Monday, 31 December 2012

Mistletoe bird

This male was on the base of the mountain this morning. Such a pretty bird.

And then there was one

Our family returned after a some days away for Christmas to find just one swanling at the pond. 

Who knows what happened. Maybe the stronger swanlings fledged and this one was left behind for now. The swanlings are the right age for fledging, just, according to my ancient but trusty Reader's Digest bird book. They'd been skimming across the pond for a few weeks and testing their wings a lot.

Alternatively the remaining parent, we think the mother, took fright after the loss of her partner, and moved the strongest swanlings on. There are many waterways close by that are safer than here.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Black Swan

One of the parent swans died a few days ago. Its body is floating in the pond near the reeds. The other swans swim close from time to time and take a look like they know it should be with them.

I can't think of any good reason for a swan to die in the prime of its life and I suspect it choked on plastic. My husband thinks a wound from a dog. It's all speculation of course and we'll never know. It's sad to think that these swans will not return here year after year. 

All the work of the parent swans is paying off for the swanlings, as they are very strong at four months, and are now learning to fly. As I approached the pond this morning, I witnessed a flight demonstration. The remaining parent leapt out of a nearby tree and flapped noisily across the pond. It then made a huge amount of 'YEAH told ya I am the greatest' swan noises to impress all in the vicinity. It was pretty cool. I hope I see more of that.

A very fuzzed out swan pic but beautiful none the less.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Nankeen Night Heron

My children assure me that NOTHING ever happens at the local pond. That opinion is possibly not shared by the two Night Herons that flew over this morning, and caused the greatest disturbance since, let's see, the Canberra Show.

There I am, new camera in hand for five minutes at most, quietly snapping one or two patient swanlings, when suddenly the sky is alive with menacing magpies and what seemed liked dozens of other bogan birds, giving raucous chase to a pair of Night Herons. There was no way the bush birds would allow the herons to land and even the birds in the water got worked up

My photograph is fairly ordinary but I'm posting it in case they never re-appear. Next time I will try to remember that the new camera has a viewfinder. That might help. Working out my new camera will be a steep learning curve. Expect a lot of photographs of magpies to follow.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Superb Parrot

Walking the beat this morning I was lucky to come across a non usual suspect parrot, happily feeding on grass seed. As many Canberrans have recently sighted Superb Parrots, it was not too hard to figure this one out. Unfortunately this superb Superb did not find me nearly as captivating as I found it, immediately outmaneuvering me in the direction of old growth eucalyptus, with this photo the only evidence.

It's a stunning parrot huh?