime flights, Tawny Frogmouth family, just downriver in the Bush Gardens.  All four bit more restless than usual.

Unlike solitary member of species in Cape Pallarenda. Hiding in full view. The birds have notch in eyelid that allows them to look out without seeming able to.



Friday, January 10, 2020

Fruitful days amid juicy mangos tempered by tragedy

It's a fruitful life, this birding caper. With lovely, big, juicy mangos (my preferred spelling) thrown in. Among Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park's plantings are several big old mango trees, and one smaller one offering much tastier fruit. Fight off the green ants and start licking your lips. Want some? Too bad. All gone. Conservation volunteers deserve a wee perk now and then for their efforts. So, of course, do birders. And Brush-turkeys.



Fruitful, too, some sightings. My three Spotted Whistling Ducks now into third week at the borrow pits in Town Common Cons. Pk, Townsville. Twice lately they've come feeding close, slurping across the surface of the water lily leaves with rapidly vibrating bills. Now and then one will dive from view to feed off the lily stems. It seem possible they may stay until the Wet arrives. No sign of that yet.

Elsewhere in the Common, two Barking Owls had their peaceful, hidden day roosting shattered by three enraged Great Bowerbirds. But the relentless barrage of bird abuse, including mimicked Whistling Kite fury, didn't move the owls. Owls moved to more open possie overnight and put up with my intrusion as stolidly as they'd outlasted verbals the day before.

And, finally, how guilty a pleasure it can feel, that so much natural wonder is mine at a time so much natural disaster is befalling Australia, the people, property, wildlife and bush. What to say? Life goes on . . . From the ashes . . . Count our blessings . . .  For now, I'm lost for words.




Welcome lack of speed when feed is seed

Juvenile Scaly-breasted Munia (was Nutmeg Mannikin, before that, Spice Finch) tucking into seed of Para Grass - the Town Common's ...