Wednesday, 1 February 2012

ANPS Christmas Festivities

Not all Christmasses are equal!  The ANPS version of same doesn't happen in December, nor usually January, due to people being involved in other activities.  This year the party was held on 1 February which wasn't too bad.

Before the social event we did a very short walk to Tinderry Nature Reserve off the Burra-Michelago Rd.  I found it a rather strange NR since there were several areas where trailer lots of household refuse had been dumped and trees had been felled.
As a fair bit of the wood was missing (and the tree was well clear of any track) I would assume someone had needed some firewood in the last couple of years.

Other timber work was historic where a survey mark  was cut into a blaze.

The first flowers seen were some Hyacinth orchids (Dipodium rosea).  These were the tallest ones I found, not the biggest clump with 17 'spikes'.
 Dillwynia phyllicoides (a bean) was everwhere.
I wrote down about 10 species of birds of which the most exciting were a bnch of at least 4 Leaden Flycatchers playing chasey (or posing for a photo).
The only insect of interest here was a very lurid caterpillar.
Roger Farrow has advised that "(It) is Trichiocercus sparshalli (Family Thaumetopoeidae) close to the Lymantridae or tussock moths.  It feeds on eucalypt foliage but often rests on bark."

On getting to the party venue there were many many interesting plants being grown in Roger and Christine's garden.  However I didn't take any photos of them being more interested in the birds around the place.  The most obvious were the 3 baby Brown Goshawks cavorting through the trees chasing one another and constantly calling.  I couldn't get a front-on photo of them but here is a back view.
The white spots are a puzzle as  none of my books mention that as a plumage feature.  To my mind the tail is rounded rather than square (and the birds were too big for Collared Sparrowhawk).

The Goshawks seemed to enjoy monstering the King Parrots which posed nicely while dining either ad hoc or ex manus!

The final thrill was a nest of a Yellow-faced Honeyeater with two chicks in it.  Both parents flew in to feed them.  I couldn't get a photo of the birds but here is the nest.
Roger has been a more determined photographer than myself and captured this excellent image of an adult honeyeater on the nest.


Mary Chamie said...

Martin, I likel the shot of the Goshawk with his back turned to you. The way he hunched his shoulders, one could just imagine him saying "Bug off!"

The "ex Manus" shot is terrific. Do you deliberately look away so the bird thinks that you are a disinterested observer? When bird watching, does it make a difference if you look directly at a bird or look away? Just curious.

Flabmeister said...


That is an interesting question. I think in this case Roger was so close he was trying not to be a threat and thus only looking out of the corner of his eye.

More generally, I have found that if I try to look away from a bird - eg to try to get closer for a better look - when I look up again they have gone, and I have no idea where! The baby goshawks at Tilembeya being a case in point. However there are occasions where a bird is obviously aware of the human and seems "twitchy" if stared at but calm if looked at indirectly. In those cases I generally look away and/or minimise the length of my scrutiny.


Denis Wilson said...

I like the idea of adjusting "Christmas" to suit the convenience of the people.
Makes sense to me.