Monday, 11 June 2018

Nankeen night-herons and the ubiquitous swamphens

Nankeen night-herons are always nice to see, especially when they show as well as this. Like all night herons they are most active and dusk or at night, so this is a really special sighting.

Australian swamphen (aka purple gallinule) in the wetlands right outside my accommodation. This photo has not been cropped Swamphens are every where here and will let you approach within 5m. I see hundreds every day, and while I am writing this post, there are three swamphens walking around on the grass about 2m from me. If I move quickly they'll retreat, but soon they're back. This is not unique to Australia, I've seen them behave similar to this in Europe as well, on golf courses. Only when they arrive in Britain as a vagrant do they become shy and skulking.

The wetland which is about 10m outside my accomodation.

These Australian cuckoos are really smart birds, possibly the cutest birds in the world in my opinion! The photos don't do this bird justice, this is fan-tailed cuckoo.

Australian darter, the snake bird!

Royal spoonbill. Like the swamphen, approachable to with a few metres, and even then just walks away from you.

Female rufous whistler.

Kangeroos at last! A week in Australia and these are my first. Very common they are no doubt, there are signs along many of the roads saying beware of kangeroos, but it's only the same as when you drive down a UK road and see signs saying watch out for deer or badgers, how many times do you actually see the animals? Also, although they obviously are here, there's a lot of forest and woodland where I am now in Queensland, and I guess that perhaps they are commoner, or at least more obvious in other parts of Australia. Maybe when I get down to Southern Australia in a couple of weeks I'll start seeing more.

Arkarra wetlands, Hervey Bay.

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