Saturday, 25 May 2013

Mature Darter

To complete the Darter trilogy, here is the mature male I saw at the pond today. Compare its colouring and the feather detailing to the Darter in the earlier posts. 

Other pond news is that the black ducks have flown the coop. I wonder what made them leave and whether they'll return.. and.. if they miss me? More likely they'll miss the bread constantly tossed at them and I predict they'll return for that. In the meantime some Grey Teal and Hardheads recently arrived. Take your eye off the prize for five minutes and the world shifts. 

In addition to the species mentioned, I also saw both grebe species, coots, the two permanent swans and a Little Pied Cormorant. Not a bad count for a tiny suburban pond. I didn't count land birds.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

NOT wounded Darter

Yes, more Darter pictures. Why not? It's a gorgeous bird. 

At first I thought this Darter was wounded: see the last two pictures. However expert advice assures me the wound looking thing is actually a critical part of bird anatomy. It's the preen gland from which the Darter is taking an oily substance to keep its feathers in good shape. Thanks Canberra Ornithologists!

Come to think of it, I have read about swans spreading oil from their preen gland and though I have watched swans preening often enough, I never stopped to think that such a gland might be visible. There's so much to learn about our beautiful birds.

Also, I'd like to wish Ms Moo in Tassie a very happy birthday for today, and ... erm I hope you like Darters!


Final picture is a detail of the previous image.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Young Darter

Generally I'm glued to uni assignments in any free time right now, but I snuck to the pond this morning and found what I think is a young Darter, happily engaged in a spot of fishing, followed by a lengthy wing drying procedure. Well I know the bird is a Darter. I'm just guessing it's young: it was smallish, it seemed a bit fluffy and I'm not sure if the wing feathers are fully developed. 

There was also a small Little Pied Cormorant at the pond as well. So cute. It seemed to have very big feet and reminded me of a puppy that hadn't yet grown into itself. Anyway here is the obliging Darter, demonstrating various yoga postures and one photo of the young cormorant with seasonally coloured background, but no feet in view sorry.