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.
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.

12 thoughts on “Little Visits: Like a Needle in a Haystack

  1. Stunning and beautiful images, David! So glad EE found them, but I wouldn’t expect anything less! Wonderful to see the entire sequence like this!
    Hoping for some sunshine over the next few days/weekend. It was very dull today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EE is a bit house bound at the moment, the cold weather is not helping.
      And on the other hand not a lot of activity going on apace either.
      I ventured out today got part way, felt cold and miserable, turned around pickup up a cappuccino and with tail twixt legs headed for home.
      And the next few days don’t fill me with much hope either. I’ve put the thongs and board-shorts away for the winter 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful captures David, what a find, and to catch Uber eats delivery as well. Love the colour you captured, they are so beautiful in the light. Well done EE ! My wife is also the one who finds them and is looking for them. Ours seem to prefer the arboreal white ant nests. That squawk they make is fairly continuous at times near the nest.


  3. Thank you Ashley, its the start of about 6 weeks with this pair, so a few more images to come yet.
    I think there must be a gene pool thing that gives an edge over the eyesight of mere mortals. I’m convinced it has something to do with sensing the minutest of movements and being able to follow that action.
    We don’t have the ants nests this far south so the birds either use riverbank edges, or hollow trees.
    In this area alone we had identified the location of 5 pairs over about a kilometre along the river. One on the far side of the river and completely inaccessible.

    hard not to follow that call as they approach the nest.
    All good


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