The last day of 2015. Another hot day to end the year, 37oC forecast and it is 36 as I write this at 1pm. I often ponder on days like this how our feathered friends, especially the small birds, manage to survive the heat. I guess while some do indeed survive the reality is that many must perish on the extreme days or run of days. Of course the high summer temperatures in East Gippsland are nothing compared with inland Australia.
Imagine 50 plus degree days, day after day, on sand dunes in the Simpson Desert for example. How do tiny Ayrean Grasswrens and other small birds survive these blistering temperatures sheltering in cane-grass on the dune tops? Perhaps they seek refuge down burrows excavated by other dune inhabitants? As we shelter in the cool of our dwellings and air conditioned cars, spare a thought for our feathered friends over the summer period.
To end 2015 here are some miscellaneous photos from November and December that did not make it into blog posts – the brief caption notes explain the photos.
Click on images to enlarge.
|Musk Lorikeet, blossom nomads, in Callistemon citrinus (Common Bottlebrush) at Canni Creek Racecourse. The Bottlebrush had a prolific flowering in early November when this photo was taken.|
|Female White-browed Treecreeper at a nest hollow with advanced young in late November.|
|Female removing a faecal sack from the nest.|
Golden Plover – a summer migrant in non breeding plumage – this one was found
alone on sand islands in Jones Bay on the Gippsland Lakes in mid November. |
A few weeks later four birds were found in the same area.
|Laughing Kookaburra on power line. It spent quite some time sizing up a prey item in tussocks beside a channel at the east end of Cunninghame Arm.|
|The camera was getting heavy when the bird finally made the plunge to prey below.|
|Breaking the descent just above the tussocks.|
|Lifting from the tussocks with a crab in its bill.|
|It took some time, but eventually the crab was swallowed claws and all.|
|Red-capped Plover, adult male on sand islands in Jones Bay on the Gippsland Lakes in late November – I have plenty of Red-capped photos but always find it hard to resist yet one or two more shots of this attractive endemic shorebird.|
|Red-capped Plover chick.|
|A few Banded
Stilts feeding among over 1000 Red-necked Avocets on the northern section of Jones
Bay on the Gippsland Lakes in early December. |
Note one of the banded stilts is a juvenile, it has no band.
lost the Banded Stilts among the mass of Avocets – this is just a small section
of the Avocets in flight. They circled around and soon decided this was a false
alarm and settled back |
onto the water again.
|Every year in late spring a pair of
Dollarbirds arrive in our area at Sarsfield for the summer. They usually raise
some young before heading back north again to their winter abode |
north of Australia in the tropics.
|Black-faced Monarch, a regular summer migrant to rainforest and wet gullies in East Gippsland. This one was photographed at the Fairy Dell Flora Reserve in the Lilly-pilly rainforest gully on Christmas morning, one of my last bird photos for 2015.|
Thank you for following my blog posts, I hope you have seen at least some of my 2015 posts and enjoyed the photos and associated notes and observations.
Best wishes for a rich and rewarding birding year in 2016.