Friday, 20 November 2015

Various more or less natural history things

The weather today was more or less as promised: stinking hot and windy.

Before it achieved that status I was looking at our Callistemons (which I suspect are now known by taxonomists as Melaleuca - and I am not going to kvetch in this post so I will leave it at that) which are putting ona good show.  We have red ones ...
 .. which look amazing in close up.....
 .. and mauve ones.
 Both are popular with honeyeaters, but the only interested entity today was this Noisy Friarbird.
Despite the forecast I felt the onset of cabin fever so while Frances went to the gym I took myself birding.  My first stop was the look down into the Queanbeyan Sewage ponds.  (If I wasn't avoiding kvetches I would mention the astonishing thistles and grass growth around the ponds, on ACT Government land.)  Very few birds and they were mainly hiding against the banks, as were these Eurasian Coots.
 As I left my attention was grabbed by these two Red-rumped Parrots.  Judging by the amount of begging going on I assume the one on the left was a fledgling bumming a meal from Dad.
I then took myself to the Newline Paddocks to see what was occurring.  I recorded 21 species in a tad over 30 minutes so that wasn't too bad.  Annoyingly - I am allowed to kvetch about myself - I couldn't get an image of the Dusky Woodswallows mobbing a Laughing Kooaburra, which I rated as the most interesting sighting.  I am sure the Duskies had a nest nearby and they were worried about the diet of the big kingfisher.

Some Eucalyptus meliodora were in full bloom, but the heat and wind had persuaded any nectar feeders to adopt plan B.
 It is always nice to see a Dollarbird.
Back home the wind was dropping a bit so I was able to get a snap of a visiting Australian Painted Lady, again dining on the white Kiss-me-quick.
Somewhat later (about 2130 on 25 November)a huge Huntsman spider was on the fascia panels of our deck.  I estimate that the longest span of its legs is about 20cm!
 A close up fails to show its eye pattern but does indicate how hairy it is.

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