Returning from a stroll around the ponds I saw movement on the ground under the bamboos; although obviously a Black Butcherbird (Cracticus quoyi) I thought, at first, that it must have a bamboo leaf stuck on its face.
However, it was just beautifully camouflaged amongst the fallen leaves, which it was picking up and throwing aside while looking for insects, worms, or whatever unsuspecting creature might be hiding under this damp carpet.
As several pair of Black Butcherbird have successfully raised young in the last few months and the juvenile birds were a rufous morph, we presume that this one is in an eclipse phase. And in spite of the Black Butcherbird’s voracious appetite there are still large numbers of reptiles, small birds, frogs and insects living here so the property seems quite able to support them.
And now for something completely different - a Striped Swampdragon (Agrionoptera longitudinalis biserialis) Continue reading
We’ve been spending a lot of time in our gumboots exploring the vegetation around the ponds to see what Dragonflies and Damselflies we can observe and hopefully photograph. They are fascinating insects to watch and at this time of the year there is a lot happening. Some of the Damselflies are so small they can easily be overlooked while some of the larger Dragonflies can prove frustrating because they seem to be continually on the move.
Its a wonderful wet season activity and this year has been particularly rewarding although a little challenging at times having to dodge the ‘scattered showers’ that can sometimes become an isolated downpour. I spent quite a while retracing my steps around a pond to find an umbrella I had absent-mindedly hooked over the belt holding my secateurs (I like multi-tasking) but which had dropped into the mud while I was concentrating on a Silver Wisp (Agriocnemis argentea). Raincoats would be more practical in one sense but they are just too uncomfortable to wear - the humidity is around 90% and when the sun does come out ….. well I don’t think I need to explain further.
It is hard to give a sense of perspective but this damselfly is very small and delicate – Silver Wisp is an apt common name. We suspect that the individual in the photo may be a female or immature male as the mature males are described as being covered in a white pruinescence.
And while I was down at the ponds, Allen was Continue reading