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.
Dry conditions continue with only some very light showers to dampen the dust recently. This White-necked Heron has been taking advantage of the drying ponds for some time and seems to share space with a Great Egret quite amicably.
The neck markings on the W-N Heron, which are quite striking in its non-breeding plumage, are just visible from this angle.
We rarely see a female Darter on our wetlands and a second male visiting usually creates considerable angst for our regular male although he is tolerant of Little Pied Cormorant, Egrets, White-faced and White-necked Herons.
This Australasian Darter had just emerged from the water and had given itself a good shake so that its previously saturated feathers appeared almost fluffy. As it made its way up the post to dry off it used its tail for balance and gripped tightly with its webbed feet. The outstretched wings provided more balance assistance as well as some ‘lift’ to help it get to the top of the post where it could dry off more thoroughly.
As the dry weather continues any remaining waterholes will become very popular ….. so we’ll wait and watch with anticipation.