Today the temperature rose dramatically but the humidity remained low, a breeze was blowing and it would have been enjoyable weather if it hadn’t been for the smoke haze from the extensive fires on the Atherton Tablelands. As an ex-resident of country Victoria I particularly dislike smoky, hot, dry days.
After spending a beautiful (and productive) morning in the garden I went looking for the Barred Cuckoo-shrikes I could hear – they were feeding out-of-sight in a large fig tree but I had a happy time observing the Double-eyed Fig-parrots that were much lower down in the same tree, along with Fig Birds and Yellow Orioles. The melodic calls of the Yellow Orioles seem to increase in frequency as the weather warms until they become a background to our summer days.
It fascinates me how these little parrots roll tiny fruit around with their tongues, patiently extracting the minute seed while bits of
discarded fruit flesh drop to the ground.
The female Fig-parrot, in the photo on the right, is particularly well camouflaged when viewed side on!
After lunch when many AFL fans were gearing up for the big match, I was attempting to contact Jetstar about an alteration to a booked flight and being distracted by the sight of a Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) moving up the edge of the glass door adjacent to my desk. As I watched it reach the top of the aluminium frame a Laughing tree frog (Litoria rothii) took a giant leap to safety on the verandah table. The Jetstar voice recognition software went into overdrive with my pauses and exclamations so I gave up on the idea of speaking to a real person , grabbed the camera and got a couple of photos.
It almost looks like a piece of dark hose disappearing into the hollow tube that makes up the door frame; but I gave it a tickle and a head appeared briefly before the snake slid completely out of view into the tubing.
Back inside I could see it occasionally poke out its head but the slightest movement from me sent it into hiding again – and in the tubing on the other side of this set of double doors another Litoria rothii pondered the situation, ready to leap for safety if necessary.
Luckily we do have a healthy population of many different species of frogs because they seem to be a very popular food source for reptiles as well as some of the larger birds. We recently listened to a White-lipped Treefrog (Litoria infrafrenata) screaming as it tried to escape the grip of a Black Butcherbird – it did get away, briefly, before the B.B. leapt on it again and carried it off.
A policy of non-interference can be difficult to maintain at times!
Oh and the member of the family who just happens to be a keen Geelong supporter returned triumphant at his team’s success.
As we do not have a television, this occasion had necessitated a short trip to the Daintree Village general store which has a large TV screen!