Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Tree Frog and two Frogmouths in a tree

Several days ago I was lucky enough to be with two friends, in their backyard vegie garden in Burrawang. Suddenly there was a bit of a squeal, as a Frog had been found hiding amongst the leaves of a Cabbage which had just been picked.

Naturally I rushed to take a look, and found it was a delightful specimen of Lesueur's Tree Frog, Litoria lesueuri.The Frog was very agile, and it leapt out of my hand on to the gravel path, at which point it was beautifully camouflaged.
Apparently this Tree Frog is relatively common in this region, but I have not seen it before. You can go to that linked website and listen to the sound of its call.

I am grateful to Susan for taking these images, and sending them to me.

This specimen was small, and quite pale coloured. From the website, it is apparent that some individuals are much larger, and darker in colour.

Yesterday Bernie rang me to say that they had found a pair of Frogmouths roosting in a pine tree in their backyard, in suburban Bowral. Here you can see their typical stance, looking like a couple of broken off tree branches. Photo courtesy of Dorothy Baker.

Here is one of my favourite images, a close-up of a very freshly killed Frogmouth (a road kill) which my brother found near Nowra. You can see the huge beak (from which it gets its name) and the beautifully fine markings, and the hairy feathers above the beak, which help give it its camouflaged look. (You can see these tufts of hairy feathers - sticking out above the beaks of both birds - in the photograph which Dorothy took on her camera).The eye is partly open, in much the way that they use to look at any humans who might be stalking them, when in a tree. The feathers around the eye help keep the strong horizontal lines which help it stay safely disguised, when pretending to be a tree branch.


Mosura said...

Nice frog! I came across a frog the other day and ended up lying down in fresh wombat dropping trying to photograph it. What's worse is the photo turned out terrible :-)

I'm envious of your frogmouths.

Sue Catmint said...

Hi Denis, how wonderful to find wildlife like this - although it's a great pity one is roadkill. Photo of orchid amazing. cheers, catmint

JJ Cedar Glader said...

do the frogmouths eat the frogs? they look like they have little hawk beaks.

HappyMouffetard said...

Lovely to see the wildlife. The frog is so cute!

mick said...

I like the little frog - although maybe not on my cabbage leaves. It's always good to see Frogmouths - I wonder if they will stay around somewhere in that area. Are they territorial?

Flabmeister said...

It appears that the pair of Tawny Frogmouths which have nested in our yrad for the last two years are shifting back towards that area after the usual post fledging wander around the vicinity. It would be nice to know exactly where they go, but as their range inclues some hundreds of trees, many of which are not in our property, that is not going to happen.

Assuming they do nest again (and the foul currawongs do likelwise) I will try to get an image of the frogmouth's open gape (a real maw)as they threaten a swooping 'wong.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mosura
I could not write the script for you ending up in Wombat Poo!
And the photos weren't good either.
Nasty scenario.
But thanks for sharing - it made me laugh.
Better luck next time.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi JJ Cedar Glider
Our Frogmouths are closely related to your Whip-poor-wills.
Named for the appearance of the beak (extra wide).
Apparently they do eat Cockroaches and other things which crawl around at night, so maybe a tasty frog too??? Who knows?
Thanks for dropping by.
I visit your Cedar Glades from time to time, too.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Happy
Thanks for the comment.
I was very pleased to find the cute Frog too.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Catmint
It seems we share an interest in Frogmouths in common.
Thanks for commenting.
Nice to hear from you again.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
The cabbage leaves were a perfect hidy-hole for the little Frog - until the people decided to pick the cabbage.
Nice and protected, with droplets of water to keep it moist.
In my opinion, every Cabbage should have a Frog in between its leaves.
Better than slugs and snails, anyway.
Frogmouths do appear to reside in much the same place for a long time. They have favourite trees. But of course, every time they move it is a challenge to find them the next day.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
Well, I feel a song coming on - something about you wringing the neck of a pesky 'wong.
There is no known antidote to a predatory Currawong, unfortunately.
Their beaks (gapes) are amazing.
And those round eyes, when they decide to open them.
Lovely birds, just not sure quite how to encourage them to hang around.