Peaceful Dove

This is a Peaceful Dove. It is sometimes called a Zebra Dove because it has black and white stripes around its neck. I often hear it calling, yet don’t often see it around. I must be looking in the wrong spots.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (1)

There are many varieties of Spoonbills. This one is a Yellow-billed Spoonbill. It is notable for its strangely shaped bill. It has black markings on its face and black coloring on its wingtips. It also has some distinctive feathers around its neck. They are not uncommon here in Victoria, Australia.

I saw this Spoonbill fishing in a small. shallow pond nearby my house. It lies adjacent to a lagoon, where the water level is adjusted up and down depending on demand for irrigation water by farmers. It ignored me and continued to fish by sweeping its bill from side to side, presumably catching lots of small fish to eat.

The Darter babies have left the nest..

I’ve been following the growth of a nest of little Darter birds. Two have survived and are ready to leave the nest. I was horrified that as I approached the nest this time, the two little ones fell into the creek and disappeared under the water.

Empty nest

I lost sight of one and the other seemed to be very uncertain of itself in the water. It seemed to be looking for a way to get out of the water.

Then I lost sight of it too, and was really sad, thinking that I might have scared them off the nest too early. I went away disheartened.

I returned to the nest a little while later. It was still empty, but I eventually found both of them, enjoying the sun and drying out.

My husband reported that he saw them both in the nest again tonight, so they either clawed their way back up the tree, (have a look at the feet of the ‘baby’ above!) or they might have managed to fly up. I hope they don’t leave for a little while yet.

More photos of the darters. And more. When they were very young. and the rest of the family.

Teenage Darters

I’m following the growth of these Darters in a nest close to my house. They are becoming more adventurous and were out of the nest as I approached. They scrambled back to the nest and were more interested in waiting for mum to return than to bother about me. Mum was sitting on a log watching, and didn’t come by while I was waiting.

They are still downy, but and really growing, gaining weight and strength. And they are still hungry!

More photos of the darters. When they were very young. and the rest of the family.

Darter babies – growing up

I photographed a family of darters, mum, dad and three chicks a week ago. Now a week on, what a difference! More pics here.

They still look up, watching for a parent to return to feed them. Sadly, there are now only two. I noticed the difference between them previously. These two were much more aggressive about being fed. I imagine the weaker one got pushed out of the nest. They’ve grown so much, there really isn’t any room in it for another one. They are still so soft and downy looking.

This was a week ago.

Now they’ve put on weight!!!.

The Darter Family

A family of Australasian Darters has a nest on the water’s edge very close to our house. I spent some time watching their behaviour and was lucky enough to get close enough to get some detailed photographs.

I’m only guessing that the dark bird might be the dad. He took his turn feeding the young and looking after the nest.

Here’s mum, at least I think it’s mum, taking her turn to look after the nest. There are three chicks, two much more active than the third.

And here’s the family portrait. There are three very downy chicks in the nest. The parent birds had their mouths full and fed the chicks. You can see the chicks with full mouths in the pic above.

More photos to come….

Great Cormorants

These birds were lined up along the edge of rocks. Every now and then one would lean into the water and grab a fish.

This one suddenly got the urge to leap into the water, catch a fish and then fall back into line along the edge of the rocks.