Tuesday, February 2, 2010

... crackle, pop, squawk ...

… "I think it’s an Eclectus Parrot." … crackle, squawk .. I said Eclectus. Did ya get that?" … pop, squawk… "Hang on, sorry, I just got a better look, it’s a Grey Fantail!"

DF and I did the Swallow Lagoon woodland bird survey yesterday – by two way radio. With Duncan’s incapacity, he hit on the idea of me doing the leg work, carrying a transmitter and him sitting back at the vehicle with a receiver, doing the recording. Yeah, great deal!

Worked really well actually and we got some good birds. I think a flock of Yellow-rumped Thornbills in a patch of grassy plain was a first. Despite the very dry conditions there were a few honeyeaters working the upper foliage along with the usual collection of Thornbills, Sitellas, Treecreepers etc making life miserable for the insects. The last couple of surveys at this reserve have produced a notable decline in the Noisy Miner population. We might see the little birds increase as a result.

However, you can’t keep a good naturalist down. When I mentioned back at the vehicle at one point that I’d seen an attractive spider, he wanted me to find it again so he could get some pictures. I suspected this might happen and had marked the spot in the middle of the survey plot with a horizontal stick on a stump. Off we set with cameras and crutches in hand and proceeded to stumble across logs, (just kidding Coral), and eventually, after checking out several other ‘natural’ horizontal sticks on stumps, found the spot and he got to work.

It was a Golden Orb Weaver and we don’t see them too often down here. I’ve not seen one before and DF says it was a first for him too. Now that brought a smile to the faces. Not sure if he’ll blog it, he’s a bit busy hosting the next edition of I and the Bird.

Incidentally, the size of the web can be seen in this next picture. It stretches from the tree where Duncan is standing to the one in the far left of the frame.

I know it was a BIRD survey, but we so often become distracted by other stuff. Just love the natural world.


  1. Hello Gouldiae,

    Well spotted - although they can be a bit hard to miss! :-)

    I had one in my Westringia hedge a few years ago. The large web had a heap of 'mummified' bees in it. I can't remember if my sighting was pre. my blogging life.

    I've been hoping to be blessed with a return visit, but so far, I've been unlucky.

  2. Sounds like an interesting way to go birding with Duncan! I'm not arachnophobic (spelling??) but I think I would have been more enthusiastic about the birds!

  3. Good to hear you're both getting out and about. Bit surprised, though, at your being near apparent southern limit for Orb Weaver. Global warming at work?