- Jan 19, 2020 at 7:07 pm #3627958
Did the recent rains help much? At least clear the air for a bit I hope.Jan 19, 2020 at 8:18 pm #3627965
The fires have raged right around Sydney, but they have not entered the Sydney basin so far. Unlike some years ago when they fire rocketed past us by about 100 m (100 yds).
Yes, we have had some rain here in Sydney. Our farm, on the outskirts of Sydney, has had ~75 mm or 3″ over the last few days. Sydney is like that. Lovely for us, after much drought, but some of the fire zones to the N and S missed out and those fires are still burning. Complex.
CheersJan 19, 2020 at 10:16 pm #3627976
We have had rain and even hail around Melbourne that has cleared the air but it’s far from clean still.
my sister in law is coming over tomorrow from NZ, they have had our smoke down south were they live.
One bird from todayJan 19, 2020 at 10:50 pm #3627980
The last bird I posted is a Horsefield’s Bronze-cuckoo .
from a distnce it looks like a sparrow, about the same size.
It comes for a look, lets me get to about 4 metres and is happy for me to take a few shots. As soon as I try to get closer it will fly to another spot and lets me get again to about 4 metres…
Today I saw a pair of Black Shouldered Kites passing by. They did hover briefly but then kept going. I took a few photos but not good enough.Jan 22, 2020 at 8:04 pm #3628357
Two birds from today.
The first is a juvenile Black Shouldered Kite, now called Australian Kite.
It is the first time I have seen this one, maybe I have photographed its parents
The second one is odd because this bird took to the air from about 50 metres away to come to have a look at me going by , flew to just a fe metres abobe my head and then went back where it was.Jan 22, 2020 at 11:34 pm #3628371
I felt the need to go out again this afternoon (I am enjoying the fresh air for a change) and was rewarded with the first close up sighting of a Little Eagle for monthsJan 23, 2020 at 8:14 pm #3628485
Finally this morning I was able to take a decent photo of a white fronted chat. They are very small and not easy to aproach. The better shots are taken by birders that can spend an hour or two in a spot to get one at a close distance. My attention span lasts about 2 minutes.
Anyway, here it isJan 23, 2020 at 8:47 pm #3628489Greg MihalikBPL Member
Franco, they are wonderful. Thanks.Jan 23, 2020 at 8:55 pm #3628490
Another one from this morning , a Fairy MartinJan 23, 2020 at 10:54 pm #3628495
Franco, do you find that birds exhibit curiosity? And act on it? I’m no real birder, but I once came upon a raptor that had just snatched some kind of large rodent. I startled it and it dropped the catch, then swooped back down and grabbed it and hauled it off under a bush nearby where it began to eat it. I was standing quite close through all of this and spent some minutes photographing it and I definitely felt a lot of emotion from the gaze of the bird–pride and defiance I think. Hard to know if it was projection but I don’t think so.Jan 23, 2020 at 11:24 pm #3628496
‘Defiance’? Along the lines of “This is mine so get lost or I will scratch your eyes out” perhaps?
I suspect that hunters of all sorts are moderately intelligent: they would have to be to survive.
CheersJan 24, 2020 at 12:57 am #3628500
yes some birds are curious, others want to show off.
( I talk to them as I go along…)
I have had a lyrebird 9not here) doing his full repertoire in front of me (no I don’t look like a lady lyrebird). Others pop out of shrubs and trees to have a look and then go back.
Some of the raptors do come close , circle above and then go back to where they were.
The reason I was able today to get a better photo of the Chat and the Fairy Martin is that they are getting used to me and I understand better their behaviour.
With one kestrel I started at a distance of around 15 metres and eventualy I was able to get close to 5 without her flying away.
Most of all it’s much easier for me to interact when I am alone , nobody with me or about.
Today , walking about, I had a long chat with two council workers that look after the local park . At one point one said ” are you Franco ? ”
He had seen my photos on facebook. That was nice.Jan 24, 2020 at 1:15 am #3628501
As for intelligence, lyrebirds learn to mimick odd sounds because a new sound may get the attention of a lady bird about.
So many are now mechanical sounds like chainsaws or nail guns. The clever part is that they often do 20 or more and when they finish they start again in the same order.Jan 24, 2020 at 4:22 am #3628506
We were camped at the bottom of the Colo Gorge one evening, and a male lyrebird gave us a 1/2 hour serenade covering every bird call we had ever heard, plus a few. Then he walked out of the bushes, looked at us, and wandered off.
CheersJan 24, 2020 at 3:03 pm #3628594
Here they’re called Mockingbirds and many have picked up car alarms as part of their repertoire.
“Defiance’? Along the lines of “This is mine so get lost or I will scratch your eyes out” perhaps?”
Yes, exactly. I felt the raptor was both showing off and warning me off.Jan 24, 2020 at 5:45 pm #3628610
This is a lyrebird
(NOT my photo)
The male is around 1 kg, about 1 metre long.Jan 24, 2020 at 6:59 pm #3628625
Oh, that’s just a little different looking than a mockingbird…Jan 24, 2020 at 8:19 pm #3628632
This is what they do
Jan 27, 2020 at 8:32 am #3628911Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western MichiganJan 27, 2020 at 2:26 pm #3628942
Nice bird Ken.
We only have one kingfisher visiting my local walking area but I have not seen it yet. (not that I have been looking for it)
funny how once you spot a new bird you then keep seeing them.
This was by my driveway yesterday with a mate. Very noisy…Jan 27, 2020 at 2:30 pm #3628946
yesterday I spotted 4 different raptors.
One was a juvenile Sea Eagle, uncommon in this area. (it’s moulting)Jan 27, 2020 at 2:40 pm #3628949
About bird behaviour…
Walking towards a dead tree were sometime raptors sit, I saw a kestrel. Moving closer another raptor flew away from that tree , later I took some photos of it too, it was an Australian Kite.
As I was taking some photos of the kestrel it took to the air so I thought that was it but it flew to the closest branch to me. I then realised it was kestrel N 3 , a female that is happy for me to take photos as close as 4 metres away. As a comparison , there is a male here that does not let me get any closer than about 15 metres.
This is N3 from yesterdayFeb 5, 2020 at 9:58 pm #3630056
Extreme times call for extreme measures.
This photo was taken (NOT by me) during the recent fires.
Lyre birds are very territorial and sedentary , yet several took refuge in that dam , about 30 metres away from the fires. Some would have travelled several kilometres to get there. (they don’t fly very well)Feb 6, 2020 at 10:31 pm #3630204
I like when there is a bit of a story to go along with a photo.
I spotted this kestrel from a distance (just a small blob) sitting on the tree were N3 kestrel used to sit. So I moved closer and closer till I was about 6-7 metres from it and realise it was N3. I took a few shots than the bird opend her wings and I thought it would fly away but it flew to a spot closer to me, pretty much as close as she could get.
She let me take a couple of photos then went hunting. I then saw her hunting nearby for about 20 minutes as I was walking around the hill. No other raptor has been as close to me but this particular bird did the same thing (flying to a closer branch to me ) about two weeks ago.Feb 6, 2020 at 10:43 pm #3630205
After watching the kite flying off to hunt, I turned around to then see a kite had been following the above episode.
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