Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wildlife Wednesday - Laughing Kookaburra

I'm really lucky that my town has quite a few kookaburras, and even luckier that a family of them have my backyard in their territory. For the last few months, there have been some young kookaburras trying out their wings, feeding, laughing, and mixing with humans. I'm refusing to feed them while their parents teach them to eat...but boy oh boy, do I want to have them eating from my hand. They've completely captivated me.

They sit and pose for the camera now. They'll watch me as I walk around them trying to get a shot I haven't got before - like that's possible!!

I really enjoy their company as I sit outside. They'll often sit on a branch above me, or they'll perch on my clothesline as I peg out the clothes. In summer, when it was hot, they loved to have a bit of a spray under the hose.

So here are a few photos of them.

If you want any info, it's here on Birds in Backyards. These are Laughing Kookaburras. Even though they have some blue on their wings, it's nothing like the large, strongly coloured blue of the Blue-Winged Kookaburra found in the northern coastal parts of Australia.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wildlife Wednesday - Satin Bowerbird

Oh my goodness! I know it's Thursday, but I was just so thrilled I had to share.

There's been a medium sized, black bird, who flashes past with his white beak/head/neck, for the last couple of years. He's the most elusive little chap. A bit later in the year, he'll start making all sorts of incredible noises - courting - and I wait happily waiting for his mate. Sometimes I sit with my camera but I never get a good shot, and he moves so quickly and hides so well, I've never gotten a good look at him.

Anyway, today, by sheer chance I had my phone with me when he fluttered in the bushes. So I waited and snapped a shot. Then I took two more -terribly blurred. The first one had no zoom, so he was this tiny thing in a bush. I cropped.

The photo here is all I have. So, out came Pizzey, my bird book. I thought he may have been a whipbird, or something like that...but no. And he's all black, white bit on his beak, light brown legs. Nothing looks like that! I'm despairing because how I am ever going to know what he is besides and elusive black bird in my yard.

I flicked to the last plate. Holy shit! Is that him? I'm almost beside myself as I look. A Satin Bowerbird. The Australian Museum has a beautiful photo and info here.

I've never seen a Bowerbird for real. When I was a kid, I helped out at Brownies and one group called me "Bowerbird". So it's a bird quite close to my heart. And I have one, in my yard. And I've had one for years and stalked him but never never imagined who he was.

Here's some more photos and info from Birds in Backyards.

I've seen the females passing through but I didn't associate them with him, or identify them. I think I know where his bower is too - in an area I need to weed, so that won't be happening!!!

Oh, if only they sat still long enough for me to get a nice photo. I might need to build a hide and sit in a corner somewhere and wait patiently for the bowerbird.