Notes to readers of this Blog


NOTES TO READERS OF THIS BLOG

Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.
Cheers,
Richard

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Frilled-neck Lizards

I have had two recent encounters, my first for a few years. Maybe I am not in the area at the right time to see more. These are in between what I would call the Top End and Central Australia, so the Victoria River Region and around Katherine/Mataranka.

The first was standing on the main highway, warming itself. I saw where it ran to off the road as I approached and somehow managed to find it in amongst the rocks and leaf litter as its camouflage was excellent. I doubt I could have found it without seeing it run to around that spot.

The second was just on the very edge of the road, and I saw it run towards a tree. I wasn't going too fast so it was fairly easy to stop and keep an eye on the right tree. Again, without having seen where it went I would never have located it where it had moved to. Their hiding ability is excellent. Anyway, the tree was quite close to the road. This time I stayed inside the car. It jumped off and ran to another tree a bit further away, after peering at me from a few positions on the other side of the original tree. Watching them run always makes me laugh. Then the jump off this tree to another one. In all I was watching it for about 10 minutes. Fascinating creatures. Hope you enjoy the photos:

Frilled-neck Lizard











Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Major Mitchell or Pink Cockatoos in the Backyard

I have had a few regular visitors this week to the back yard. Major Mitchell or Pink Cockatoos. They are quite gregarious and have seemingly become used to me sitting out on the back verandah while they are there. this has presented me with a few really enjoyable photo sessions. Hope you enjoy.

Major Mitchell Cockatoo

















Monday, 2 July 2018

Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens around Kalkarindji and Daguragu

I have been sitting near the edges of the Victoria River around Kalkarindji and Daguragu, two remote communities about 450 kms south west of Katherine in the Northern Territory. It is quite a famous area due to Vincent Lingiari's-led walkoff in 1967 from Wave Hill Station to fight for equal work equal pay.

The Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens around at the moment are not really in their breeding colours. For a little while these birds were a bit of a bogey bird for me, I had trouble finding them, until I managed to listen to the calls on my Pizzey and Knight app on my iPad before I went looking for them at the Victoria River Roadhouse, and from that moment I seem to find them quite easily. In a place like Kalkarindji and/or Daguragu, it is easy to sit quietly without anyone walking past for quite a few hours, and the birds get used to you being there and end up just going about their business.

The female in the first photo or two is one who I have a special attachment to, as she warned me about a nearby snake. It wasn't until I walked near the snake that I realised what she had been doing. I did think it was odd she had been sending out the alarm calls when she was not far from me, and as far as I could tell, no-one else had walked nearby, nor were there any birds of prey, or any threats I could see. But she knew better, and that was just after she had popped up out of the shadows to present me with this delightful photo:


As I said, this was before the snake encounter. She and her group of young males continually hopped around, coming within 3-4 metres.

Move to a different place and day, and again I managed to sit quietly and this time the birds came even closer. They were after maggots, and despite some initial concerns, soon let me sit there, take photos (and almost gag on the stench) while they got their food. Some birds have a great sense of smell, I have a feeling these birds can cover their nostrils because that smell was terrible, but they didn't seem to mind. Again, a female and a number of young or non-purple-coloured, males:






So, just to be clear, the females have the maroon colouring around their eyes, and the males have the black colouring around their eyes. The males also get the beautiful purple crown when they are in breeding season.  You can just see the beginnings of the purple in the third photo of the last group of 5, so he is starting and hopefully when I return in a month or so, the birds are still here, and I can show you the stunning males in all their glory.

enjoy.