Monday, 23 February 2009

Terns & Waders

Early start to the day (5am) as we had a morning Wader Count followed by an afternoon Tern Count. Heading into Tin Can we had good views of 5 Bush Stone-curlews on the golf course. Among species recorded at our first site were 33 Pied Oystercatchers along with 87 Bar-tailed Godwits, some in breeding colour. At the last and most productive site we counted13 species , among these 300 Lesser sand Plover, some showing good colour, 96 Eastern Curlew again in beautiful colour, and 853 Bar-tailed Godwits. A number of the Curlews and Godwits were actively feeding as well. An overall count from all sites gave us a total of 1648 birds.

Inskip Point
As we had to fill in time we decided to go out to Inskip Point where we were to count the Terns

Waiting for the tide to come in and Mick from Sandy Straits and Beyond to arrive.

Soldier Crabs Mictyris longicarpus

Sighting of the day! A Kelp Gull with the much more common Silver Gull
The Kelp is a rare visitor for us here, although we have seen them in Tasmania

Some of the mixed flock of Red-necked Stints, Red-capped Plovers & Lesser sand Plovers
coming in to roost on Inskip.

If you can imagine these 3 photos side by side it would show most of the flock.

We estimated 1500 altogether with more arriving as we were waiting for the Terns to come in.

Total for the day 5958 birds not including the bush birds we saw while filling in waiting for time and tide. Overall a long day but very enjoyable.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Lemon Migrant & Ants

We have been able to watch these Lemon Migrant Butterfly caterpillars all the way from egg to almost chrysalis stage. Not long after these photos were taken they were nowhere to be found. These caterpillars were feeding on a Brewster's Cassia which we have in a pot until we find room in our yard.

Lemon Migrant (Catopsilia pomona pomona)

I think there must be a lot of rain coming soon for the ants have been building for quite a while now. Last night they had all their work flattened from a storm in which we had 51mm of rain. This morning they were hard at work rebuilding as these photos show.

Ant Nests

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Blue-tongue Lizard

The other day our little dog Ben was barking down the back yard. I thought he had seen a snake but upon closer inspection he had found this young Blue-tongue. Every time it would stick out its' tongue he would bark at it. Every time I tried to take a photo hoping to get the tongue sticking out it would stay still, and when I moved to get closer it would stick it out at me. I think they say not to work with children or animals.

Common or Eastern Blue-tongue ( Tiliqua scincoides scincoides)

The Common or Eastern Blue-tongue is one of the world's largest Skinks at 45 - 55cm

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Noisy Friarbird

This Noisy Friarbird came into our Grevillea Robyn Gordon this morning. This particular Grevillea always has flowers at different stages, so the Honeyeaters always have some flowers to choose from all year round.

Grevillea Robyn Gordon.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

White-headed Pigeon.

We were fortunate enough to see this White-headed Pigeon in our yard. It normally inhabits Rainforest and heavy Scrublands. Its numbers have been kept steady owing to the introduced Camphor Laurel, now a major pest tree of our region. This bird is normally white but owing to the wet day looks a little bit worse for wear.

White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

We headed down the coast and came across this flock of Terns resting. This is only a small part of the flock.

While we were down the coast we went to see our daughter. Across the road from her is a School and in the School Grounds were these Eastern Grey Kangaroos. She told me they are there everyday. The Kangaroo in the front has a joey in her pouch.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Striated Heron and Other Life.

Wader Count time again at Tin Can Bay. One of the first birds we saw was this Striated Heron with a Soldier Crab in it beak, along with Silver Gulls. Then came the Pied Oystercatchers and Bar-tailed Godwits. (Click photos to enlarge)

Striated Heron (Butorides striatus)

Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)

Found this Cicada in the mangroves as we walked back from our last count site.

As we have not been back to this site since the King Tide when we kayaked there, the effect on the Cooloola Cypres was very noticeable.

We always see these washed up on the beach every time we walk up to the count site, if anybody
knows what they are please let me know.

Large-leafed Orange Mangrove (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza)
Some of the Mangroves were in flower like this one.

Mangrove and its root system

Knee roots of the Large-leafed Orange Mangrove