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.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Koel gets blue in the face over honeyeater


Female Koel gives Blue-faced Honeyeater an earful today while standing her ground against gang of hostile honeyeaters and friarbirds. Two male Koels ignored by the unwelcoming committee added their raucousness before all three slipped quietly away.


Nearby, helpful breeze reveals usually unseen white neck underplumage of Torresian Crow and thereby helps identify accompanying immature bird. At issue is balance between the only corvids around Townsville: Torresian Crow and Australian Raven. Crows dominated 10 years ago but it appears they are now outnumbered in places. More to come on this.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Great! Egret similarities breed contretemps

Eastern Great Egret stands amid mixed mob of 100 or so egrets, ibises and spoonbills clustered in fast diminishing reedy shallows today showing off breeding plumage and accompanying dark bill.

And the usual aggression against others of its species: ditto Little Egrets and Intermediate Egrets. Spoonbills and ibises - more sociable flock feeders - ignored the skirmishes around and above them.

Elsewhere, Leaden Flycatchers seen busily beginning nest early in the week (and completed yesterday) lost the lot overnight. Selfish thought: they'll build again, but probably without being spotted and offering photo opportunities.

Also unlikely, more sightings of Burtons Snake Lizard, seen above in the middle of Town Common road during a spotlighting drive. Lack of working legs didn't stop it hot-footing it into roadside grasses. (It may have been more than coincidence seeing slimmer but three times longer Brown Tree Snake nearby on the road.)

 


Sunday, November 19, 2017

What's a little mud, grass, tidy, tickle between friends?


White-browed Crake strolls across drying area at edge of Payets Tower pool in Townsville Common, ignoring intruder slopping alongside in mud-enclosed boots. But what's a little mud between friends?

Bit wetter underfoot for Comb-crested Jacana. Not quite in the clear either. But what's a little grass between friends?

Below the tower, Crimson Finch cleans up (as requested) after getting stuck into sticky grass seeds. But what's a little tidiness between friends?

In the tower itself, resident Possum also happy to smile (well, sort of) for the camera. No madness this, being up the pole: warmth, protection, peace (most of the time). But what's a little tickle between friends?







 






Thursday, November 16, 2017

Yawny Tawny ignores Aussie mozzie

Deep in the heart of Mozzieland sits the Tawny Frogmouth. Unmoving, as usual.

But wait. Things are stirring. Pesky Brown-backed Honeyeaters want the Tawny gone.

Which brings what counts as frenzy from Tawny. Sleepy eye opens. Head turns. Nothing to see here. Back to snooze.

Mozzies? Let them join crowd and cloud around photographer.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Flycatcher flurry of feeding for lucky little Leaden

Little winner today, juvenile Leaden Flycatcher fresh from nest with devoted parents shuttling food in every few seconds.



No surprise having the young bird appear from 'nowhere'. Leadens build dainty camouflaged bowl nests which defy sighting from below the limbs and forks supporting them.

Little losers today, Brown-backed Honeyeaters with part-finished nest almost within touching distance outside tower hide. Nest found at base of paperbark, blown down by ongoing gusty winds.
A minor setback given the industry and persistence of Brown-backeds.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Kookaburras find life full of laughs

Kookaburras like to laugh, and might often do so as they watch other birds toiling to build complex nests. They just don't dig such toil. Better, they chortle, to take over readymade hollow, or do minor mining on used termite nest in tree.

Here's a prime possie right by the beach, plenty of food on the surrounding paperbarks, eucalypts and acacias, and mostly congenial neighbours, though bit of a problem with flies (Kookaburras don't rate nest hygiene highly).

And perhaps unseen nestlings can be fussy. Parent bird made several efforts to pass on spider, and couldn't find a taker. No such reluctance from within the nest when insects were offered. Imagine comment inside the nest: Spiders? You must be joking! Having a laugh, are you? Yuk, yuk, yuk.

Not far away, female Olive-backed Sunbird goes about serious business of weaving a 'real' nest. No time to mess about laughing the day away here!   

 


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Rainbow Bee-eater tunnels take their toll

Many Rainbow Bee-eaters turn up on migration from the north looking rather spiffy.

But that sharpness often gives way to wear and tear - at both ends - as the sand flies from nesting tunnels.

Many birds show blunted and broken tips of bills, and tatty tail streamers.

On the other hand, imagine looking this good at one's worst!