Thursday, 1 January 2015

An Owl and several Lizards

It being the first of January I needed a good bird to kick off my foray into Bird-a-day 2015.  The obvious candidate was the Powerful Owl which has been resident in Turner for several weeks.  It was present, easy to spot and rather active.

This first shot shows it bent around preening itself.
I took a snip from that image to show its head, with the beak going hard at whatever was between the feathers.
Another snip shows the talons.  As Geoffrey Dabb has noted they aren't really gripping the branch. They are very impressive however and  I really cannot imagine what it would be like to be grasped by them!
Having nailed the bird and had a very pleasant chat with Chris and Henry - local residents who had heard of it through a Canberra Times story - I took myself off to the ANBG where a Powerful Owl had been spotted a few days ago.  If I could find that it would probably guarantee there were 2 Owls in the area.

Unfortunately I couldn't locate a second bird.  Nor could Jill and her partner who had had a quick look in the Sydney Gully.  (They'd also read the story in the Canberra Times about the Turner bird.)

However there were a lot of lizards around.  This one at the head of the Gully was, I am reasonably sure, a Jacky lizard.
 In overall shape (and habitat) this much larger specimen seemed to be another Jacky Lizard
The yellow throat had me puzzled, as that isn't an attribute of Jacky Lizards
 Gettng back to just above the rock garden waterfall I spotted this small specimen.  The bulging eyes made me wonder what it was, but I  come to the conclusion is is just a very young and very small Water dragon.
Here is a big Gippsland Water Dragon, sunning itself at the waterfall, while its skin reorganises itself,  It was probably about 60cm long, including the tail (which seemed to be a bit blunt.
 There didn't seem to be a lot in flower: this Angophera cstata was an exception.

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