Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Jottings from the Tropics: 1 August 2017


It's been cool and wet lately. This has discouraged the brown tree snakes, but encouraged the northern/eastern/settle on a common name long-eared bats (Nyctophilus bifax). While the snakes are inactive, they roost wherever they like and stay in that spot for extended periods.


They seem to get on well. But sometimes they behave like quarreling siblings.


- o O o -

I was working in the office, when I heard a commotion upstairs. A bird had flown into the house and couldn't find its way out again. So far this year, a Lewin's honeyeater and a little shrike-thrush have done the same. This was a bulkier bird. And the swish of taffeta ballgown told me it was a male Victoria's riflebird.


The windows must have confused him. The panes are small; many of them are coloured red or green and are made of rippled glass. They presented him with an unusual perspective.

I placed some banana on the window sill to lure him out. But as soon as I stepped back, the female riflebird swooped in from the forest and carried it away.

A second piece of banana worked and a short while later he was sitting on the carport roof, sharing it with a Lewin's honeyeater. Perhaps they were exchanging war stories.


During his brief time in the house, he had visited several rooms. I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up riflebird poo.


- o O o -

After years without much travelling — shopping in Atherton doesn't count — I've been out and about. So far this year, I've visited Bruny Island, Cooktown, Iron Range, and Alice Springs. I've organised a few more trips for the remainder of 2017, including the Blue Mountains, SW Victoria, and Broome, with return journeys to Alice Springs and Cooktown.

The Quite a Few Birds list is currently up to 278 species. That includes a substantial number of lifers, most of which were from Iron Range.I reckon I'll reach my goal of 300 species before the end of the year!

My diary for 2018 is already full.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

when are you coming to SW Vic?
Samantha

Snail said...

Mid September, I think. My diary's a bit all over the place at the moment! I'll have to sort it out sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

bugger will be on Lord Howe Island, was gunna offer to help show you around
Samantha

Snail said...

Blast! I mean, have a terrific time on LHI and all that, but maybe next time for SW Vic?