I’ve had numerous reports of Tawny Frogmouths over recent weeks. Sadly these observations have included a couple of roadside fatalities. It was pleasing then to receive a call on Saturday from a fellow photographic tragic, Dean of Pound Lane, reporting a family trio – an adult with two fluffy juveniles not long out of the nest. These wonderful birds are common throughout the Newstead township and surrounding bushland – it’s always a delight to encounter them.
Tawny Frogmouth family, Pound Lane, 28th November 2015.
One of the youngsters later that day.
Classic frogmouth pose.
Many thanks to Dean and Caroline for letting me know about their presence – just one of a myriad of species in their vibrant bushland garden.
This pair of Black-fronted Dotterels Elseyornis melanops have become well-known locally for their courageous nesting activities. Now onto a second clutch, after a failed first breeding effort earlier in the spring, we’ll keep our collective fingers crossed for success this time around.
Black-fronted Dotterel with two eggs, Newstead, 28th November 2015.
These nestling Willie Wagtails were photographed a week ago, as tiny recent hatchlings. I dropped by for a couple of minutes late yesterday to check their progress. They’ve already got well-developed pin feathers and will be ready to fly in another week at this rate.
Willie Wagtail nestlings, Annand’s Lane Joyce’s Creek, 27th November 2015.
My visit was short and sweet – nonetheless the parents were not happy.
One of the devoted parents.
Weather-wise its been a pretty ordinary week – gusty, hot northerlies flipped to bitterly cold southerlies yesterday. In the lull I managed a brief excursion along our street, where these rosellas provided the highlight. Hopefully the weekend will be more productive!
Crimson Rosella, Old Newstead Courthouse, 23rd November 2015.
Crimson x Eastern Rosella hybrid, Wyndham Street Newstead, 2015.
The red tips to the mantle feathers suggest a hybrid.
While I’ve not actually discovered the nest I’m almost certain these Black Kites have bred successfully this season near Picnic Point. A small group of adults and at least two juveniles have been seen there over the past few weeks. The site is a nice remnant with a mix of Yellow and Grey Box – large mature trees with a wonderful woodland ‘feel’. It appears this species is now well and truly ensconced as a resident, breeding raptor.
Black Kite, Moolort Plains, 22nd November 2015.
Box eucalypt remnant near Picnic Point.
Juvenile Black Kite.
Black Kite … out on a limb!
Note the yellow cere on this adult Black Kite.
A graceful and engaging raptor.
I’ve been seeing a few young raptors over recent days, recently fledged birds from this breeding season. Many of these youngsters will remain with the parents over summer as they learn to hunt. This young Black-shouldered Kite was spotted ‘all on its lonesome’, near where Joyce’s Creek enters Cairn Curran. I first noticed it making some tentative hovering flights before it perched. I was then able to approach the bird to within a few metres as it alternated between looking curiously at me and searching for prey on the ground nearby. Young raptors are especially susceptible during the first few weeks after leaving the nest as their either acquire some survival skills or perish.
Black-shouldered Kite (immature), Cairn Curran near Joyce’s Creek, 22nd November 2015.
This adult Black-shouldered Kite provided a few moments of delight while I was poking around along Joyce’s Creek at the weekend. It was obviously attached to its perch in a dead River Red-gum, making a number of graceful circuits before alighting gracefully on each occasion. Watch out over the summer for numbers of immature birds of this species, with their rusty-brown upper parts – stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.
Black-shouldered Kite, Strathlea, 22nd November 2015.