Sunday, 27 April 2014

April Wildlife Report

Wildlife and Waterspouts!

Nature can be both cruel and kind within a short space of time. South-east Queensland residents have been blessed with perfect weather around the Easter and ANZAC Day long weekends, and I've certainly made the most of it, with daytrips out to a variety of areas.

Buckley's Hole Conservation Park, Bribie Island.

But these sunny days and clear skies of late almost seem like an apology from 'Mother Nature', after she unleashed a Sunday-afternoon thunderstorm upon us earlier this month that was breath-taking in its ferocity. Born in the hinterlands to the south-west of Brisbane, the storm cut power to some suburbs and then gained strength as it moved out over Deception Bay, forming waterspouts just off the southern coastline of Bribie Island.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Down A Country Lane

It goes without saying that the freedom of being able to drive has expanded my wildlife-watching opportunities. I used to be bound by public transport access and timetables, so that only suburban reserves could be explored, usually around mid-morning or late afternoon. Interestingly though, since getting my license, I haven't really used my newfound liberty to head out to the well-known National Parks and wildlife hotspots yet. Instead, I prefer to survey unmarked but intriguing patches of bushland I see on satellite maps, and this is how I came to be walking down a country lane in the Sunshine Coast hinterland at dawn yesterday.

Sunrise along Policeman Spur Road, Harper Creek

Monday, 7 April 2014

Black-and-Rufous Swallow

Black-and-Rufous Swallow; Illustation
by Richard Bowdler Sharpe
Animal of the Month

What's so special about it?

The Black-and-Rufous Swallow (Hirundo nigrorufa) is just one of many non-descript bird species living a largely-ignored existence in remote parts of Africa. It's not a flashy drawcard species like the Shoebill Stork (Baeleniceps rex) or Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) that lures in birdwatchers from all over the world. When I searched for images of this humble Swallow on the internet, I could not find a single published picture verifying its existence. Next time you're on safari, you might find that a photograph of some small obscure bush bird brings you more fame and glory than the millionth photo of a Lion!