Thursday, October 29, 2009

RETURN OF THE KINGFISHERS!

At last the magnificent Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers have returned after their winter migration - we have yet to see one but at dawn this morning we heard the first of their distinctive calls. I'll go for a walk round later and hope to spot one - usually all you see is a flash of their long white tails as they zoom across the track in front of you.

Last year we saw the first one on 8th November so they are about a week earlier this time. This is a distant shot of one which I took last year. Now we'll keep an eye on all the termite mounds where they have nested previously. Interestingly they will only return to the mounds which have since been 'repaired' by the termites - must be to ensure a constant food supply!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wallaby family

Watching motor racing on the box yesterday afternoon when we looked outside and saw Mum and Joey under the Star Apple tree having a munch on some fallen fruit.

Dad was a little way away having a good old scratch! That's him at the bottom too.

He was quite tame and I could get pretty close to him so we hope that Junior will grow up not being afraid of people.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fresh 'n green again


Such a lovely light outside now in the late afternoon and I just had to grab the camera. After yesterday's showers everything in the garden is fresh and happy again! This is the front corner of our home with the entrance driveway in the background to the right.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Beautiful rain - and growing chicks

A lovely rainy day today - almost half an inch which has really revitalised everything. Could do with a lot more but we're grateful for small showers!

Lots of furious feeding going on now at the Double-eyed Fig Parrot's nest so the chick(s?) must be growing fast - the tiny nesting-hole is so high up that we have no way of knowing if there are one or two in there. We've been watching proceedings since early September since we first heard them.

It's very hard to get good photos because of the position and also the angles of light but here's Dad, bum-up at feeding time and then giving me the beady eye!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A sprinkle of rain and butterflies

The other day at long last we had a few light showers, but only enough to freshen things up and not nearly enough to affect water-levels in the creeks and our dam. But it does mean that there are now a few butterflies around - they tend to emerge a couple of days after rain. This is a male Cairns Birdwing on the Calliandra bush - the female Birdwing is Australia's largest and some are as big as your hand.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Crazy Weather

It seems a long time since I updated the Blog! It's been quite a busy season for us and we finally managed a few days' break away to 'recharge the batteries'. We only went as far as Cairns and enjoyed lots of sleeping, reading, eating and a little 'retail therapy' too.

Oh dear, it is sooooo dry! While so much of the world seems to be under water here in the "Wet Tropics" we are in the middle of the driest 'dry' season since records began in the early 1900's. Great for visitors with sunny days, mild nights and no mosquitoes but the country isn't as lush and green as it should be. Oh well, here's hoping for a good wet season in a couple of months' time.

One plus is that it seems to suit our mangoes. We usually lose most of the blossoms to pests and diseases but this year looks like being our biggest crop ever so by about Christmas we should be feasting on them - so, unfortunately, will the Spectacled Flying Foxes! The mango trees seem confused - a couple of weeks ago they dropped almost all their leaves and now have produced a full set of glossy new ones.

The Jakfruit also are having a bumper crop this year - pity we don't like them very much!