Monday, January 19, 2015
Last Wednesday morning, in flawless weather, I drove for about 1hr and 40 mins to Lake Wollumboula on the south coast, so as to tick the White-rumped Sandpiper that turned up in early January, a little further north. It was discovered by Nigel Jackett. A most amazing find. Big ups to him for unearthing the little bird, a wader hard to distinguish from other brown/grey little waders. The WRS should've been in North or South America, not on the east coast of Australia. This is only the 6th or 7th time one has been seen in this country. After a bit of time (when a westerly was battering the dunes and lake), the WRS was pointed out to me by another birder who'd visited from Dubbo (thanks, mate). I was stoked to see the WRS, even though it was drab, unassuming. The bird fed frantically among Red-necked Stints and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, probing all of its bill into the lake shore as if a dowitcher. Great and Red Knots, Lesser Sand Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwits and a Broad-billed Sandpiper were the other migratory waders present. I was glad to pick out a single Fairy Tern roosting with a mass of Little Terns (the latter are gorgeous things, almost angel-like). So, three ticks for me - the WRS, a Broad-billed Sandpiper and a Fairy Tern. It's been a while since I've ticked 3 new birds in one day. My Australian bird list now stands at 535 species. LJ, January 19, 2015.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
I didn't expect to see a Blue Mountains Tree Frog by the side of the road leading to Bonnie View the night before last. Truthfully, I didn't know what species of tree frog I had before me, when I picked it up and had it sitting in the palm of my right hand. The amphibian was quite content there and sat up more purposefully when I shone my torch on it. I'm pretty sure I've never seen a BMTF before. LJ, December 18 2014.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Opposite my home the other day, a Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, minding its own business while munching on pine cones, was swooped by a Red Wattlebird. The RW struck the YTBC hard - the YTBC screamed, panicked and fell from its perch. It then laboured away, not to be seen again. I've never seen an RW be so aggressive towards a bird larger than it. I'm not surprised by this - that particular RW lives next door and is fiercely territorial. You gotta admire its chutzpah and fortitude! LJ, December 5 2014.
Some weeks ago, along Old Argyle Road's more rugged section, I had the good fortune of watching (for 15 mins) a male Satin Bowerbird at his bower, hoping to attract a mate. The bird was moving the odd decorative leaf from here to there, buzzing and whistling all the while. I'm not sure how much thinking was involved with this decorating; his rearrangements seemed arbitrary. Females visited the area, but did not come close to him or the bower (poor bugger). The best view of an SB at his love-nest I've ever had. LJ, December 5 2014.