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Showing posts from November, 2013

Window 1 Fan-tailed cuckoo ? Dog 0

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The question mark in the above scorecard is to show that the final score by the Cuckoo is not yet known, but is not 0.

This morning I was aware that a pair of Fan-tailed Cuckoos (Cacomantis flabelliformis - see below) were doing a call and response routine in the grdean so took myself off to see if I could score a photo or two - possibly an X-rated action shot.  The first bird located was a male, perched in the base of a crab-apple tree.
Then a female joined it and perched in a Pistachio tree.
After a short while the female took flight and for reasons known (briefly) to itself decided to short cut through my study.  Which does have a window, but not with a straight-through view.  In the words of Comics: thud!!!  and also splat!!!!
The bird soon got its head up - and seemed to be looking for some analgesics.  The small dog  - in my study - was very interested in this appearance on the deck.
She stayed indoors.  I doubt if she would play well with others (unlike this Jack Russell).

I th…

Reptiles with legs!

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The weather has decided to warm up eventually.  Normally this means that after a few days people start grizzling about "When is it going to cool down?".  I will avoid the rush and complain today!

Among those not complaining about the warmth are the local lizards.  The first seen was a Nobbi dragon (Amphibolrus nobbi) which was investigating a window sill for insects.
 I am impressed by the length of the tail relative to the body!
I still had my camera when I went in to Frances' potting shed where an Eastern Three-lined Skink was skulking.
This one has obviously had a close call, going bythe abrupt end to its tail!

ANPS visits Piccadilly Circus

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On 26 November I was in the vicinity of Urriara with an English friend noted the words "Piccadilly Circus" on a road sign.  Being quite familiar with Central London he expressed surprise that it was only about 20km from the lower Brindabellas.  I explained that it was a different major intersection.

This image appears to suggest that there was another similarity between the two locations.
There was no evidence of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, but a spectral form of the statue of Eros seems to have been captured.  As will be evident below this appears to have affected at least some of the local beetles.

We started off walking under a power line with few trees (until they re-grow after pruning) but quite a good array of shrubs,
Off to the side the forest was well endowed with Eucalypts (mainly E pauciflora and a few E delegatensis) and a very thick understorey of Daviesia mimosoides - aka fireweed.

Theer were a number of 'daisies' seen through the day with the fir…

Breeding of White-browed Woodswallows in the Canberra area

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The current sightings of breeding White-browed Woodswallows (WBWS - Artamus superciliosus

stimulated Steve Wallace to summarise the official records for Woodswallows in the ACT and circulate his summary to the COG Chatline.   I was interested to compare the 20% of records for WBWS having a breeding element with the 2% of COG Garden Bird Survey (GBS) records (for all species) showing breeding.   (As a general point for about 65% of the year there will be few if any breeding records whereas the WBWS tend to be recorded only in the breeding season.  However, the % of breeding records for WBWS still looked impressive.)
I was taken with Jack Holland's suggestion that when the WBWS hang around a bit they tend to exhibit breeding behaviour  Steve provided me with an extract from a dataset he maintains which includes both General Records and GBS data.  (For the purposes of this analysis the differences in methodology are felt to be not significant.)

As this gets a bit long and involved I c…

A few native flowers in Carwoola

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Although most of the native flowers on our block have finished flowering a few are just starting up.  The first of those to be featured is Acacia falciformis.
We are particularly pleased to see this as we have two quite large specimens, from the Greening Australia tubestock, and they have not flowered before this year.
On our morning walk yesterday Frances spotted the first example - this year - of Twining Fringe-lily, Thysanotus patersonii. On the 23rd I went for a walk round the block looking for Arthropodium sp. (Chocolate lilies) following a story in the Canberra Times about them flowering in the City.  I didn't find any, but there were lots of other pretty things.
Pultenaea procumbens Wahlenbergia spp.  There were many of these of a range of sizes around the block.  I'll try to sort out the species shortly.


Craspedia sp.  In one area there was quite a meadow of these.

A clump of Xerochrysum viscosum.

My best photograph: of Dianella revoluta.