Trying to avoid a heavy duty day out in the bush in 30+ temps, we decided that a sleep-in, a late breakfast and a drive down to the Balyang Sanctuary followed by a coffee and focaccia at the Barwon Boathouse would be the tourist thing to do.
After all we’d not discovered the Boathouse when we were there last week, so on the basis of new explorations, we packed up and were on the road by mid-morning. No point in getting there too early as the light is probably about as good as it gets by mid morning, too early, (like Goldie), and the birds are in shadow from the trees hiding the early morning sun. Too late, (like Goldie), and the sun is behind the bridge and the birds are in shade.
What of course this clever plan had failed to point out, is that while we might well have nice light on the birds, it would be blazing hot standing on the shadeless bridge. But, of course we were to figure that out much later.
There are perhaps 4 or 5 nests on the go, but only two that make for reasonable photography. The first is quite close to bridge and on Tuesday, she had two chicks only hatched in the past 24 hours as the Ever-vigilant Helmut had checked it out on Monday and there was only eggs in the nest.
Mum was still sitting proudly, and at first she only showed hints of the eggs. EE began to ponder that perhaps the chicks had met with a terrible fate. But, then Mum got up turned and there were two little snake heads bobbing about in the sunshine. Still at this stage featherless, but it was possible to see the little feather pins pushing through.
She spent a bit of time feeding them and trying to keep them shaded from the sun.
In the apartment above, the female had settled into the nest her mate was preparing on Tuesday, and she too had at least four eggs to show.
Just as the sun was making its presence felt, a loud Sqwaark, and the male arrived. After the usual greetings and things, he fed her on a nice big, fish? and they exchanged places. Which is pretty much an art form in its own right, as large wings, big feet and awkward bodies dance around on thin branches. But, to their credit it does work, and he ended up sitting on the eggs and she preened and went for a long breakfast.
We stayed long enough to see the male come into flat 1, and then decided the heat on the bridge was beyond a joke, I’d answered, “what kind of birds are they?” and “what are you doing?” questions for the week, and we meandered down the track toward the coffee shop. Maybe Routley’s Pie Shop next time.