Sunday, 2 February 2014

Why Blue-tongued Lizard?

In my bid to keep adding a new bird every day I took myself off to the road overlooking Foxlow Lagoon this morning.  Just before I got to the best viewpoint I noticed a Blotched Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua nigrolutea) in the road.
 So I stopped and gave it a gentle shove with my foot to shift it to a safer location.
 It didn't seem to like this very much and I was thankful that I had not put my hands near it.  Here we have a tongue - rather blue, I am sure you'll agree - beginning to emerge.
Now this is what one would call a blue tongue!
By now it was seriously cheesed with me so I left.  (Ross Bennett - author of Reptiles and Frogs of the Australian Capital Territory - comments that the species has "an impressive bluff display".)  While the animal was indeed black and yellow as implied by 'nigrolutea' I thought the pink blotches were the distinctive component.  Perhaps the blotches are other colours in other areas?

After this excitement I got to look down into the lagoon.  To  my surprise the area of water is not too bad.  I suspect however, from the way it was possible to see under some of the standing ducks, that much of the area is pretty shallow.  Hopefully some more rain will fall before it dries out.
The range is about 500m, which is the limit - or possibly beyond the limit - of my telescope and eyesight but I could make out most of the species.  Highlights were 2 White-necked Herons, 6 White-faced Herons, and 6 Black-winged Stilts.  There were a few Chestnut Teal (Bird of the Day) mixed in with the 200+ Grey teal and (my guess of ) 500 Eurasian Coots.

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