Sunday, 25 January 2009

Crested Pigeon and Rainbow Lorikeets

Managed to take this Crested Pigeon and Rainbow Lorikeets just before it started to Rain today.

The sky looks promising but it did not come as far as our place, but we have had showers on and off. All very welcome.

This sunset was taken yesterday afternoon.

Tin Can Bay

The local Field Naturalist's held their January outing down at Tin Can Bay. Not many birds around due to the strong wind and overcast conditions, though we did manage to see 39 species out of the 41 species recorded for the day. The 2 species heard and not seen were Striated Pardalote and White-throated Gerygone. Some members had good views of Osprey, Brahminy Kite and Whistling Kite. Seeing that there were not many birds about we found some flowers instead.

Straw Flower. Golden Everlasting
(Bracteantha bracteata)

Hyacinth Orchid
(Dipodium punctatum)
As the tide was coming in we took the group up to where we count the waders to show them what birds were there and found 28 Pied Oystercatchers as well as the usual Silver Gulls. It was then decided that we would go over to where the Wildflower Walk is and have a look around to see what was in flower among them the uncommon Christmas Candle.

Pathway leading through the Wildflower Walk.

Christmas Candle
(Burmannia disticha)
Luckily for this uncommon Christmas Candle there was a tree not to far away to save it from the mower.

Mangroves alongside the Wildflower Walk.

Rainbow Lorikeets were feeding on the seed pods of the She Oaks.

This photo reflects the peaceful atmosphere of the Bay.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Flying Fox

One of the largest counts we have had so far, 15,500 approximately! Around 3,500 of these at least were Little Red Flying Foxes, a nectivorous species. As usual these numbers are only an estimate as many more were probably hidden in the deeper gully sections of this site. Note the distinctive close clumped roosting habit of the Little Reds, much like a bunch of grapes.
Regulars at this site are Grey-headed Flying Fox and Black Flying Fox, while Little Reds come and go. This appeared to be a good breeding season, as large numbers of young of all species were present.
As this was a daytime count it was decided to hold a fly-out count in the near future to give us a better idea of overall numbers.
Photos from our latest Flying Fox Count. Most shown are of Little Red Flying Fox.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Memorable Moments 2008

2008 in review after being tagged by Mick over at Sandy Straits and Beyond. I would like to know where 2008 went with so much happening. I just might start taking notes now for 2009.
Well here goes my Ten most Memorable Nature Moments for 2008 -
1 Getting away Camping for a weekend, no Phone, no TV. Just the sounds of the bush, namely Noisy Pitta and Paradise Riflebird calling right behind our tent. Not to mention the Dawn Chorus.
2 We were asked if we could take a couple of people from overseas out into a Rainforest birdwatching, only to have it rain most of the time we were there.
3 Frog surveying looking for Giant Barred Frogs. Though unfortunately not finding any we did find Greater Barred Frogs. Due to dry conditions on this night not many other frogs were active.
4 Our family decided to take us on a trip along the beach in their 4WDs. Starting at the Noosa North Shore we drove up to Double Island Point where we saw lots of Terns roosting on the beach and many more flocks feeding out to sea.
5 We often travel to the Sunshine Coast and if time permits walk up to a sand spit to watch the Tern flocks on a sandbank. On a number of occasions we were lucky enough to see White-winged Black Terns among the usual Little, Common, Crested and other Tern species. Normally we don't see this species where we do our Wader Counts.
6 Just being able to sit and have a cup of tea and watch the birds coming and going in our yard, whether it be in the bird bath or on the lawn and gardens as is the case with the antics of the Grey-crowned Babblers. They always seem happy and get along with one another.
7 Taking family and friends into the National Park, to see Ground Parrots and hear them calling at dusk.
8 Kayaking in and around the mangroves looking at all the waders and sting rays, along with being tipped out of the two man kayak when the other person who shall remain anonymous was trying to hop in.
9 Looking through a microscope at Isopods and Polychaets in sand samples our daughter was identifying as part of her Uni work. She told me they were cute and I agreed, not sure about some of the worms though. I told her I might have to think twice about walking on the sand now that I know some of the things that live there.
10 Having our son ring up one night and say "guess what is outside, a 3m carpet snake right outside my window". He then went to take photos, first with a close up lens, then seeing how big it was decided no way am I getting that close and chose a longer lens as a better option.
Well that is my year done now for two more to have a go I would like to tag Tricia's Tales if you have not been tagged yet and also Tarzan's World.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Plan A and Plan B

Plan A - To take a short run out of town for some photos of birds that are normally always in this location in plentiful numbers, only to find just one off in the distance. The other 200 or so must have decided to go up north or out west where they have been having flood rains.
At least the Plumed Whistling-Duck were still there. Very hard to get close though, as the slightest movement and they would fly away. They don't seem to mind the cows moving around.

Plumed Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna eytoni

It always pays to have Plan B - Off to the local park to see if our elusive bird was there. Just as we arrived we heard a Darter calling, so we went looking and found him near one of the islands not far away. In the trees on the island were Cattle Egrets, (nesting), Australian White Ibis, (nesting), Little Pied Cormorant, (nesting), and Little Black Cormorant. (No elusive bird).

Darter Anhinga melanogaster

As we walked around the waters edge we saw the usual bird life such as Black Swan with young, Pacific Black Duck, Dusky Moorhen, Royal Spoonbill and something a little unusual at this location, two Black-fronted Dotterel feeding on the mud uncovered by the Australian White Ibis among the water lilies. To far off for a clear photo though.

Black Swan Cygnus atratus

Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa

Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa

Monday, 5 January 2009

Striped Marsh Frog Calling

This is a video of the Striped Marsh Frog calling in our pond not long after we released it. As you can see they like to lay their egg mass under or near overhanging vegetation. They call from in the water, note the ripples on its' surface each time the frog calls.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Striped Marsh Frog

We found this Striped Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes peronii), this morning in one of our ponds. This frog can reach up to 65mm long. When this species calls you would think you were at a tennis match. The first photo was taken in the pond and the second one taken in an ice cream container so I could get closer instead of falling in the pond! Then we released it back into the pond.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Frog, Eggs & Slug

It is amazing what a little rain can do for our outside bath tub which has been turned into a fish pond. Our local frog population now claim it as another frog pond and have taken to breeding in there.

The egg mass is most likely of the Striped Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes peronii).

We also have Tusked Frog (Adelotus brevis), Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea), and Dwarf Tree Frog (Litoria Fallax), to name a few we have seen or heard in our ponds.
Not too good when one of the ponds is near the bedrooms, some nights the sound is deafening.

Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea)

I came across this slug Triboniophorus graeffei while I was cleaning around one of the ponds.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Safe 2009.