JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

Monday, 8 February 2016

Am I a Twitcher?

    "The term twitcher, sometimes misapplied as a synonym for birder, is reserved for those who travel long distances to see a rare bird that would then be ticked, or counted on a list. The term originated in the 1950s, when it was used for the nervous behaviour of Howard Medhurst, a British birdwatcher."
    Our friends rang us on Friday to see if we wanted to go with them to  Mount Lewis to see if we could spot the rare Blue Faced Parrot Finch.  Apparently they had been seen feeding on grass seed in an area about half way into the Mount Lewis National Park.  Unfortunately halfway along the road we came to a road crew (bless them for working on this road!) who informed us that the road was closed but would be re-opened on the weekend.  So we turned around and postponed our trip until Sunday.
    We were excited to be invited to tag along with these two photographers.  They are a husband and wife team and extremely talented photographers.  They know every inch of Cape York from Mossman northwards and listening to their travelling stories just makes us want to visit these places.  Mind you, a lot of the places they visit are barely passable in a four wheel drive.
    The husband and wife team

    Camouflaged amongst the tree?

    We arrived at our designated spot at about 3.00pm and began the long wait for the little birds to arrive.  They are understandably nervous and it takes some time for them to feel comfortable with us.  We just waited very quietly and patiently and eventually we were rewarded with their appearance.  I did not have the camera equipment to get any great photographs but I did enjoy just watching them....very much.  So much in fact that I think I could really get into bird watching.  Julatten is known as a bird watchers paradise so it would be easy.
    The Blue Faced Parrot Finch is quite rare and only found in our area.  We were also treated to the Red Browed Finch.  These are more common finches but still as interesting.  They were feeding on the bracci grass seeds and on closer inspection you can see what they were enjoying.
    Red Browed Finch

    Blue Faced Parrot Finch

    A very hard bird to photograph as his colouring is great camouflage.

    The seeds of the bracci grass.

    While we were waiting for the birds to arrive Trevor spotted a giant dragonfly sitting high up in a dead tree stump.  It was about 15-20 cm long.....the biggest dragonfly I have ever seen! Philip's photo gives some perception of length.

    Can you spot the dragonfly at the top of this tree stump? 

    Speaking of my husband....he is becoming quite the photographer.  I love the photos that he captured.

    Such a shame that lantana is a weed.  It is a really lovely flower.

    Any wonder that the March Fly bites hurt.  Look at the size of those nippers!

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