Tuesday, 16 February 2016

An Eclectic collection of bird snaps

These are essentially photos of birds I have taken over the last couple of days.

I wanted to get a photo of a Kookaburra eating something (for a talk I am giving next month) and saw one swoop to our lawn and return to a branch.
Drat!  It had already swallowed its prey by the time I had the camera organised.

On 15 February I visited Kelly's Swamp as all my dips were still there.according to usually reliable sources. Unfortunately they were still dips for me.  However a couple of Freckled Diucks posed nicely ..
 .. including offering a comparison with a Grey Teal.
On the subject of comparisons I really think it unlikely that anyone would have trouble telling the difference between a White-faced Heron and a Great Cormorant.  However I was struck by their relative size:  I am always surprised how small the Heron is, when seen with other birds.
Some other photographers were trying to get a photo of an Australasian Grebe in some ephemeral behaviour.  I was happy to just get a snap showing the breeding plumage, when many of them have adopted their much drabber eclipse attire.
On the evening of the 16th an odd squeaky call was emanating from some shrubbery outside our sunroom.  It turned out to be this bird, which I think is a juvenile Brush Cuckoo.  It appeared to be getting some attention from a female Rufous Whistler, which is not a known host of these cuckoos: perhaps the Whistler was merely curious about the call?
Getting back to Kelly's Swamp - second visit in 2 days, still with dips -  I noticed this raptor in a tree in front of Ardea Hide.  Oh dear, oh dear.  Is it Brown Goshawk or Collared Sparrowhawk?  The prominent toe argues for Sparrowhawk but I thought the rounded tail and relatively large size argued for Goshawk.  I am no good at telling stares (Sparrowhawk) from glares (Goshawk).  I have received one comment so far voting for Sparrowhawk (toe length).
The flight pattern on a hunt was pretty direct and it was after a Latham's Snipe - perhaps at the upper end of size range for Sparrowhawk prey - but I tentatively concluded it was a Goshawk.  If I get enough polite comments (as was the first I received) suggesting I'm wrong I will display flexibility!

1 comment:

sue catmint said...

what a great selection of birds you've captured, Martin.