Preening with a friend

W-N Heron & R Spoonbill So, at the end of a very hazy day, yes the dust has even reached Daintree, I took a few minutes to check on bird activity on the mudflats.  I was hoping that the Lathams? Snipe I had observed late yesterday may have been in view – no luck with that but we have a Jacana back on the waterlilies which is pleasing.

A number of species are taking advantage of the concentrated food source in our rapidly shrinking ponds and many of the birds as well as the ponds are becoming very muddy in the process.  Some of the Royal Spoonbills are so grubby they are really not very photogenic!

This Spoonbill is one of the cleaner members of its group and it seemed content to share a branch with the White-necked Heron while they both had a good clean-up.  Quite a peaceful and relaxing scene to observe.

There was a Little Egret on the opposite branch but it was too far apart from the others to make a good photo.

Preening missed a bit

4 responses to “Preening with a friend

  1. It’s just an impression, but I feel fewer Latham’s Snipe have stayed around in the north this season. Tyto seems to have trio, but often one (or none) on show.

    • Hi Tony, In past years we have had a single Latham’s Snipe stay for a few weeks and it has frequented the area in front of the bird hide but this year we have only had occasional sightings. There is a greater choice of exposed muddy areas now – due to extremely dry conditions and further wetland restoration.

  2. Hi Barbara
    That branch seems to be popular with the large waders. Good vantage point, and safe place to have a clean-up, it seems.

    • Denis, its not just that branch but the entire Leichardt tree (Nauclea orientalis) that is popular! When Graham’s pond was constructed in 2000 I persuaded the excavator operator to leave a little island around the tree but the poor tree still suffered severe damage to some of its roots. Although its general health is not good there is offspring nearby ready to fill its place when the time comes.

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