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Current happenings - What's About?....
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ON THESE PAGES HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY BILL JOLLY  UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED

December, 2008

Collared Sparrowhawk
Collared Sparrowhawk
- a regular around the garden. 
Sacred Kingfisher          Sacred Kingfisher

Sacred Kingfisher

Sacred Kingfisher

This Sacred Kingfisher was in the process of disgorging an enormous pellet. 
Unfortunately, it turned its back on me just as the pellet emerged! 

 

Black Falcon     Black Falcon     Black Falcon
Black Falcon 
- from the verandah

 

 

Torresian Crow - immature          Torresian Crow
Torresian Crows 

Our local crows have managed to raise some young of their own young this year.

As often as not they succeed only in producing a Channel-billed Cuckoo, but now we have two adult
Torresian Crows and two youngsters visiting the bird baths together every day.
I guess it's in the cuckoos' interest that they at least allow the crows to perpetuate themselves!

 

Little Corella
Little Corellas 

This feeder is usually the province of pigeon and dove species or Galahs
but Little Corellas have just found it for the first time.

 

Eastern Whipbird
Eastern Whipbird
seen through the splashing of another in the birdbath below him.

 



22 November, 2008 - A Mix of Egrets

 

Three Egret species
Little Egret, Cattle Egret, and two Eastern Great Egrets - the one at the back in full breeding flush, 
with black bill, blue/green skin on the face, and bright reddish legs.

Heavy rain has caused a local stream to burst over the dam wall put in its way by the land-owner
and it has spilled down the bank and across the nearby road, taking lots of fish and other 
aquatic life with it - resulting in an influx of egrets and other waterside predators.

 

          Eastern Great Egret
Eastern Great Egret

 

Australian White Ibis and Little Egret          Australian White Ibis and Little Egret
Australian White Ibis and Little Egret

 



November, 2008 - Two breeding birds in the local escarpment forest

 

White-throated Gerygone                    White-throated Treecreeper
               


 .... and an assortment of birds from around the garden

 

Eastern Koel          Eastern Koel
Eastern Koels
Male and female in adjacent trees, and very much interested in each other.

 

Superb Fairy-wren
Superb Fairy-wren 

 

Australasian Figbird                       Ground Cuckoo-shrike
                        

 

Zebra Finch
Zebra Finch


11 November, 2008

 

  Plum-headed Finch          Plum-headed Finch
Plum-headed Finches

  Plum-headed Finches photographed through the window yesterday, 
 a Pallid Cuckoo from this-afternoon, and a Rainbow Bee-eater 
proving that they eat a lot more than bees. 

 

Pallid Cuckoo          Rainbow Bee-eater
         


9 November, 2008 -
Quite a weekend!  

 

  Koala at Abberton
Our first Abberton Koala!

 

When we moved onto Abberton, about 20 years ago, a few eucalypts along the old fence-line by the road were the only mature trees we had here. 
Later, we bought the old road reserve alongside that boundary and began to plant it up with local endemics so as to join the vegetation further 
along the creek with what we had here and what we were intending to plant here - the aim being to make a contiguous wildlife corridor.  

Well, it’s been working quite well. Our list of mammals has steadily grown over the years, along with our bird list, 
and this-afternoon in a eucalyptus right in the garden – our first Koala! 

We’ve seen them a few kilometres along the creek in one direction, and along the road in another, but never before in our garden.

 

  Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

We were visited yesterday morning by four or five Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. 

They spent some time in casuarinas on the creekbank, then moved up into the garden where they gnawed away 
at old seedcases and galls and even branches in a couple of Acacia maidenii, intermittently screeching out their 
raptor-like contact calls as they took over a couple of trees alongside a birdbath.  

In between these events, much of the other usual excitement was going on, a raucous Channel-billed Cuckoo fly-by, 
a gorgeous female Eastern Koel in a tree by the gate as I went out to get the Sunday paper, 
a Wedge-tailed Eagle passing low overhead carrying what looked very like a chook, 
Dollarbirds in pairs, Rainbow Bee-eaters likewise, and at breakfast time this-morning 
two Plum-headed Finches in an unkempt patch of garden just off the verandah.  

