Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Grey fantail nest building, Phillip Island birds

Grey fantail, Phillip Island
Such a song - often heard but I'd not watched one singing close up before. The bill really opened wide for the highest silvery notes at the end of each song phrase
"I think I might build something of greatness ..."
Foundations, 50cm from a previous nest (last year's?) about a metre off the ground
Poor view of the arrival of another load of some fibrous plant matter.
What's good on TV? Spider webs of course
Sticky stuff though!

This nest building requires some agility! There was much rapid fussing around the edges.

The next shots were taken one day later and the nest has taken greater shape. It gets tested for size ...




The all important interior design cannot be ignored
One week later ... Voila! What a fine creation. Pizzey describes the fantail nest as a "beautiful small grey cup, tailed like wineglass without a base".

This one's wineglass stem is a little off!
A peak inside reveals a single egg which is not shown well in this iphone shot
I wonder if I'll find a second egg soon.

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

Bird on!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The intriguing Musk Duck - Swan Lake, Phillip Island

Musk duck sit low in the water "platypus like". The presence of the leathery flap under the bill indicates that this is a male
As Pizzey says "A very strange duck". This one was swimming and diving quite close to our vantage point at Swan Lake's northern bird hide. The flow of "water off the duck's back" was quite impressive.





That tail flick again in case you missed it....!



This female bird was giving itself a belly rub (the back half of the bird is twisted belly-up)
Little black cormorant - love that eye colour!
Black swan
As usual there was good numbers of Eurasian coot

We surprised a Royal spoonbill who left the water to perch somewhat precariously on the ti-tree.
A very curious Brown thornbill was actually too close to the camera!

In the bird hide Welcome swallow chicks were excited by a camera flash until a "grown-up" came to settle things down 

Bird on!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Yellow-tailed black cockatoos, Clarendon Homestead, Tas


'Seemed to come across Yellow-tailed black cockatoos more frequently in Tasmania (most days) than I would expect to on the mainland (occasional). I love their calls and unusual flight.




This group of about 15 birds was photographed at an old homestead called Clarendon. They arrived while we were visiting and immediately started tearing into the pine cones of these trees. Every now and then a missile would drop with a thud (on top of a car in one instance)! They were quite heavy!





Some shots of the homestead and grounds ....





While gazing skywards ....
Tassie Wedge-tailed eagles are said to be the largest of the species.
Bird on!