Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Swing wing

This morning we had a swirling flock of Needle-tail Swifts Hirundapus caudacutus hunting insects and I am always thrilled to watch these speedsters as they come swooping from high to skim through the trees. They must have been the inspiration for the designers of swing wing fighter jets as they  cruise effortlessly with wings at right angle to their body and then with swept back wings they manoeuvre at high speed low level flight.
I would like to get a good photo but their speed defeats me and I end up with lots of photos of empty sky or blurred distant birds. I did get one photo today which I thought I would pop up just to record today's bird highlight.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Hungry mouths

A pair of Lewin Honeyeaters found a suitable branch for a nest on a shrub that is growing under our verandah and as it is out of the sun and rain(if we had any) so seems ideal. I notice a couple of days ago that there were young chicks in the nest and today I manage to get photos (most have too much movement and are blurred or branches in the way) at feeding time. 

 This photo was taken just as the adult arrived at the nest and the three chicks were very  vocal demanding to be fed.
I will keep an eye on their progress and hopefully they will make it to being able to take flight rather than dinner for a Lace Monitor or a Diamond Python (they are welcome to feed on the rats that are around the chook yard).

Monday, 20 January 2014

The sound of summer

You know when summer has arrived once the cicadas start to sing, drum, thrum,or any other name you would like to give to the non-stop background noise that goes on from sunrise to sunset.
This summer with very dry hot conditions has brought an explosion of  cicadas from small species to large and a walk through the forest can be a deafening experience.
As they spend the majority of the day high in the trees most sightings are as they fly from tree to tree.
I managed to find a couple that were lower down on the trunk of spotted gums and get a few photos.

 I am fairly sure that this a female Razor Grinder Herucopsaltria eydouxii  which is found in Queensland and down the coastal forest areas.

The next one was a simple identification as a distinctive feature gives the common name,
Cherrynose  Macrotristria angularis