 



4 November, 2008

 

  Dollarbirds
Dollarbirds

Our resident pair of Dollarbirds seem to be winning the battle for a nest hole in the big dead tree just across the creek.  
They are Australia’s only Roller, and for a short while a few years back their ‘official common name’ was changed to 
Eastern Broad-billed Roller – but it didn’t find favour, and it’s been back to Dollarbird for some time now.

  Oh well, what’s in a name, they’re wonderful birds to have around the garden every day whatever we call them!  

 

Olive-backed Oriole
Olive-backed Oriole - outside my window



1 November, 2008 - Local wetlands

 

Glossy Ibis          Latham's Snipe
         

 

Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

 

Intermediate Egret          Australasian Darter
         

This Intermediate Egret shows one of the features key to separating this species from the similar, larger, Eastern Great Egret. 

Note that the facial skin and gape below the eye extends as far back as, but not beyond, the eye.
Compare this with the gape in the photographs of Eastern Great Egrets elsewhere on this page, 
which can be seen to extend in a triangular shape backwards beyond the eye. 

 



30 October, 2008

 

Satin Bowerbird
Satin Bowerbird

Photographed at Mt Glorious, the male Satin Bowerbird takes six or seven years to attain this beautiful glossy blue-black plumage.

 

Black-shouldered Kite          Black-shouldered Kite
Black-shouldered Kite

 

Plum-headed Finch
Plum-headed Finches

A party of fifty or so Plumheads have been regular in the local area for a few weeks.

 

Koala
Koala

We dropped in on friends the other day, and found koalas in the trees alongside the house.

 

Red-rumped Parrot                          Red-rumped Parrot
Red-rumped Parrot

 

Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Frogmouth

This is the same nest that I photographed a few weeks ago (lower down the page), but now the young have hatched.
One chick is obvious, another can be seen lying in the foreground in front of the parent bird, 
A friend tells me that a few days later she was at the same nest site and saw three chicks there!

 

 

Pied Currawong
Pied Currawong

 

 

White-bellied Sea-eagle         White-bellied Sea-eagle
White-bellied Sea-eagle

I know of two current nest sites of White-bellied Sea-eagles in the valley, but I don't doubt there are more.

Bell Miner
Bell Miner

A colonial bird with an enchanting call, but somewhat aggressive habits, not unlike its cousin the Noisy Miner.

 

 

Dollarbird         Dollarbird
Dollarbird

One of the later spring arrivals here, Dollarbirds are a joy to have around. They glide and swoop around the garden and over the creek,
flashing their beautiful blues and greens and aqua roundels in the wings. Every year they compete with parrots and Common (Indian) Mynas
for nest holes in a big dead tree just across the creek.

 

          
Brown Falcon
Brown Falcon

 

Eastern Spinebill                    Olive-backed Oriole

 

Spangled Drongo           Spangled Drongo
Spangled Drongo - conveniently distinctive, even from the rear.

 

 

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

 

Little Egret          Little Egret
Little Egret - both pics taken from the verandah.

 

 

Magpie Goose
Magpie Goose

 

White-throated Gerygone          White-throated Gerygone
White-throated Gerygone

This little bird is mostly seen in the tree-tops, but this one had found a supply of suitable nesting material on the ground,
enabling me to get much closer than is usually possible.

7 October, 2008

Platypus

One of the bonuses of having Lockyer Creek flowing again was seeing this Platypus swimming past the house the other morning. 

Rainbow Bee-eater                 Nankeen Kestrel

I’ve birded fairly solidly over the last ten days or so, and seen more than 190 species in the process,
including thirteen raptor spp, with Wedge-tailed Eagles every day. 

Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Frogmouth at the nest

 

Red-necked Avocets
Red-necked Avocets

 

The local lagoons are full of birds, many Red-necked Avocets and Red-capped Plovers, and large numbers of at least 8 species of ducks.

Red-necked Avocets   

Red-necked Avocets

Red-necked Avocets

 


Some local forest birding

Grey-headed Flying Fox

Grey-headed Flying Foxes

 

Grey-headed Flying Fox            Grey-headed Flying Fox

A daytime roost of thousands of Grey-headed Flying Foxes has recently invaded what has been one of my favourite spring-time 
birding spots on the Toowoomba escarpment.  The sight, sound, and even the smell of the place has changed dramatically, 
and nearly all the birds I have been used to seeing there at this time of year were absent. 

