Breakfast, bring your own, Shrike Tit style

Its been awhile since we’ve really been out and about.  The weather has been anything but kind.

So given the options we drove out the gate, turned left and ended up at the You Yangs this morning.

Among other things found a Crested Shrike-tit hard at work looking for a tasty breakfast.

And given the new look on the site, I’ll put up the photos and let them explain.

Think the new wide layout makes the photos cool, but I can’t figure out the spacing.

Be aware of those pincer like jaws that can trim branches in a snap.
Be aware of those pincer like jaws that can trim branches in a snap.
 Nothing in this bit.
Nothing in this bit.
There must be something down there somewhere. (and there was)
There must be something down there somewhere. (and there was)
I have no idea how it knows that there is a grub inside that branch.
I have no idea how it knows that there is a grub inside that branch.
Took a bit of work to get the grub exposed.
Took a bit of work to get the grub exposed.
There that looks tasty.
There that looks tasty.
Well worth all the hard work.
Well worth all the hard work.


Where’s the SITE. What happened to Birds as Poetry???????

No, you’ve not missed something.
Change is as they say in the wind.

I’ve had to abandon the old (outdated, outmoded), template that I’ve been using since way back before when.

And pick a new one.
Several hours and I’ve managed to get this far. But,  it didn’t take to kindly to all my side bar side shows and has unceremoniously dumped them all down rather inelegantly at the bottom of the page.

So more work for the poor old site operator. (me!)

In the meantime you get slightly bigger images and not so much junk to wade through and somewhere all the header are a lurking.  We’ll find them.

So don’t despair.


Pacific Gull Hunting

Took an unexpected turn and ended up at the Point Cook Coastal Park.  We had planned to have lunch at the Homestead Cafe. But.  Its closed.  Until further notice.

So we grabbed the cameras and headed for the beach.

Down by the pylons of the old jetty a Pacific Gull pair were stationed bobbing up and down in the waves.  Then with a leap, they would duck under the water and emerge with a crab dinner.

These shots are not one sequence but the best from about 15 mins of watching them at work.

Wandering around in The Long Forest

Have you seen the weather details, she said!

I suppose i could have said, “Which Part?”, but when EE asks those sort of questions, the only right answer is.

“Well it looks pretty ugly, and 90% chance of rain, and high winds, but why don’t we go out anyway, if it really is dreadful we can come home early”.

“Thought you’d never ask”, she replies and whisks away to change into suitable attire

I load the car with cameras, (see other posts as to why this is ESSENTIAL survival gear). a cuppa and of course the rain jackets. Good old Driazabone. Where would be we without them.

Long Forest was the agreed destination mostly because Len had sent some pics of a Red-capped Male, and it seemed a likely place to start given my beloved Woodlands is somewhat out of bounds of late.

To its credit the weather opened up to some fine sunshine, a bit of cool overcast and no wind.  Who writes those weather forecasts???

Arriving at Happy Valley Carpark, the name lifts our spirits straight away, I point gleefully to a clump of loose branches that featured in one of Len’s fotos.  “He should be perching on that branch there any moment offered, “I.

“There he is on the roadway,” she replied.  Oh!

And indeed this handsome little red/black and white carpark monitor was indeed out and about.  Landing on the table practically right next to me before I’d even figured out which end of the camera to point.

However we obviously bored him very quickly and he was gone.   We set out to walk toward the River.    Not a lot of birds, but have to say I was looking at some worked over leaf litter on the ground and immediately thought “White-winged Choughs”,and sure enough within a few minutes the welcoming cry of the clan rang through the forest.  We didn’t get a great look,but its another reason to return.

Passing time with inflight shots

We’ve been sitting in our mobile hide (the little i20), near a tree that has a Black-shouldered Kite nest and the female in residence.
As is typical of her species, the nest is just below tree top and hidden well in among the fine uppermost branches.  Once she is under the canopy she is gone!

He off course is on hunting duty, and every so often turns up with a nice fresh mouse.   So all we have to do is point the camera, (attached, I might add to the WImberley Gimbal head), and wait either for him to arrive and/or her to emerge or reenter.
Now, if you’ve ever watched them, the first thing you’ll recall is that it can be a long long long time inbetween feeds.

Sometimes even she gets a bit anxious and sends out some pretty interesting Kite calls just to make sure he gets the message.
So we wait.

And of course in the waiting is the challenge.   So we, well at least I, keep the shorter 300mm f4 PF on a second camera and practice my flight shots on anything that spins past.

So here are a few from the other day.