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Screams from the Stalls
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Tag Archives: ornithology
Yesterday we reached 47.4C. One of our bores has died and the remaining bore cannot keep up with community demand. So water has been off for much of each of the past three days. About three hours of water, morning and evening.
Our little sprinkler which has become the water source for so many birds has been dry during the hottest part of the day.
So I improvised and hung a cup of water in the tree above the sprinkler.
I was rewarded when one of the smallest (10-12cm) of the honeyeaters, the Brown, came for a drink.
Why don’t you join in and show us the bird life in your part of the world? Just leave a message here and we will come and have a look.
Found mainly in still or slow moving water, the darter spends a lot of its time drying out. It looks totally ragged just after it has settled on a rock or low tree branch.
However, after a while all the feathers settle back into place. Its shape is rather matronly with a long graceful neck attached to a rather dumpy body.
That large body is only seen when the darter is out of the water. When spotted in the water, it has a snake-like appearance with its body fully submerged. Its head slips below the water with scarcely a ripple and it often reappears just as suddenly and just as unexpectedly.
Of course, every now and then that reappearance is a little more noticeable.
The Purple Swamp Hen.
Standing in the late afternoon sun, this two foot high (50cm) swamphen caught my eye.
Perhaps he is a swamprooster.
That iridescent blue on his chest is only visible in sunlight. Then it is quite spectacular.
Reading my book of birds (Field Guide to Australian Birds; Morecombe) i find that this bird is as domineering as he looks.
“Large, colourful, common waterhen. Aggressive and bullying towards other waterbirds, kills ducklings. Has strength to pull up water reeds as food. Clumsy, leg-dangling crash-landing flight. At night often gives wild shrieks and boomings, perhaps basis of bunyip stories. Deep thudding sounds from beating wings on body. Widespread, common.”
All that means is that I no longer feel guilty looking at those delectable drumsticks!
If you decide to join Friday’s Feathers, leave a comment here so we can all visit.
I was walking through Bunbury the other day when I spotted this rare White-Flowered Pine.
These flowers are quite unusual in that they are free moving, sometimes leaving the tree for extended periods of time.
Sometimes they are called a “Corella” and are often mistaken for members of the parrot family.
Here we go, Friday’s Feathers #1
The Red Wattle Bird is a large honeyeater which eats the flowers of Eucalypts and other trees and shrubs. It is a loud and aggressive bird. Widespread right across the continent, it is a common sight.
It is not named after red wattle trees or after its overall colour which is anything but red. It is named after the red “wattles” which hang down from where its ears would be, if birds had ears.
And thereby hangs a tale.
Sweetest Daughter, aged four, decided she wanted a pet. So she picked a chook to be that pet. A “chook” is what people down there in the Northern Hemisphere call a “hen”, a supplier of eggs or of KFC meals. Anyway daughter chose to train her pet. She spent over an hour trying to get it to “sit” or to “lie down”. Eventually she lost patience and, from a height of about six inches above this poor bird’s head she screamed, “YOU STUPID CHOOK!!!” As the terrified chook flattened itself onto the ground, Sweetest Daughter innocently looked up and asked, “Mum, do chooks have ears?”
Anyhoodles, back to the Red Wattle Bird. This one was seen in Bunbury, I had set up to shoot it sitting silhouetted against the sky, but as so often happens with birds, it moved as I was pressing the shutter.
I’m starting a new series today. Maybe it will become a meme.
Some of you may have noticed that I enjoy taking and posting photographs of birds.
If anyone wants to join me, they are welcome. Just put the picture above into your post (or as a link in your sidebar) and add a comment to this week’s Friday’s Feathers here so that other featherers can visit your entry.
Your entry can as simple as a bird all by itself, or it can have information about where the photo was taken and you can even add ornithological notes.