There’s a certain rhythm to this time of year – the short run up to Xmas is nestling feeding time for a few of our colourful migrants. Rainbow Bee-eaters and Sacred Kingfishers are busy ferrying a selection of tasty morsels to their young. I’ doubt that I’ll ever tire of watching these birds!
Sacred Kingfisher with skink, Loddon River @ Newstead, 17th December 2017
Arriving at the nest
The male arrives at the nest
The male departing
A distant shot of the pair … with yabbies
Have just spent a pleasant morning watching Rainbow Bee-eaters in the Sandon bush.
This female alighted briefly above the nest site, performed a couple of stretches and then was gone in a flash – into the tunnel to resume incubating.
Rainbow Bee-eater (female), Sandon State Forest, 16th December 2017
I checked on this Eastern Yellow Robin nest last evening – just a single egg being incubated … must be almost ready to hatch.
Eastern Yellow Robin on nest, Sandon State Forest, 14th December 2017
An unexpected surprise was coming across a few Rainbow Bee-eaters nesting nearby. I’ll be back to track their progress over coming days.
Rainbow Bee-eater nest site, Sandon State Forest
A close-up of the tunnel
A kaleidoscopic blur leaves the nest!
These two Nankeen Kestrels, last featured on the 28th November, are growing fast. They are now almost fully grown and look very much like the adults – the fine dark streaks on the crown and breast a feature of juvenile birds.
Nankeen Kestrels, Moolort Plains, 10th December 2017
Caught by a puff of breeze
This is sacred habitat.
Aulluvial-terraces Herb-rich Woodland in the Mia Mia, 9th December 2017
This is a sacred tree.
The nest site in a River Red-gum
This is a sacred hollow.
The hollow showing evidence of occupation
Meet the care takers.
Sacred Kingfisher about to enter the nest, 9th December 2017
The female above the nest site
Here’s the male
These Dusky Woodswallows were so intent on counting that they pretty much ignored as I sat nearby with the camera. Two pairs of the birds were feeding in the gully below Mia Mia Track, dropping to the ground from a variety of perches to catch ants and other insects.
Dusky woodswallow, South German Track, 8th December 2017
In their company were a host of Brown Treecreepers, including recently fledged juveniles, Sacred Kingfisher, Eastern Yellow Robin and Diamond Firetails. It’s a lovely spot for woodland birds.
Juvenile Brown Treecreeper
Male Red-rumped Parrot looking resplendent
The following images were the culmination of a serendipitous chain of events last evening.
It started with a call from Jenny and Barry, asking if I might identify an unusual nest in their garden (Red-browed Firetail). As I was leaving under a stormy sky a Square-tailed Kite drifted directly overhead … I duly followed it all the way to the river (in the car) where I sat waiting for it to pass close enough for a decent snap.
As I sat on the river bank I could hear the noisy begging calls from a Sacred Kingfisher nest below my feet. I’ve been watching this pair for weeks without finding the tunnel. Now they are busy feeding youngsters!
Sacred Kingfisher nest, Loddon River @ Newstead, 7th December 2017
The female returning with a fish
The male perched nearby
A distant shot of the pair