Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Colour shines through

I found a moth resting out of the wet weather on our verandah blind and the morning light was shining through the wings and highlighting the underwing pattern and colours.

The definite pattern and colour I thought would be best for identification,  as the upper wing colour and pattern is less distinctive, as I found when I moved the moth onto a wooden table.

The colour of course is much stronger when viewed directly, as shown when I was moving the moth.

It is a female Red-lined Geometrid Crypsiphora ocultaria which is found over most of Australia and the caterpillars feed on Eucalyptus species.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Koel calling

When we lived in Sydney we often had a rude early morning awakening once the Eastern Koels Eudynanys orientalis arrived for their spring & summer breeding season. The repeated call rising in pitch and getting louder the longer it went on would ensure that there was no sleeping in. Here we have not seen them very often and their place seems to be taken by the Channel-bill Cuckoo whose call is also somewhat annoying but not as incessant as the Koel.
I have been hearing Koels around lately and this morning (fortunately not too early) One was calling nearby and then I could hear the "I want food" call of a young one. I found the youngster quite nearby and a poor Noisy Friar Bird trying to keep up the supply of food. I wasn't able to get the feeding photo but did get a shot of the youngster.

The Koel is resident in Northern Australia and the islands to the north but in their southern range they arrive as migrants around September. Nesting medium sized honeyeaters such as Wattle Birds and Noisy Friar Birds as well as other birds of similar size are sought out as the surrogate parents.
The male Koel is glossy bluish black with a bright red iris whilst the female is similar to the young bird. A male has been raiding our vegetable garden to eat some cherry tomatoes as has a young Satin Bower Bird. This afternoon I saw both at the garden but the Koel was a bit flighty and was not cooperative for photos with only one long distance shot with the light behind so the eye does not show the brilliant colour.

The young Satin Bower Bird was more cooperative staying at the vegetable garden. I noticed that is has a problem with one leg which is either deformed or broken but it manage quite well hopping around on the good leg.


Saturday, 27 December 2014

Delivering the meal

We have Kookaburras with a nest hole in a termite nest, high in an ironbark eucalyptus and their young are busy calling for food deliveries.

I have been trying to get a photo of a delivery but the adult kookas will not go to the nest if they spot any potential threat. Without a hide I am obvious and that says maybe I am a threat so the adults will wait nearby until I depart before making a delivery.
I did manage to get a photo today with an adult about to deliver a large stick insect as the meal for the young.

Not wanting to delay deliveries, I don't visit the site often but keep a distant watch on the nest, listening to the young calling. The biggest threat is from the lace monitors, if they can get to the nest without being detected by the adults. If seen the adults will attack and generally drive the lizard off.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Morning Glory Hawk Moth

Yesterday I found this large moth resting on a window frame and had the opportunity to take a few photos before it had had enough and flew to a more appropriate spot in a eucalyptus.

The distinctive pink and black stripes on the body made identification as a Convolvulus Hawk Moth Agrius convolvuli quite simple.
The food source for its caterpillars are plants in the Convolulus family which include sweet potatoes where farmers regard it as a pest and Morning Glory vine which in our area is a weed of significance. On balance as we don't have too many sweet potato farms around we would like more of these moths to help us control the Morning Glory in the bushland.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Calling Ms Peron

A distinctive long reverberating call from the pond outside the office last night had to be checked out to see if I had identified the maker of the noise.

Sure enough there was a Peron's Tree Frog Litoria peronii sitting on the floating azolla fern, calling to try and get a mate to join in the activity.
No sign of success this morning as the pond is bare of any egg mass.
The recent rain has increased the frog activity so I expect to get some more frog sightings whilst the vegetation has plenty of moisture. I can hear a couple of Dwarf Tee Frogs outside as I do this blog.