I went back a few days later and found the bats somewhat reduced in number – and a few more birds around.   

 

Sacred Kingfisher                       White-throated Treecreeper

 

Black-faced Monarch                  Eastern Yellow Robin


Welcome Swallow                 Australian King Parrot

 

Red-rumped Parrot                      Australian Reed-Warbler
          
Intermediate Egret
Intermediate Egret

All four local egrets are in their full breeding flush right now, providing an opportunity to see Eastern Great, Intermediate, Little  and Cattle Egrets 
practically side by side while their beaks and soft parts are really coloured up.

 

 


25 Sept 2008

 

Channel-billed Cuckoo
Channel-billed Cuckoo

Cuckoos abound – ready to take advantage of the nesting that is either underway or imminent. 
In the last few days we’ve had Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, Pallid Cuckoo 
and Fan-tailed Cuckoo and Eastern Koel around.

  Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo

 

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper                     Whiskered Tern

Australasian Grebe

 

Australasian Shoveler                       Black-fronted Dotterel

Lots of water around, and hundreds if not thousands of water birds including Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Avocets, but no other sandpipers yet.

Heaps of Australasian Shovelers, Pink-eared Ducks and so on.

 


8 Sept 2008 - Courting Leaden Flycatchers

Leaden Flycatcher

I can’t imagine a more exhuberant suitor than a male Leaden Flycatcher, nor a prettier courtee.  
A wooing pair has invaded our garden again this year, chasing and following each other all around the garden, 
the male striking the most extravagant dandy-like poses while the female looks on, thrusting her pretty orange breast 
towards him at every opportunity.

  Leaden Flycatcher          Leaden Flycatcher
Leaden Flycatcher - male and female

         


Superb Fairy-wren
Superb Fairy-wren

 

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo                    Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo

 

      Shining Bronze-Cuckoo

From the garden, I spotted a bronze-cuckoo on the verandah deck.  
Initially, it was sitting low, head up, beak open, and from a distance I thought it might have been 
a young bird, particularly because it just stayed and stayed. 

When I snuck into the house and got close to it from inside, it p
roved to be a well-coloured adult Shining Bronze-Cuckoo 
- maybe it had hit a window and was in a state of recovery.

 

Whistling Kite and Australian Magpie
Whistling Kite and Australian Magpie

Plenty of raptors in or over the garden – Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brown Goshawk, Collared Sparrowhawk, 
Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite and Whistling Kite this weekend.

 

Red-capped Plover                        Common Greenshank


Saw my first Common Greenshank of the spring recently at a lagoon in the valley.

 

Purple Swamphen
Purple Swamphen

 

White-faced Heron

We watched this White-faced Heron from the verandah as it spent some time preparing a large freshwater-crayfish for consumption.

It repeatedly tossed the crayfish in the air, juggling it as it snipped off its two big front claws, dropping it in the water frequently 
and then recovering it, before finally position it for an easy passage down its throat.

 

White-faced Heron          White-faced Heron
 

White-faced Heron

          
Intermediate Egret

A well-plumed Intermediate Egret, but not yet showing the full colours of its breeding flush.

31 August 2008  - Under attack!

Masked Lapwing                    Masked Lapwing
Masked Lapwing
 

This-morning, I inadvertently wandered too close to some Masked Lapwing chicks.

The parent birds quickly pointed out my mistake - first calling loudly, then taking to the air... 

and finally launching an all out attack, spurs raised and ready to strike!

 

Masked Lapwing
Masked Lapwing

I hid behind the camera!

 

Rainbow Bee-eaters
Rainbow Bee-eaters

Rainbow Bee-eaters are busy pairing up and going through their aerial courtship.

Just now the air is full of the sight and sounds of pairs of bee-eaters, gliding and swooping to bring morsels to each other.

 

Rainbow Bee-eaters
Rainbow Bee-eaters

 


30 August 2008  - Trying not to photograph

Azure Kingfisher
Azure Kingfisher

I decided resolutely on Thursday morning not to take any more photos until I'd updated this website. 

Till an Azure Kingfisher dropped onto a perch in full view of the house! So I made an exception. 

 

Australian King Parrot                    Pale-headed Rosella
                   

No sooner was I back at my desk than a couple of King Parrots turned up right outside my window, 
followed by some extra smart Pale-headed Rosellas. OK, I took those pics from inside the house. 

 

Red-backed Fairy-wren
Red-backed Fairy-wren

Then, when I went up to the gate for the mail, I happened upon a resplendent Red-backed Fairy-wren engrossed in some mutual 
preening with a lady, just a few feet from me, so off went another few dozen clicks.

Red-backed Fairy-wren          Red-backed Fairy-wren
Red-backed Fairy-wren

I did spend the rest of Thursday at my desk doing some of those things I had to do before I could allow myself to update the website 
- though all the while I was having to resist the lure of Shining Bronze and Horsfields Bronze Cuckoos calling in the garden. 
I found it really tough to stay there, but I did, and I got quite a bit of work done.
 

So, come Friday morning the website update was all ready and waiting for me - then Eileen popped her head in and said 
"I probably shouldn't tell you about the Fan-tailed Cuckoo just off the verandah", and I cracked! 

Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Fan-tailed Cuckoo

It turned out there were two birds out there, a male and a female. The male bird was calling his regular downward trill, 
while the female zipped around after him calling a shorter sharper trill on one level with no downward cadence at all. 
There was a lot of mutual excitement going on.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Fan-tailed Cuckoo

Scolding and chattering coming from an assortment of honeyeaters, scrubwrens and other small passerines often leads 
to the discovery  of an unwanted intruder.

It's always worth investigating the cause of the threat, which in order of likelihood is most often a Kookaburra, 
a cuckoo, a raptor, a Carpet Python, or an owl.

Collared Sparrowhawk
Collared Sparrowhawk

This time it was an adult Collared Sparrowhawk - a threat indeed to the smaller residents.


Snapping around the garden

Superb Fairy-wren
Superb Fairy-wren

 

Bar-shouldered Dove          Bar-shouldered Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove on the verandah

 

Chestnut-breasted Mannikin                    Female Mistletoebird
                   
 Variegated Fairy-wren
Female Variegated Fairy-wren

Birds on some local ponds

Plumed Whistling-Duck          Pink-eared Duck

Plumed Whistling Ducks and Pink-eared Ducks on the same small lake.

 

Little Egret                    Intermediate Egret

And on the margins of a larger lake nearby, Little Egret and Intermediate Egret.

 

Eurasian Coot

Eurasian Coot


21 July 2008 - Plumheads, and more from the garden

 Plum-headed Finches
Plum-headed Finches

A flock of around a hundred Plum-headed Finches were feeding in a freshly-hoed paddock just along the road yesterday. 
You can see both sexes and all ages in these photos. 

Plum-headed Finches          Plum-headed Finch

As Eileen described them, a pleasure of Plumheads.

 

Red-capped Robin          Red-capped Robin

The Red-capped Robin is still here, and I can't resist taking a few photos whenever I see him.  

 White-browed Scrubwren
White-browed Scrubwren

And, a bird that is so common in the garden that I almost never get round to photographing it, a White-browed Scrubwren.  

 Yellow Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill

Yellow Thornbills are around all the time, mostly working their way through the tops of trees, 
but this one was quite low in an Acacia salicina close to the house.

 

 Nankeen Night-Heron                    Eastern Whipbird
                   

This Nankeen Night-Heron has taken to roosting very low on the creekbank, and has favoured this spot regularly for a couple of weeks. 
Most often they find a daytime roost high in the older big casuarinas close to the creek.

 The Eastern Whipbird photo isn't a crisp one, but I'd followed a pair of whipbirds trying to get a clear shot of them 
as they chatted and called to each other all the way from close to the house, down through the garden to the 
thick vegetation along the creek, and this was the best I managed.

Rufous Whistler          Red-backed Fairy-wren          Pheasant Coucal
                    


Around the Valley

White-bellied Sea-Eagle          White-bellied Sea-Eagle
White-bellied Sea-Eagle

There are several pairs of White-bellied Sea-Eagles nesting alongside wetlands throughout the valley.

 

Cockatiel                    Little Lorikeet
                   

We have a remarkable number of parrots hereabouts. I've recorded 22 parrot species locally - including 16 spp on the house-list here at Abberton.
White-naped Honeyeater
White-naped Honeyeater   

Our most numerous honeyeater around the garden just now is the White-throated Honeyeater. The bird above, the White-naped Honeyeater is
common in the forests throughout the valley, but as yet it hasn't made it on to the Abberton list.

The most immediate difference between the two species for id purposes,
is the red crescent above the eye of the White-naped - White-throated having a white crescent over the eye.

          
Blue Bonnet
Blue Bonnet

We have to travel an hour or two inland to find resident populations of this gorgeous small parrot.
It's a very skittish bird, and that is why I'm showing this not-so-good photograph,
because it's the best I've got so far of a Blue Bonnet in flight.

 


30 June 2008  -  Echidna and Grey Goshawk

 

We see both of Australia’s surviving monotremes at Abberton; Platypus only occasionally, when the creek is at the right height. 

Short-beaked Echidna, however, live in the garden and we see them shuffling around from time to time.

 Short-beaked Echidna
Short-beaked Echidna

Echidnas are most active at dawn and dusk, but around midday on Monday this one was feeding on the creek-bank 
opposite the house.  I took this snap from the creek bank directly across from where it was foraging.

  A Grey Goshawk dropped in just above the echidna location, 24 hours later - but didn't wait to be photographed.  

 


27 June  Robins still, and others

Rose Robin

This dainty female Rose Robin has been around now for a couple of weeks, 

Golden Whistler

and a male Golden Whistler has become regular here over the last few days.

Red-capped Robin

The Red-capped Robin is a regular winter visitor here, this one from this-morning is our first this year. 
I promise you the photo hasn’t been enhanced – this is exactly the colour of this brilliant little flycatcher! 

Red-backed Fairy-wren          Female Red-backed Fairy-wren

Same goes for the fiery red of the Red-backed Fairywren!

Sacred Honeyeater

....and the scarlet of the Scarlet Honeyeater.

 Welcome Swallow                    Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallows


6 June 2008 -  A Honeyeater at the coast

We visited friends at the Sunshine Coast the other day.  
 It wasn’t a birding trip as such, but we did see a few of the coastal locals that don’t occur around Abberton. 

White-cheeked Honeyeater
White-cheeked Honeyeater

 I’m pleased with this White-cheeked Honeyeater pic, not least because it is an opportunistic snap of a bird that just popped up close by on a Banksia in the coastal scrub.

 Little Wattlebird
Little Wattlebird


2 June 2008 -  Birds in the garden

 Striated Pardalote                    Restless Flycatcher
                   

 

 Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo

 

We’ve had at least three individual Shining Bronze-Cuckoos passing through in the last couple of weeks.

 

Purple Swamphen
Purple Swamphen

 

Magpie Goose                    Black Swan
                   
          
Female Red-capped Robin                    Pied Butcherbird
                

The Red-capped Robin above, and the Little Eagle below are both winter visitors to the Lockyer Valley

 

Little Eagle
Little Eagle

Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Frogmouth

Just after dark, and just a few yards from our gate, on the way home from shopping.

 


9 May 2008 - Mostly raptors and parrots

Brown Falcon          Brown Falcon

There are heaps of raptors around the valley right now, some spp in numbers. I encountered 13 raptor spp over the weekend, including  
8 individual White-bellied Sea-eagles, Black Falcons in two locations, 7 Brown Falcons, 2 Peregrines, 3 Wedge-tailed Eagles – and so on.

  And nearly as many parrot spp, viz - Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, Sulphur-crested, Little and Long-billed Corellas, 
Galahs, Cockatiels, Little, Scaly-breasted and Rainbow Lorikeets, Pale-headed Rosellas, Red-rumped Parrots, Australian King Parrots.

 

Pink-eared Ducks
Pink-eared Ducks

Four Black-tailed Godwits, some resplendent in rufous-orange breeding plumage. Also Black-necked Stork, Swamp Harrier,
and plentiful Pink-eared Ducks. 

Spectacled Monarch still on the Toowoomba escarpment on Sunday (4th May). Fan-tailed Cuckoo too, 
also Fan-tailed Cuckoo and Shining Bronze in the garden, and Brush Cuckoo calling here every day for the last couple of weeks.

