Thursday, 27 October 2011

Brown Snake

This brown snake was out hunting today, the first I have seen this year. He was right next to a bird-watching hide at Kelly's Swamp in Canberra. I only saw two or three snakes last year, while I used to see two or three per day before the drought. Although it was a wet rainy year last year, their numbers had crashed during the previous several years of dry conditions, when there were few mice or frogs. The mice and frog numbers are high this year so hopefully the snakes will have a better time too.  

Brown snakes kill more people in Australia than any other snake, because they are common in suburbia and cleared woodland where people tend to walk. This one was well behaved though.

He was about three and a half feet long.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Fall from nest

Two tawny frogmouth chicks fell with their nest as it dropped out of a branch fork during heavy rain last night. They are only about three weeks old and would have been in the nest for at least another week. Even then they are dependent upon their parents for another month after that. 

Fortunately their father gathered them onto a log by morning where they were sitting, all nice and warm and dry. And safe from foxes and hopefully cats.

The chicks were well dried and warm although it was still raining.

They offered a splendid photo opportunity.

The adult female sat quietly in a tree 30m away, watching all the time.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Tawny Frogmouths 2011

The first of the tawny frogmouth chicks have fledged, or rather left the nest. They are dependent on their parents for another month yet, as they fly around their territory in short flutters between trees.

 A male frogmouth sits with a chick recently out of the nest - one metre away in the fork on the right.
This was on the 14th October.

 A female frogmouth watches over her mate on the nest fifty metres away in the next tree.

Two female frogmouths roost together while a male sits on chicks in a nest nearby. Who is the mother of the chicks? Is the second female tolerated because she is a daughter from  last year's nest. The birds are identified as females by the red/rufous on the their neck and epaulets. The males are more uniformly grey.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bearded Dragons

I came across these two bearded dragons today, they were so engrossed in one another that they ignored me while they continued their little test of strength.

They were really focused on one another for several minutes before they started fighting, probably because they were very similar in size.

 They snapped at one another's heads, trying to lock a grip on their opponent.

 And they were quick; very, very quick...

 Then one gave in and simply ran off down the track.

Leaving the victor to pose in triumph.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Road Kill

While driving back from a banding trip at Charcoal Tank yesterday there were a few very heavy showers of rain. This attracted lots of birds to come down and drink from puddles on the tarmac. These were mostly parrots; galahs, eastern rosellas, crimson rosellas, and superb parrots. Unfortunately many were killed by passing vehicles. This handsome male superb parrot was one of the victims. This is a species listed as vulnerable - if only the general public showed some more care and genuine concern for wildlife they could easily have avoided killing all these birds. I avoided them easily.

How many more were killed that day elsewhere, how many are killed each year?