Monday, 11 January 2016

Bird Nerd visits Queensland 01

The Sunshine Coast is a long way away. I volunteered to help Elaine's daughter, Erica, and her family prepare their rental property for the end of the lease. Perhaps not the ideal way to spend Christmas but the upside is always nurturing relationships with those involved especially the grandsons, Ethan [12], Levi [10] and Phoenix [almost 6. I kept calling him 6 and he kept correcting me with the reality of 5 - but soon to be 6]. Ethan has well and truly caught the birding bug. His favourite book is Morcombe and Stewart and his fantastic memory remembers it all, literally. A formidable companion on a birding trip. Ethan is easy to occupy with birds, Levi likes all sorts of things [a highlight was rock climbing at one of those climbing gym places where $17 and some gear hire got him the whole day climbing. We went off, had lunch, watched a movie - The Good Dinosaur - and then went back]. Phoenix likes everything too. He doesn't mind shopping, is happy to go to cafes, and his highight was a day at a Hedge Maze - with more than just a hedge maze - a wooden maze, a rope maze, a Blond maze, a tyre maze, a labyrinth, several puzzles on the ground and a pretty good mini-golf course - plus chocolate milkshakes.

I digress. I drove up through Canberra, Wellington, across to Tamworth then on to Warwick and into Brisbane and up to Buderim. I stopped off in Canberra and dipped on a Powerful Owl then went on to  Bowning just off the Hume Highway and camped the night.

Black-backed Australian Magpies start at Canberra. I always find black and white birds to be smart and clean cut and snappy. Here is a close up of a Pied Currawong and a Little Corella by itself playing with a clump of dried grass. Not often like that and strangely quiet!

Pied Currawong Strepera graculina
Little Corella Cacatua sanguinea
Australian Magpie (Black-backed) Gymnorhina tibicen tibicen
This one above was photographed in Canberra. The next image was at Bowning the next morning and demonstrates the black back very well.

Australian Magpie (Black-backed) Gymnorhina tibicen tibicen
The last images are from a family group in the backyard at Buderim. It is amazing how many insects live in the rough [well relatively rough compared to the lawns of Victoria] grass of the lawn. The first image shows just how many insects can fit in a beak and the second shows the whole lot going down in one big mouthful.

Cheers. More later.

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