Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 396 - Pheasant Coucal

The Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus) is a ground living cuckoo that is found around much of the eastern (from NSW) and northern coastal areas of Australia. It does not occur in my normal birding territory, and I saw this one in the Cooinda camp ground in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.

In fact I was eating my breakfast as it walked past! I cried "Pheasant Coucal" and set off in pursuit.  My family are tolerant of such things!

For a camp site bird it did seem rather nervous - maybe it was my excited cry.  You can see in most of the pictures that it is looking skywards as if in anticipation of danger.

Interestingly this is the only Australian cuckoo that makes its own nest into which it lays 3-5 'dirty white, chalky, stained brownish, scratched' eggs.  I get the feeling that the author of that description is somewhat disapproving!

The bird is about 50 - 70 cm long.  The dark head on this bird shows that it is in breeding plumage.











These pictures really do look better when you click on them to make them bigger.

As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking on the link below - and also as ever, please feel free to share WBW with other bloggers.   SM

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 395 - Little Egret

The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) is a small - about 60 cm - egret which is found over much of Australia, except the dry interior and west.

It is described in 'the' guide book as being very active, and this bird had clearly read the book!  It was dashing about all over a shallow part of Lake Victoria at Point Lonsdale, which is a couple of hours from my house.  It's frenetic pace, and the afternoon heat haze were a bit of a challenge.  I think it was feeding on some form of shrimp or other invertebrate as I was never really able to see what it was catching, even when I shifted from photo to watching mode.

I like the way you can see the two ribbon-like head plumes, which help in identifying this species.








As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking on the link below - and also as ever, please feel free to share WBW with other bloggers.   SM


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 394 - Red-Backed Fairy-Wren

The Red-Backed Fairy-Wren (Malurus melanocephalus) is Australia's smallest Fairy-Wren.  I found this male lurking in the shadows of some vegetation outside of the Mamukala hide in Kakadu National Park last year.

He really did not want to be photographed!








This was a wonderful little bird - I just wish he had been a bit more cooperative!

I am very behind with comments and visits - I will endeavour to catch up!

As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking on the link below - and also as ever, please feel free to share WBW with other bloggers.   SM

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Monday, 3 February 2020

Gone to the Dogs!

I really cant explain how much fun I had when we went dog-sledging!  It was just really great.

The trip was only a couple of hours, and much of it was in darkness - it was 2.30 pm after all - and I was just sitting on the sledge for much of the ride.  But it was a real blast!

Taking pictures of fast moving objects in the dark is a bit of a challenge - but what the heck!

If you get to Tromso, I would recommend that you go dog-sledging!










You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  Cheers  SM

Friday, 31 January 2020

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 393 - Hooded Crow

I was keen to catch up with few 'northern' species when I was in Europe - but if the truth be told I spent most of my time in urban areas, and birding was not a key aspect of out trip.

When we were in Oslo we visited the National Opera House which fronts onto the river.  At at the edge of the river a small group of Hooded Crows (Corvus cornix) feeding on what I think is the remains of a cod.  This crow species was considered a subspecies of the Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) when I was a kid - but it has gained full species status since then.  I only ever saw these birds when I was in Scotland and when I lived on an island in Ireland.  It was nice to catch up with them again!







As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking on the link below - and also as ever, please feel free to share WBW with other bloggers.   SM



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter