AUSTRALIAN WOOD DUCK (Chenonetta jubata)

Australian Wood Ducks are one of my most photographed bird species.

One September, (Spring), a few years ago, I went to the Treasury Gardens pond on the eastern perimeter of Melbourne’s CBD several times in a fortnight………. just to photograph this family I found.  Initially there were 10 ducklings, but a few days later, another 4 tiny chicks appeared making a total of 14 offspring.  I assume they were all the one family as there were no other adults in sight?  I’ve also included a couple of shots of some teenagers made on another day.

They are just so cute, I couldn’t resist sharing this series again.

The Father has a brown head and the Mother, a stripe above and below its eye.  In one shot you’ll see the Father charging towards me as I got too close.  In another shot you’ll see the Mother quacking at some of her offspring telling them to hurry up (and keep in line?).  I seem to remember all the ducklings had striped heads.  Do the newly born all look the same?  Do the males develop the full brown head later on?  Or by sheer chance,

are all these offspring females?

I really have no idea 🙂

WILLY WAGTAIL (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willy Wagtails (Rhipidura leucophrys) are as common as mud around my home.

Every time I walk down to the Maribyrnong River they are on the gravel path, on the dry grass either side of the path, in Frogs Hollow and in the surrounding trees.

As I’ve mentioned before, they are a fascinating bird to watch with their tails wagging to and fro.  They are constantly on the move.

Yesterday, over at Pipemakers Park, I saw a small dumpy-looking bird on a tree while I was taking a break in the shade of a picnic shelter shed.  I’d been on the hunt for birds to photograph for quite some time, only interrupted by a lovely chat to a couple of fellow nature enthusiasts further downriver.

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At first I wasn’t quite sure what it was as its markings seemed to be a variation of a Willy Wagtail and it sat on a branch perfectly still.  Very still. That’s what got me confused.  It didn’t move.

I slowly got up from my seat and edged closer.  I walked around the tree trying to find a better shot without the sun turning the small bird into a silhouette.  I could see a larger bird several branches above it staring at me intently.  Or should I say glaring at me.  The adult’s white eyebrows were more distinct.

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I finally concluded the small dumpy bird was a juvenile Willy Wagtail and hadn’t yet developed its long tail and dark plumage.  I might suggest it hadn’t much flying practice hence its lack of flight at my close proximity.  I saw quite a few other birds yesterday, but nothing new I haven’t shared before……Eurasian Coots, Dusky Moorhens, Pacific Black Ducks and of course…..that lovely grey/blue White Faced Heron.  In fact I saw 3 herons yesterday.

Posts on this blog are rather intermittent these days as I haven’t seen any new species to share online and my photos have been of scenes you’ve all seen before.

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Downriver, while I can actually get to the large pond (or lake) edge easily, the reeds are so close together in the water, that its hard to spot birds at all.  I think they must all be in the shady areas as the sun was quite hot yesterday.

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I’ve also had a few computer problems which I thought were fixed remotely last weekend (for the second time in as many months).   I might take my Mac Pro to the actual Apple Store in the nearby shopping centre and get their tech guys on the Help Desk  to have a look.

I’m a bit technology challenged so these intermittent problems are all a mystery to me.

BURRAWANG (Lepidozamia peroffskyana)

From the Archives – 17th March 2014

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