Friday, January 29, 2010
Yellow-tails and Soaring Temperatures
Thankfully the searing heat of the past week finally broke yesterday afternoon when the skies opened up and torrential rain poured down upon the earth. The mornings themselves were glorious [see my previous post] but by around 0600 hours the heat factor was beginning to dominate and by about 0700 hours it was nigh-on impossible to do anything active outdoors – including a gentle stroll to view birds!
As I tap this out on the keyboard it’s a little after 0900 hours on Saturday morning, 30 January 2010, and cloud cover remains; a gentle breeze is blowing with an occasional colder flurry. Far more comfortable than last week’s 30+ temperatures [two days at 40 degrees]. We’ve even managed to plant a row of jacaranda and poinciana trees [to serve as shade for the two dogs- who share a 40x25m compound].
Well, what a difference an hour makes! I’d no sooner written the previous paragraph than a Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo came gliding in from behind the west side of the house, heading for the trees on the south, so low I could almost have reached out and touched it!. Sadly, before I could grab my camera, it had disappeared but clearly not too far as Fay and I could still hear it call. We dropped everything, I grabbed the camera [a SONY Alpha 100 with a Minolta AF 100-300 lens, although given the SONY/Minolta combination the focal range is 150-450] and went looking for the bird. At that point a second cockatoo called from the west and again, judging by the call, only a short distance from us.
Fay continued south, I veered to the west. I was perhaps four metres from the bird before I noticed it partly hidden behind a trunk. It took a little careful repositioning to relocate myself into a better angle.
Also in that hour, the sun has escaped from behind the cloud and now [at a little after 1000 hours] it is almost too hot to work outside. The breeze however persists and that keeps temperatures from soaring through the thermometer.
I note that my Year List tally postings don’t quite match up with actual totals. In the past couple of days we’ve added Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo and the Eastern Spinebill to bring the score to 139. For the sake of clarity I attach the complete list as it stands at Saturday 30 January 2010.
The top 5 sightings remain as before.
Cormorant, Little Black
Cormorant, Little Pied
Duck, Australian Wood
Duck, Pacific Black
Egret, Eastern Great
Egret, Eastern Reef
Grebe, Great Crested
Ibis, Australian White
Robin, Eastern Yellow