 Bush Stone-curlew
Bush Stone-curlew

Our garden trees are full of boldly buff-flanked Silvereyes, up from the south, 20 or so on and around a birdbath this-morning. 
Immature and female Golden Whistlers are also back. Similarly, Grey Fantails have arrived in small numbers, 
both these and the Golden Whistlers being autumn/winter birds in our garden.

And in contrast to all this, being Queensland after all, Rainbow Bee-eaters are still calling and feeding overhead every day.


25 April 2008 - Brown Goshawk

Brown Goshawk
Brown Goshawk

On Sunday morning, I had just settled down on the front verandah with the weekend paper when this second year imm Brown Goshawk dropped into a gum tree right alongside me.

 A furtive reach for the camera, without moving in my seat, and I just got this pic before it slipped away down to the creekside trees.

   


11 April  - Some good Autumn birding

 

I saw some pretty good birds while I was having my hair cut on the back verandah yesterday.

 The first interruption was a Grey Goshawk, which was causing an evident stir along the creekside before flying into a big wattle right across from us. 

I usually take my camera to the hairdresser’s, and I got off a couple of shaky shots before being snapped back to position in the chair. 

Four pm is a good time of day for action in the birdbath, and both the bath and the adjacent rockpool were simply buzzing with birds, 
often four or five species together including Variegated Fairywrens, Speckled Warbler, Striated Pardalote, White-throated Honeyeaters, 
Scarlet Honeyeater, Rufous Whistler, Yellow Thornbills, Yellow-billed Thornbills, Double-barred and Zebra Finches, 
a couple of recently returned Grey Fantails,  – lots of garden passerines.

 A boldly barred Shining Bronze-Cuckoo dropped into the eucalyptus behind the birdbath, but didn’t venture down to the water. 


All up, more than 30 species from the verandah during the course of the haircut. A great diversion during one of life’s more tedious but necessary tasks.

 Sacred Kingfisher
Sacred Kingfisher

On Wednesday afternoon we had a couple of Black Falcons doing circuits here with a Peregrine Falcon above. 
An Australian Hobby and White-bellied Sea-eagle were here on Tuesday. 

We presently have one, sometimes two, Southern Boobooks roosting in the garden, and today, Friday, a brightly coloured immature 
Black-faced Monarch is around the garden, as they often are in August, 
and a Brush Cuckoo is calling loudly and persistently.

 


28 March 2008  - Non-gardening

  Mistletoebird
Mistletoebird

Gardeners pull out Black Nightshade – here’s the reason I don’t.

 

9 April 2008 - Black-necked Stork

Here is a female (yellow-eyed) Black-necked Stork we saw yesterday  

          Black-necked Stork                    Black-necked Stork

 

Black-necked Stork          
          

4 March 2008  - Variegated Fairy-wren

Variegated Fairy-wren          Variegated Fairy-wren

This male Variegated Fairy-wren and his family live in the garden just around the house, and he pops up outside my window 
at some stage every day.  This bird has appeared on the website several times over the last several months from when 
he was still in his eclipse plumage, through various stages right up to the splendid adult male bird he now is.

  As you can see from the photographs, he comes very close to us, and I can’t help saying ‘Wow!’ every time.  


26 February 2008 

 

I had a refreshing morning’s birding around the valley yesterday -  water and waterbirds in all of the 
lakes and lagoons, including the ephemeral ones that had been dry for years.

 Ground Cuckoo-shrike

Also had a good close view of some Ground Cuckoo-shrikes, often a difficult bird to find.

 


21 February 2008 - A new bird for Abberton!

 

  Australian Brush-turkey
Australian Brush-turkey

A new bird wandered onto our house-list on Tuesday, bringing the total to 209 spp. It is still here on Thursday, an Australian Brush-Turkey 
- not unusual in the region, but special for us given the regeneration we've been undertaking here over the last 20 years.  A photo taken through the window .

It took 10 years before an Eastern Yellow-Robin turned up, now they're here year-round and breeding. Much the same story with other forest birds such as 
Varied Sittella, Yellow Thornbill and various honeyeaters.  Black-faced and Spectacled Monarchs drop in sometimes, even a few occurrences of Regent Bowerbird, but for some 
reason the Brush-Turkey seems to provide a special validation. I hope we don't feel differently if we end up with too many of them a few more years down the track!

