Early yesterday morning a Sacred Kingfisher landed on the Hills hoist
and subsequently perched in trees and overhead cables so I had good views for
ten minutes. Interestingly, another did exactly the same last January.
After lunch we went for a drive/birdwatch along Stockdill Drive, Holt and
stopped at the farm dam near the entrance to the Pine Ridge property. Saw a
couple of Little Pied Cormorants, a few Pacific Black Ducks and Wood Ducks.
"Boring, boring," chirped impatient brat. But the ennui was short lived. I
saw a kingfisher perched on the fence nearby and, before I focused on it I felt
it wasn't a Sacred Kingfisher – the jizz just didn't seem right. It was perched
with its back towards us and through the binos I could clearly see
the brick-red of the lower back. As it turned its head from side to side I could
see the streaked crown which gave its head that brushed-back hairstyle
appearance, both darned good field marks
"That's a Red-necked Kingfisher," I said. "Red-backed Kingfisher!"
pedantic brat shrilled, pouncing on my faux pas. The bird took wing and rose to
a fair height before commencing a stepped descent towards the river. We drove to
the end of Stockdill Drive hoping for another sighting, stopped and walked a
short way along the fence above the river but saw nothing.We were, however,
compensated when three Superb Parrots rose up from the valley and whizzed
overhead as they flew back towards Holt. Watched five Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes
chasing one another with wild, break-neck abandon.
As Linda turned the ute around at the LMWQCC gate she braked,
pointed at a Kingfisher on the fence and yelled, "Tally-ho!" "Bad luck," I
said. "that's another Sacred, not the secular red-neck we want."
A late afternoon foray produced no kingfisher joy, but we saw seven
Double-barred Finches on the ground at the Pine Ridge dam. And a perched raptor
puzzled us until we agreed it was a light-phase Brown Falcon.