OK, a couple of observations that added interest to my walk around Newline Quarry.
One was a pair of Sacred Kingfishers who were carrying out some house renovations. After a period foraging they came together on a branch and flew a rapid series of sorties into a
hole about 30 or 40 metres away. At first I thought they must have been feeding young, but the absence of food in the sortie flights suggested otherwise. Also they spent only about 2 or 3 seconds in the hole at each flight. So I assume that they are chopping
away at wood to open the hole a bit. I have watched SKs flying wildly at a plugged cavity in a tree trunk trying to break through the plug. I guess it is a race whether their bills break first or the plug.
The other observation was of a large cluster (swarm?) of bees hanging off a lowish branch. They formed a beautiful drop-shaped suspension about 30 or 40 cm long and about half as wide.
I chose a different tree to sit under for lunch! This picture is from WIKIPEDIA but is what it looked like.
Funny, most years by mid day Monday there is a swag of messages about observations. I did a lot less than I usually do, partly due to a problem with my car and
I missed the better sites I usually do. But I think birds well down on all other years. I got no cuckoos, no robins, only 2 kestrels among raptors, not a lot really. Two hours on Mt Taylor without a single Superb Fairy-wren, that has to be a first. But they
are at my home and I suspect they may have a nest in my neighbour’s yard. One strange thing at Point Hut I looked at a round thing with an extension, about 3 metres up a Casuarina. I thought a nest - but of what, when I focussed on it with binoculars, it turned
out to be a brush-tailed possum and the extension was its tail……..
Many thanks to all who participated in COG’s bird blitz over the weekend. I’ve been (happily) inundated with eBird records and it will take me a while to get though them and get back to you if I have any queries – especially
as I have non-birding visitors! Just a reminder to the hard-copy folk – do get your records prepared and either bring them to the next COG meeting on Nov 14 or mail them to COG, PO box 301, Civic Square 2608. The general consensus thus far is, it is pretty
quiet out there. I was pleased to pick up Rose Robin and Bassian Thrush (Blundells CK) and Wonga Pigeon (Blue Range Hut and de Salis Ck) and Satin Flycatcher (Lick Hole Rd) but the only raptors were kestrels (Cotter Hut), and only one Scarlet Robin (Cotter
Hut). It will be most interesting to see the overall picture. Once again, many thanks to all participants. b