I am aware of plans to improve the recreational facilities along this part of the river as nearby residential development progresses, but I was surprised by how many people already seem to be aware of the walking and fishing opportunities provided by this rather informal stretch of parkland.
|Is it a bird, is it a tree...?|
I hung back still hoping to solve the puzzle while the others went on ahead, however they were soon back and reporting that they had found the frogmouths, so we quickly headed up the track lest they decided to depart.
Fortunately, being the middle of the day, they were rather disinclined to go anywhere and were happy to sit on a rather low branch of a dead tree as we approached to within only a few metres. Even four small boys circling the vicinity did not seem to disturb them.
In fact, the response of the three birds to our presence was almost amusing. One, perched below the others, refused to acknowledge our presence in any way whatsoever, adamantly insisting that it was nothing more than a dead tree branch, its eye slitted just slightly so as to watch us, its beak pointed skywards to further enhance the illusion.
The other pair of birds were less concerned with disguise. They stood close together, eyes open, but not moving - with the exception of one who was bold enough to turn its full gaze on us. It stared very directly with its piercing yellow eyes, but didn't seem too worried that we had blown their cover and interrupted their day's rest.
I hope their disturbed sleep didn't leave them yawning on their perch when they should have been out pursuing their rather slimy, crunchy prey last night. I discover that are happy to consume pretty much anything which scuttles, slides, flies or hops and is smaller than themselves. Moths, birds, frogs, lizards, slugs, snails, insects and worms are all fair game and usually pounced upon from above as the frogmouth drops from its perch to the ground.
|Nankeen Night Heron|