So, straight to it with the birds.
Needletails (Swifts) On Wednesday 9 March I saw approximately 50 White-throated Needletails - formerly known as Spine-tailed Swifts (Hirundapus caudacutus) from my back deck, between 5:15 pm and 5:30 pm. I watched a steady procession of WT Needletails hawking, (feeding actively) at low altitude.
Much feeding occurred at approx twice treetop height (estimated feeding height approx 80 to 100 metres).
There were lots of "Flying Ants" around (larger and heavier in flight than Termites).
You can actually see them
if you click to enlarge image.
|Flying ants (composite image)|
Click to enlarge composite image
Weather conditions: Moderately warm late afternoon. Mid-level cloud, not threatening. Light rain fell several hours later.
It was impossible to determine accurately numbers of birds in the flock, as they were passing by in a steady trickle, not in a single large group, as sometimes happens. They were generally travelling north, but some limited "circling" makes it impossible to be sure there was not some double counting. I watched them for 15 minutes, Average 5 birds visible at any time. But in general they were passing by at roughly 90 second periods. Numbers estimated as follows: 15 minutes duration of total sighting / 1.5 minute average period of passage (allowing for a few circles by each group) X 5 birds visible at any one time = 50 birds.
The birds were coming from Shoalhaven Valley, over Belmore Falls, passing over Robertson and disappearing northwards, along Illawarra Escarpment.
Other Migratory birds still present in Robertson.
Several Rufous Fantails (Rhipidura rufifrons) were seen late this afternoon, flitting around in the Blackwood Wattles across the road from my house. I had not heard them in about a week, and thought they might have departed for Queensland or New Guinea. But htere they were still.
The other migrant still here (as of two days ago) is the Black-faced Monarch. (Monarcha melanopsis) It is a migratory rainforest Flycatcher, which is seldom seen, but which has a clear and distinctive call. There was one in the Acacia trees below my house, and it then flew back into the dense Sassafras trees. Once again, one needs to note the occurrences to know when they have been recorded last. Silence, or the absence of a record, tells one nothing, until the pattern of absence is well established. It is best to report it now, as "still here in Robbo".
And now quickly, to the Robbo Show. Just a few images.
|Phillip Owen scooped the pool with his beautifully presented Spuds.|
And another from the Show Bench.
Anna Williams did not know that she had won
the Champion Vegetable Exhibit with her Onions.
|Anna Williams' Onions won the Champion Vegie award.|
Out in the ring, there were various Sack races, and the "Spud Olympics"
for the kids from the various local primary schools.
But this is my favourite image from those activities.
A genuine action shot!
Lena was loving the attention she got from these little tots.
(Permission was granted for me to take their photos).
Their two Mums were happy for Lena to entertain the littlies
for a considerable amount of time.
And she was delighted with the attention, needless to say.
|Momentary consternation when Lena barked when she saw me coming back to her.|
Lena is very good with kids.
Ah, such days of innocence are to be treasured.
No wonder we love the Robbo Show!