Sunday, 31 January 2016

Bird Nerds in Queensland 11

Once Ethan was back, we hit the birding with a vengeance. Ethan suggested that we needed to be at Lake Macdonald at dawn i.e. 5am non-daylight-saving-Queensland time. "That is fine by me", I replied, "But that means getting up at 4.20am". Was that alright by him? "Fine", was the reply. So at 4.20am I was quietly knocking on his door to awaken him but not the other two. He duly appeared just a few minutes later raring for the off. We took breakfast with us and away we went. As we turned off the Bruce Highway, we spotted a bird on top of a lighting pole. It was a Peregrine Falcon!! What a great start to the day. Next was Lake Macdonald and, as we were pulling up, the first birds we saw were a Willie Wagtail having a stoush with a Restless Flycatcher Myiagra inquieta.

The next birds we saw were Australian White Ibis, Straw-necked Ibis and, yes, one Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus. Life tick for both of us. It was a fair way away so just a confirmatory ID image.

We weren't in the bird hide more than a few minutes when a Latham's Snipe Gallinago hardwickii wandered past right in front of the hide. Doesn't get much better Avithera. Aren't they just a great bird.

Then the usual parade of Comb-crested Jacana Irediparra gallinacea with both an adult in breeding plumage [first image] and a pair of immatures [second image]. The non-breeding CCJ has no comb, a rufous cap and a black stripe running down the back of each side of the neck joining as a band on the chest. Quite similar to the immatures in the second image.

After breakfast we tootled off to Wappa Dam. Here Ethan ticked a Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirudinaceum, we both ticked a Cicadabird Coracina tenuirostris, and a totally unexpected Barred Cuckoo-shrike Coracina lineata. The Barred Cuckoo-shrike was pretty special indeed. Ethan has learnt very quickly that when he sees a bird he doesn't know, he takes quick note of its salient features. Recourse to the guides in the car plus the backup of the camera soon gave us the ID.

female Cicadabird

What a great day. Magic. f5.6, t1250 and be there!

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