Well not so little really, 9 Spotted Whistling Ducks have been observed feeding in our wetlands and although it is getting a bit crowded in our shrinking ponds they are finding food. The first two photos were taken earlier this morning on our Spring Fed pond – there was at least 1 duck perched in a tree as lookout but when later on they flew over Allen on their way to Graham’s pond he counted 9.
Graham’s pond was also hosting approximately fifty Spoonbills but they are more nervous than the few that have been here for a while and took off for a more secluded area on the property. One Glossy Ibis, a new entry for the Wild Wings bird list is keeping the ducks company.
A short sojourn to Brisbane for a family wedding (actually I had great fun as mother of the groom!) but as always we are pleased to be home. As we drove down our driveway a cloud of white lifted off the front wetland so I was soon heading off with the binoculars to see what was happening. I think the word has got out that there is a concentrated food source at Wild Wings and Swampy Things ….it is great fun just watching the different species together, their interactions as well as their various manners of feeding.
I had several attempts at capturing Great and Intermediate Egret in the same photo at the same angle for a comparison of head shape and neck length. My aim is to improve my identification skills so that I don’t necessarily have to rely on a close look at the gape in order to tell the two species apart.
The main perching tree near this particular feeding location is a Leichardt (Nauclea orientalis) which has often featured in this blog. While it is a popular preening position, as well as the nearest tall tree if there is a disturbance, no species was willing to share a perch with the Whistling Kite which has been making at least one daily visit.
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.