Monday, December 24, 2012


Yesterday morning, before the thunderheads protruding from battleship-grey clouds like an artist's abstract take on The Olgas, heaven's horizontal electrics and hours of much needed rainfall, whilst the day was still and baking and mobs of Plague Soldier Beetles dragged their lightbulb abdomens through humid air, a pair of Mistletoebirds alighted in a neighbour's tree, about thirteen feet above the ground (low, considering this species is mainly observed flitting through the forest canopy). I hear them at home most days. The male, positioned a foot below the female, was shaking his body, moving about and rapidly fanning his wings. I'd not seen this before. I'm guessing it was a breeding display. When the female departed, the male left in hot pursuit. LJ, Xmas Eve 2012. PS - Merry Xmas to my followers/readers; thanks for supporting my blog.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Hissing, body inflating, head-rearing, tongue-flicking... they were all part of an adult Blue-tongued Lizard's threat display yesterday. A spectacle that's always terrific to watch. You have to admire the Lizard's theatricality. I cornered the striped beastie and ushered it into a plastic garbage bin, so I could move it out of the way of my two dogs, one of whom was hyperactive and barking madly when in the reptile's presence. The first adult Blue-tongued Lizard I've had on my property. LJ, December 19 2012.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

144, 145

Last Saturday morning, a Darter and a Nankeen Kestrel crossed my path near Shangri La Rd bringing the old bird list up to 145 species. I'm surprised it's taken me so long to find both. The NK blew in on gusts from Penrose just before baking conditions set in. The Darter was drying its wings on the dam there. I've seen the odd NK between Bundanoon and Exeter, near the railway line, so the anticipation for this species has been high. Darters seem irregular in the Southern Highlands. LJ, December 6 2012.


Watching a male Wonga Pigeon's courtship ritual has been this week's avian highlight thus far (and will probably remain so, unless, say, a disoriented Oriental Honey-Buzzard turns up at Jordan's Crosing Reserve and takes after startled Noisy Miners!). The Wonga was in a neighbour's yard. I started mimicking its ongoing call. The bird responded by fanning/spreading its tail and lifting and fanning its wings. It then threw its head back over each of its shoulders repeatedly. A female turned up and the pair copulated. The female then jumped on the male's back, which surprised me. Mutual neck rubbing ended the three or four minutes of love. Something I've never witnessed before. LJ, December 6 2012.