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.

Babbler, Grey-crowned
Baza, Pacific
Bittern, Black
Black-Cockatoo, Red-tailed
Black-Cockatoo, Yellow-tailed
Boobook, Southern
Bowerbird, Satin
Brush-turkey, Australian
Bronzewing, Common
Butcherbird, Grey
Butcherbird, Pied
Chough, White-winged
Cisticola, Golden-headed
Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested
Corella, Little
Cormorant, Great
Cormorant, Little Black
Cormorant, Little Pied
Cormorant, Pied
Coucal, Pheasant
Crow, Torresian
Cuckoo, Black-eared
Cuckoo, Brush
Cuckoo, Channel-billed
Cuckoo, Fan-tailed
Cuckoo-Dove, Brown
Cuckoo-shrike, Black-faced
Cuckoo-shrike, Ground
Currawong, Pied
Dove, Bar-shouldered
Dove, Emerald
Dove, Peaceful
Dove, Rock
Dove, Spotted
Duck, Australian Wood
Duck, Musk
Duck, Pacific Black
Eagle, Wedge-tailed
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Eastern Great
Egret, Eastern Reef
Egret, Little
Fairy-wren, Red-backed
Fairy-wren, Superb
Fairy-wren, Variegated
Falcon, Peregrine
Fantail, Grey
Figbird, Australasian
Finch, Double-barred
Finch, Red-browed
Flycatcher, Restless
Friarbird, Little
Friarbird, Noisy
Frogmouth, Tawny
Gerygone, White-throated
Godwit, Bar-tailed
Grassbird, Tawny
Grebe, Australasian
Grebe, Great Crested
Gull, Silver
Heron, White-faced
Heron, White-necked
Hobby, Australian
Honeyeater, Blue-faced
Honeyeater, Brown
Honeyeater, Lewin's
Honeyeater, Scarlet
Honeyeater, Striped
Honeyeater, Yellow-faced
Ibis, Australian White
Ibis, Glossy
Ibis, Straw-necked
Kestrel, Nankeen
Kingfisher, Sacred
King-Parrot, Australian
Kite, Black-shouldered
Kite, Whistling
Koel, Eastern
Kookaburra, Laughing
Lapwing, Masked
Lorikeet, Little
Lorikeet, Rainbow
Lorikeet, Scaly-breasted
Magpie, Austarlian
Martin, Fairy
Martin, Tree
Miner, Noisy
Monarch, Spectacled
Monarch, White-eared
Moorhen, Dusky
Myna, Common
Needletail, White-throated
Oriole, Olive-backed
Osprey, Eastern
Oystercatcher, Pied
Pardalote, Spotted
Pardalote, Striated
Pelican, Australian
Pigeon, Crested
Pigeon, White-headed
Pigeon, Wonga
Pipit, Australasian
Quail, Brown
Reed-Warbler, Australian
Robin, Eastern Yellow
Rosella, Pale-headed
Scrubwren, White-browed
Sea-eagle, White-bellied
Shrike-thrush, Grey
Sparrow, House
Sparrowhawk, Collared
Spinebill, Eastern
Spoonbill, Yellow-billed
Starling, Common
Stone-curlew, Bush
Swallow, Welcome
Swamphen, Purple
Swan, Black
Teal, Grey
Tern, Crested
Thornbill, Brown
Thornbill, Yellow
Treecreeper, White-throated
Wagtail, Willie
Whipbird, Eastern
Whistler, Golden
Whistler, Rufous
Whistling-Duck, Plumed
Whistling-Duck, Wandering
Woodswallow, Dusky
Woodswallow, White-breasted

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