Little Visits: Like a Needle in a Haystack

…. or a Kingfisher in a Forest.

“Found It”, the text message said.  Neil A. and I both smiled.
We had been photographing the nesting Hobbys and EE had decided to leave us, and venture further on down into the forest to look for a pair of nesting Sacred Kingfishers.
Sacred Kingfishers are not noted for putting up a Neon Arrow pointing the way, and to say that sacred could also be interpreted as ‘furtive’ would not be pushing the language too far.

Sacred Kingfishers in our area come down from up north in late Spring and after a lot of calling through the forest, select a suitable small opening in an old tree and move in.
They don’t spend a lot of time sitting around contemplating their next move. The most we usually see is a flash of green and blue disappearing into the forest.

The one upside is that they have a particular ‘skcrrrarrk’ call when they are near the nest.  They also are able to sit perfectly still for many minutes and because of their colour set will simply blend into the surrounding forest colours.

However, with several seasons under her belt, and eyesight and intuition that must have been handed down through the gene pool for generations, Neil and I both had our money on EE’s ability.

The ring on my phone, announced in the absolute minimum of words, that the hideout was located.  Neil had other places to go, and so we parted company and I headed on into the scrub. Now, my challenge was not to locate the Kingfisher nest, but rather to hopefully find EE, another needle in a very large haystack.

To my surprise she wasn’t too far from where we’d spied a bird a few days before, just off a main track.

Another succinct conversation. “There.”

Well, I could see a number of trees with holes that might have been useful. A pair of Red-rumped Parrots popped their heads out of one, and a fierce looking pair of Rainbow Lorikeets seemed to have another hole staked out. So I eliminated them from the search.

“He’s coming”, EE called, and in short time a male Sacred Kingfisher turned up on a branch not that far from where we were standing.

He sat.

Twirling a small skink in his beak, he sat.

Then a few wing-flaps and he had delivered the meal to a hole in an old tree just across a small dry water course.
“Oh, there.”

We concluded that he was feeding the good lady as she was sitting on the eggs. And perhaps an hour or so later she poked her head out, and then flew before we even had a chance to press a shutter.

Now we knew.
Time to plan a full scale Expotition as  Winnie the Pooh would say.
“Pooh tells Rabbit about the Expotition (which he says is a sort of boat, which might not be exactly right, but we shall have to wait and see.

But in the meantime we were watching it unfold.

Yawning as he contemplates going out for the next hunt, or laughing at the futile attempts to locate the nest.
Checking out the unwanted attention
Food up. Delivering top up snacks to the female sitting on the nest. It is quite a tiny hole.
Delivered
Sometimes the transfer fails and he has to make another turn around.
All good. Time to go.
A quick peak to make sure all is clear and the like a bolt of green and blue she was out of the nest and away.

More as they say, to follow.