Thursday, 15 July 2010

Frogmouth update

They reappeared in my GBS site on 30 March and I have been able to locate them on about 60% of days since then (20% of the time I have been away and 20% they have been elsewhere).  In the main they have shuffled between three roost trees at about 5 day intervals.  Interestingly, when using the tree that was their favourite last year, the male has usually roosted about 3m higher than the female, while in the other two trees ( a little further from the nest tree) they have snuggled together.  Last year my observations didn't begin until 8 August but they also snuggled while in the favourite tree and on Tuesday this week they were in the favourite tree, but together in the high roost favoured by the male.  I hesitate to suggest their thoughts are beginning to focus on the calendar but I will be keeping an eye on the nest for signs of refurbishment.

This morning they were roosting near our gate and as we approached (an event that usually causes one of the birds to briefly open an eye before returning to sleep) a Brown Goshawk passed by.  The male bird reacted instantly :I have never seen a frogmouth look so alert in daylight!  Both eyes wide open and the bird in a very upright position facing out from the tree with every feather expanded so that it seemed as big as possible - completely different from the camouflage posture.  From its flight path I do not think the Goshawk had frogmouth on its mind but had it done so I suspect it would have had a change of mind!

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