Friday, 26 February 2010

More monarchs than a royal wedding

I was looking out of the window at just the right time to get a hat trick of monarchs (Monarchidae).

The first was a spectacled monarch (Monarcha trivirgatus), which I had previously stalked and photographed at Kingfisher Park near Julatten. Although the view wasn't quite as good as at Julatten, where the bird flitted through the leaves above my head, I didn't have so far to travel to see it. I took this photo from the living room window.

The second was the black-faced monarch (M. melanopsis). Although the two species look similar, they are not very closely related.(The spectacled is likely made up of a couple of species, of which one is sister to a black, grey and white New Guinea monarch. Bird phylogenies, eh?)

The third was a pied monarch (Arses kaupi), which deserves its generic name. Just as I pressed the shutter, the bird flew off. What should have been a lovely shot showing its handsome black and white plumage and gorgeous sky-blue flash around the eye became a blur. The trunk of the Melicope comes out looking nice. Because, you know, that's what I was photographing in the first place ...


desertnutmeg said...

Lovely moss and lichens on that Melicope. Too bad that bird got in the way! Maybe next time.

Pretty great shots of some gorgeous birds, in my book! As the character in Little Britain says: "Isn't he gorrrrgeous!"

Hope you have a great weekend!

mick said...

3 such birds from your window! Wow!! Two good sharp pics and one to prove the third one was there - pretty special I think! btw your windows must be nice and clean to take pics through them :-)

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Snail
Great work to have three Monarchs around. Mine (BF Monarch) were here two weeks ago, but have not been seen or heard since. Winging their way to your place now, probably.

Snail said...

nutMeg, the trees around here are all covered in mosses and lichens (and fungi now, after the summer rains). Makes it difficult to identify them from their bark, but they are delightful to look at.

Mick, of course my windows are absolutely pristine! It was one of those lucky events. What I didn't put up was the opening act --- a golden whistler. Such bright birds.

Denis, the monarchs have only been around for the past couple of weeks, so they're probably southern emigres. Plenty of room for more in the forest, so your birds are welcome!