Pheasant Coucal
Pheasant Coucal

Southern Boobook
Southern Boobook

 


February, 2008 - Late summer

White-throated Nightjar
White-throated Nightjar

A pair of White-throated Nightjars have nested on a property not far from here.

When I dropped in there the other day, they took a bit of finding , but eventually I spotted both adult birds on the ground, Iess than a metre apart.
I took a couple of long-range photos, but they knew I was there and both of them flew up to nearby trees, leaving their solitary chick dependent on
its camouflage amongst the forest litter. 

I'm sure I would never have seen the chick had I not noted where the parent birds had been, but there it was, snuggled helplessly against a stone.
Just a few seconds of photos of the chick, and I retreated back down the track, not to return this year.

White-throated Nightjar chick          White-throated Nightjar
The chick and the other adult nightjar
Bar-shouldered Dove          Crested Pigeon          Peaceful Dove
                    

 

Spangled Drongo
Spangled Drongo

The regular chattering of Spangled Drongos can sometimes sound a bit like the noisy squawking of Dollarbirds.
The other day we watched a drongo in a tree close by the house as he called, first exactly like a Pied Butcherbird, then a Noisy Miner,
and then a Nankeen Kestrel - each call indistinguishable from the bird he must have learned it from.

 

Pallid Cuckoo
Immature Pallid Cuckoo

 

Sacred Kingfisher          Sacred Kingfisher          Sacred Kingfisher
This young Sacred Kingfisher regularly uses the verandah as a vantage point from which to dive for prey. 

 

Black-winged Stilt          Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilts

If you wander anywhere near Black-winged Stilts while they have 
eggs or young, they'll make a noisy bee-line for you, yapping all the way.

Pink-eared Duck          Plumed Whistling-Duck
         

January 1, 2008 - Roosting owls

Southern Boobook
Southern Boobook

Two Southern Boobooks spent the entire New Year's Day adjacent to each other in a tree just outside my window. 
These photographs were taken from my desk.

Southern Boobook

Other birds didn't seem to spot them until around 7 or 8am, then honeyeaters, fairy-wrens, thornbills and others kept up a noisy hassle for a few hours.
All the owls did was to shift their positions a few centimetres now and then, and just stay put until after dark. 

 

Eastern Whipbird                       Royal Spoonbill
                             

This-morning, at least four and maybe five or six Eastern Whipbirds were criss-crossing noisily between eucalypts 
close to the house, never still for a moment, constantly fanning their tails and wings, whip-cracking 
and making all manner of other excitable sounds for at least 20 minutes.

In the afternoon, the cabaret moved down to a row of creekside casuarinas.

The Royal Spoonbill flew overhead while I was watching the Eastern Whipbirds.

 


Late December, 2007 - The creek is back


Lockyer Creek at Abberton on New Year's Eve

 

When I looked out through the dining-room windows at 5am this-morning, a Black Bittern was standing in shallow water right in front of the house. 
I tried to sneak onto the verandah for some better photographs – but it flew off immediately I got out there.

 

However, just a little to the left of where the bittern had been the Bush-hen was strolling about in the shallows - calling occasionally as he wandered 
around completely in the open. I managed half-a-dozen photos from the verandah, as well as a good long look through my binoculars. 
This individual looks prime for breeding, with a rich bluish-purple breast.

 

Around 7am when I took another look through the windows, the Black Bittern was back again, so I just snapped away through the closed window, 
and got some passable images. The bittern turns up in the same spot at some stage most days, the present shallow level of the creek just in front of the house seems 
to suit its needs. But it's a very flighty bird indeed.

 

Black Bittern     Black Bittern
Black Bittern

Bush-hen     Bush-hen
Bush-hen
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
A very wet Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
 



Please feel free to CONTACT US with any questions !
We are always pleased to answer any queries and to help 
you in any way we can to plan your trip to Queensland.


email us at:   jollyabberton@bigpond.com

Abberton Birding,  PO Box 53,  Helidon,  Queensland  4344, Australia

Tel: 07 4697 6111     International:  +61  7  4697 6111