Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Brooding on the Plain

Not feeling like going for a run today I took the MTB for a spin down to the Hoskinstown Plain.

I have been told of an old map which has a fair proportion of the Plain depicted with the mapping symbol for a marsh.  That must have been drawn in a year like this:

 Those two images were taken 5 days after it stopped raining.  I suspect the water table is just about saturated.

My main aim in going (other than to control Porcus subsingulum - the pig under my belt) was to check out a paddock in which we had noticed a lot of breeding activity.  Having let the nice property owners know I was about to invade their top paddock I treadled uphill.  The first thing I heard was a Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo: that was the first for this area this Spring.

Then I looked up and there was a Raven's nest in a eucalypt.  One of the residents was present but I couldn't tell from looking if it was an Australian Raven or a Little Raven.  As all calls heard at the site were clearly from the former that was my choice.  The arrow points to one bird: I think the other was well hunkered down in the nest.
In then spotted 2 Magpies hanging around a clump of mistletoe, in the middle of which was their nest.
 A bit further up the paddock was another Magpie firmly ensconced on its nest.
Surprisingly, I didn't get swooped.

This Crimson Rosella was definitely checking out the real estate.
I found the White-faced Heron's nest from last year but it was empty.  However a Heron flew a lap of the paddock as I was leaving, and the property owner told me one had been seen near the house so perhaps they are just taking their time this year.

Also present but not overtly entering hollows were Tree Martins, Striated Pardalotes and (boo hiss) Common Starlings.

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