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!
It hasn’t exactly been a bumper year for migratory waders at Cairn Curran. This Red-necked Stint is the only bird I’ve seen so far this season – happy in the company of a flock of Red-capped Plovers. Conditions are excellent for waders at present and will improve in coming months as the water recedes to reveal expanses of mudflats. It will be fascinating to see what turns up.
Red-necked Stint amongst Red-capped Plovers, Cairn Curran, 12th December 2017
Red-necked Stint (background) with Red-capped Plover
Female (at left) and male Red-capped Plovers
Male Red-capped Plover
I am in awe of how the Sacred Kingfisher can switch from the air to the ground with such skill during the breeding season. Watching this pair bring skinks to the nest site in a vertical erosion bank is fascinating, as the birds perch momentarily to deposit the meal and then in a flash they are gone.
I’ve lost count of the number of pairs that I’ve found nesting this season, both in the bush and along our waterways – it promises to be a bumper crop.
Sacred Kingfisher, Loddon River @ Newstead, 10th December 2017
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