Friday, December 01, 2006

Sunday 29th October

Roger took me on an early morning excursion in search of Little Bitterns to a place I forgot to note the name of!

Another Brown Honeyeater trying to look its best!

Australasian Grebes are common Little Grebe lookalikes.

A Buff-banded Rail found while looking for Little Bitterns.

A young and an adult White-breasted Woodswallow

Bitterns were not in evidence, but there was a good selection of freshwater-loving birds about, and we managed to find a line of fruiting fig-trees, which were buzzing with birds. For Roger the most significant birds were about 4 Yellow-eyed Cuckoo-shrikes, but the bird of the day, and one of my favourites of the whole trip for me was Channel-billed Cuckoo. C-b Cs are just ... ridiculous! The call has to be heard to be believed - a kind of maniacal screaming - and the bird as a whole has the look of a creature that is barely hanging on to sanity! It parasitises crows and currawongs, and consequently gets mobbed wherever its presence is discovered - a factor that may account for its permanently 'on-the-edge-of-reason' appearance!

Perched, Channel-billed Cuckoos are a bit reminiscent of hornbills

In flight, someone has written that they look like flying walking sticks!

Figbirds are the barbets of the Antipodes.

This scary-looking creature is the equally scarily-named Water Dragon, but as far as I know, it's harmless to humans.

A Willy Wagtail busily nest-building.

In the late afternoon we went to look at a wildlife reserve created by the Brisbane Port Authority. Unfortunately the hide that overlooked the wader roost was locked, and the grandiose visitors' centre, which held the key to the hide, closed at about 4pm, so we were limited to looking at the birds through an imposing 8 foot fence. Apart from the shorebirds, the place was notable for large numbers of hares hopping around the grassy areas, looking quite incongruous on the wrong side of the planet!

A mixed flock of ibises, egrets and about 40 Royal Spoonbills.

Some pelicans in the late afternoon light.

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