Monday, 16 October 2017

Recent Natural(ish) history stuff

I will begin with some strange posturing by the male Tawny Frogmouth.  Yesterday it went into a very strange position:
 After a while it returned to normal.
A researcher who is studying the many pairs in the parks near central Canberra has advised that this is normal behaviour, letting the sunlight get into the feathers.  The next day 16 October it was doing some feather maintenance.  I think if you click on the image to expand it you can work out which bit of the bird is what.
 This pin oak was being very late in dropping its leaves and was looking at bonsai time (without the spiffy pot).
 Then Frances noticed the green shoots all over the upper parts.  I think we'll call it Quercus palustris lazarusii!
After than good news I went out to tidy up a log heap.  Apart from anything else it was in a sump where water runs (if we ever get any rain).  In doing this I was very aware of a comment that reptiles like to hide in wood heaps - especially reptiles that are low in leg count.

I spotted a few tiny, and fast moving, skinks but no other reptiles.  However there were quite a few small frogs lurking in the lower levels.  I think they were all the same species and will take a guess at Neobatrachus sudelli (Southern Burrowing Frog).
 The only insect of interest was a rapidly departing Cockroach.
 Here is the improved woodheap.  Possibly a month's worth of Winter warmth.
Later in the morning I was prowling in the garden looking for, but not finding, butterflies.  Then my attention was drawn to some bees visiting the Ajuga sp in the lawn.  I am pretty sure this is Amegilla cingulata the Blue-banded Bee.

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