Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 525 - Straw-Necked Ibis.

The Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) is a common bird in my part of the world - often found in parks, on playing fields - ovals as we call them here - and hanging around places where they can find food scraps.  They thrive where humans waste food, and have gained the nickname 'Bin Chicken' in many parts of Australia!

In a more natural setting they will feed on invertebrates in grass lands, using their long beak to extract 'grubs' of all sorts from the soil.  In the past, because of this habit they were known as The Farmers Friend. Oh, how times have changed.





In these pictures you can see one of the birds eating a 'grub' of some sort, and you can also see the way the light picks up the metallic sheen of their feathers.  Bin Chickens?  I think not.

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Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 524

The Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus) is a close relation of last weeks Pied Oystercatcher, and its also I bird I have a lot of time for!

Often found on rocky coasts, this bird was on a sandy beach at Wilsons Promontory.  If the truth be told the beaches at the Prom are a reliable site for these birds, even if the book say they favour rocky areas! I may be being unfair to conventional wisdom here, as there are large areas of rocks at the ends of most beaches at the Prom.

I really like the reflections in these pictures.







You can see that this bird has been banded / ringed and given another plastic ID ring.  Science in action!

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Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 523 - Pied Oystercatchers

The Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris) is a wonderful, robust shorebird that I always enjoy watching.  This is the Australian species (no surprise there!) and they are rather similar to the black and white Oystercatchers found in New Zealand and Europe.  

Generally this species is found on sandy beaches, although these were feeding on a rocky platform that was exposed at low tide.

I spent an enjoyable 1/2 with some of these birds when I was at Wilsons Promontory last weekend, although these pictures are from the East Coast of Tasmania.





As you can see this bird is not living up to its name, and is feeding on muscles!

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Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 522 - Birds at The Prom

Last weekend I visited Wilsons Promontory National Park for a weekend of walking and general decompression.  It was good.

As I was having a cup of tea I was visited by Crimson Rosellas and Magpies.  Of course I had to take some pictures.  Just up the path a Masked Lapwing was being as stressed as they normally are.

These are their pictures.










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Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 521 - Little Corella

The Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea) is a small parrot that often occurs in large flocks in Melbourne during the winter.  They come down to feed on grassy areas like sports ovals and 'nature strips' (that's the grass by the side of the road!)  If they find street trees with seed pd still intact they will feed on these and make a heck of a mess on the road:  a mixture of shredded seed pods, leaves and small twigs will litter the ground under the trees.

They are also very playful, messing around with sticks, bits of litter (sadly) and each other.

These are some pictures from the last couple of years.








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Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 520 - Musk Duck

Well, Covid has left alone for a while - thankfully.  So, now it's a matter of trying to get back on track again.  "I may be some time", comes to mind.

Thanks to the power of archive images, this week's WBW is brought to you by the Musk Duck (Biziura lobata).  The Musk Duck is a bit of a strange bird - with a stiff tail that is often carried on the surface of the water behind the bird, and in the males (these are not males!) a large leathery lobe that hangs below the beak.  They have a spectacular, splashy courtship display which I have seen at a distance but not yet photographed.  These birds were photographed at Werribee.

This is another species that seems to be rather shy, and these pictures are the best I have managed is far. (Roll on retirement!)





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