Friday, August 23, 2013

Change of Season at WTP

It is an interesting time at the WTP at the moment. The locals are all adopting their “flirt feathers” and are thinking about, or are fully involved in, breeding. At the same time the tourists are coming back from up north and still show the remains of their breeding plumes, but have nothing more on their minds than feeding and resting after a long trip.

One of the species showing local colour the best at the moment is the Pelican. Their bills and facial skin are colouring up beautifully.

I have always though of the Musk Duck as being just a drab, dark grey to black duck, and a strange one at that. The male has a huge dewlap, pointy tail feathers and does a startling display involving lots of splashing. They also have a small squeaking call that seems totally out of place for such a large heavy bird. The beautiful plumage on this female though has changed my mind, she is subtly beautiful in her new woo-the-boys outfit.

One surprise was a pair of Black Kite flirting and apparently carrying sticks to a nest site in the cypress trees. Not the best picture but it was such a surprise to see them apparently starting to nest I was a bit rushed.

Common Greenshanks have some nice colour left but are moulting to their off-season drabs.

Cattle are being grazed at the moment in the grasslands on the way out to Ryan's Swamp. This is a good place to look for Stubble Quail.

All images & text © Jenny Spry

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