Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Frogmouth - Rescue update, and an unusual Goanna report.

Tonight I received advice from my brother on the South Coast that there are plans for a family re-union of the rescued baby Tawny Frogmouth about which I reported just over a month ago.
The bird was handed over to WIRES, and the feeling was that it would be released after a few days. Apparently not. In fact they have held on to it until now, building up the bird's strength, to at least to give it some chance of looking after itself.

I got this update report from Brendan, this afternoon.
  • "(our Frogmouth neighbour) got a phone call from WIRES this afternoon to say that they intended to release our photographed Frogmouth back where they found it this evening, just after dark. The WIRES lady came out to have a look around; Pat told her that the three birds we had been watching had not been around for about a week but Mrs. WIRES looked up and found two birds - Pat thinks one parent and one young. Neither she nor I could find the third bird, but that means stuff all with Frogmouths of course.

    "The Neighbour tells me that she had assumed from a casual comment (that they only hold Frogmouths for a couple of days) that they had released the bird. Instead they have been feeding it young mice (pinkies) at great expense to WIRES.

    "By way of reminder I found two eggs and I was pretty positive that I saw two young birds in the nest. And of course while WIRES had one of the young birds the second young bird was in evidence here.

    "Hopefully tonight there will be a happy family reunion."

I am not sure how the bird will adjust from being fed baby mice to catching its own food, but I do know that the WIRES people are pretty resourceful and successful in planning rehabilitation of sick or injured animals. Hopefully the reunion is taking place as I write this report.

******************

On a very different subject, my Orchid colleague Alan Stephenson came across a very unusual colour-form of a Goanna (Lace Monitor - Varanus varius) while out looking for Orchids in the Shoalhaven Valley. He wondered if I would like to publish the photo.

Alan wrote: "I had it identified by a chap who should know and he said it is Varanus varius. However, it is a specific colour morph referred to as the Bell's form. This form is most common in the Pilliga and he found one on the south-west slopes in 2001 but has never seen this form in the Shoalhaven, so according to him the record is an important "first" and he will make a note of this in his journal.
Regards
Alan"
Lace Monitor - "Bells Form"
found in the Shoalhaven Valley of NSW.
It is normally only found in inland NSW and Queensland.
What a striking looking animal.
This is my own photo of a standard colour form of the Lace Monitor (Goanna). There is a yellow chin, but the rest of the body is uniformly speckled "salt and papper colours"
Here is a "head shot" of a standard colour form of Goanna.
I shall report the details of Alan's find to the National Parks and Wildlife Office in Fitzroy Falls, which is part of the group which manages the various National Parks in the Shoalhaven Valley.

5 comments:

mick said...

Great news that the little Frogmouth survived and is about to be released. A friend phoned me yesterday to say that some had nested next to her house and an adult and two young were sitting up on a branch. There must be quite an extended nesting season.
The Lace Monitor is very interesting. I didn't even know they had different color morphs.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
Yes, the Frogmouth news sounds good, but the bird has to establish itself as independent, now. Time will tell.
.
The Goanna is a stunner, isn't it?
Cheers
Denis

Gaye from the Hunter said...

Hello Denis,

my comment could well have disappeared in cyber space, so I will repeat just how cute the young Frogmouth is, and I do hope that it now makes the most of its second chance. The wildlife rehabilitation people really do a great job.

I have often seen the Lace Monitors in the Pilliga, and they are impressive lizards with the wide bands of colour. Very interesting indeed that one had been found well out of its range.

Regards
Gaye

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Gaye
Any previous comment you tried to post did get lost in cyberspace. Thanks for re-posting.
.
Nice to know you have seen the Bell's Form of the Goanna in the Pilliga. Apparently it is a stronghold of the population, out there.
.
WIRES are well respected, here.
I am still awaiting confirmation from my brother that the release was successful. First impressions were not that convincing. Adults had supposedly moved before the WIRES people turned up with the rescued chick. They let it go, but it was not "with" the parents when last reported.
Time will tell.
Cheers
Denis

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
My Brother sent me a message for you re the length of the Frogmouth breeding season:
.
"I noticed from your blog that someone else (Mick I think) has another nest under observation.
.
For the record these two birds were in the nest for 57 days after hatching and even then a couple of days extra would helped our friend take to the wing better."

So, that is a really long fledging time (just short of two months), and Brendan knows that because he found the egg shells, and then subsequently found the youngster when it fledged - slightly too early it seems).
.
That's how he can be precise about the duration of fledging. For full nesting, you need to add in the incubation period, but we do not know that.
.
Thanks Brendan.
mick, your neighbours might be interested to know how long it takes.
Cheers
Denis