Sunday, 29 March 2015


The ABC online photo of a Rainbow Larikeet eating mince at a home bird feeder, located at Elinban north of Brisbane, has created a lot of interest.Professor Darryl Jones of Griffith university " I'm up to date with all kinds of crazy things that birds are eating all over Australia. To see a Lorikeet eating meat astonishes me completely. I have never heard of such a thing before". he told ABC online.
The photograph by one of our members taken at Morven, south west Qld , in 1978 shows two birds sitting on a kangaroo carcass . May not be complete evidence Lorikeets eat meat in the wild."but"
Professor Jones later said he has received 180 email from people stating they have seen these birds eating meat.
We know Rainbow Lorikeets eat pollen and nectar, we may now not take things for granted.
Lorikeet about to enjoy eucalyptus flowers. photo by member.
Lorikeets my be about to enjoy a meal of  Roo meat. Morven 1978  photo by member.
The Lorikeets long tongue ------ designed to extract pollen.  Photo by Matt Watson

From a life member of the Gympie Field Naturalists Club.

The Australian environment is a pretty hard place in which to make a living and survive for most fauna species (as well as flora) .
Bird have developed specialities but will divert from that given the opportunity. The presence of a large quantity of food will attract many birds that are not supposed to normally eat that food.
The reason for 'abnormal' consumption is that species cannot afford to forego any good food source. That is not abnormal just part of their never ending search for food,it may not be what they prefer but that is irrelevant, it is food that is often hard to come by. We have seen Lorikeets on a number of occasions feasting on road kill along with any number of meat eaters.
Other odd food sightings have been Pied Butcher Birds eating ripe fruit particularly when there are young in the nest, probably a vitamin C source for the nestlings, Brown-cuckoo Doves deliberately selecting Wild Tobacco berries that have fruit fly maggots in them as a high protein source for young, all types of birds (40 sp in all) feeding on Silky Oak flowers and including Spangled Drongos, Butcher birds, Koels and a Swamp Pheasant checking it all out.
Honeyeaters look for insects under tree bark but also are also hunting for the high protein gum exudates that can follow damage by insects to the bark.
Swarming meat ant flights can number thousands of flying ants which are much to good a food source to ignore though the larger Honeyeaters, Friar Birds, are pretty clumsy but manage to catch enough to make it worthwhile.
When there is a large Spotted gum flowering episode the whole area attracts so many birds that the noise is more than audible 500m away and the resident Noisey Miners just give up and join in the feeding frenzy that included Fig Parrots feeding right alongside Little and other Lorikeets.
Outside birds - we have a colony of Black-striped wallabies near the house. One female has learnt to reach up and harvest red hibiscus flowers and has taught her young. So what, wallabies eat vegetation, but this species is very much a grazer which means looking up for food is not the usual way, that is a browsing behaviour like swamp wallabies.
Our fauna has had to be tough to survive and grabbing any food at any time is a large part of the survival techniques.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Brown Ringlet Butterfly ----- Hypocysta metirius

Members on the Fig Tree board walk ----- discussing what was spotted on the morning walk

Giant Stinging Tree ---- Dendrocnide excelsa  ----- One of the features on the Fig Tree board walk

Little Yabba Creek ----- erosion was quite severe from recent floods ---- note debris in the trees.

Spectacled Monarch

Orange Bracket Fungus ----- Growing on its host ---- dead wood

Little Pied Cormorant ----- about to fish in Little Yabba Creek

Bell Miner ------ A bird that is always heard but very rarely spotted 

Australian Logrunner ------ family groups work the forest floor ------ blends very well in to the leaf litter .

Pale Triangle Butterfly in flight.

Yellow -throated Scrubwren  photo by Glen Fergus Wikicommons.
The wren not spotted on the day. The nest below is made from long twigs and vines lined with soft leaves and an array of feathers. The side entrance (not visible ) is weather proof. Seems to be a lot of work for such a small bird. The nest as shown may have been used in the last nesting season Jul.-Feb. Their area from about Cooroy /Bunya Mt. south to Mid N.S.W. is the birds territory.  The wren shares the scrub floor with Logrunners and in some areas Lyrebird. The wet tropics also hosts this bird.

Yellow-throated  Scrubwren Nest

The male Golden Whistler ----- always a favorite --- easy to photograph. The female on the left is not as colorful .

Native Green Elf Orchid ------on the forest floor at Charle Morelands ------ Stands about 150mm  ------ may not look like an orchid ----- take a close look at the bottom flower on the left  side of the two plants.

Orchid Swallowtail ------- Female under wing 

Monday, 9 March 2015


Marsh Sandpiper
Soldier Crabs on the march ------ vacuum cleaners of the sand flats.
Family of Plumed Whistling-Ducks
Eastern Curlew --- long bill for penetrating the sand.
Bar-tailed Godwit

Masked Lapwing
Believed to be a canoe tree ----- the top of the tree lost and the remaining trunk weathered white ----- long ago the bark would have been removed to build a canoe ---- timber rotted by weather leaving the distinct shape.

Little Egret
Diamond Python a sub-species of the more common Carpet Python ----- the markings are more diamond shape rather than the larger blotched pattern of our common python. Some references don"t distinguish between the species. This fellow was about 2 meters of the ground in a mangrove bush on the tidal flats ----- in the open at midday.

Great Knot (showing early development of breeding plumage)
Sulphur - crested Cockatoo -----  having a Sunday morning meeting with much flapping of wings and noise before they went on their individual ways

Golden Orb Weaver (Female) ---- Males much smaller and brownish overall ----- one was on the edge of web out of camera shot ---- Web silk golden-yellow.

Friday, 6 March 2015


We believe this bird to be an immature male bower bird ------ photo supplied by a club member ------- Female and male satin bower birds start out as an olive-green colour (green bird) ------ when the male reaches five years they commence the change from "green" to the lovely Satin colour of the mature male ------- full colour achieved at an age of seven years ------- The females maintain their olive green colour. This bird would be part way through the process. 

                                                                       ref. Aust. Museum web site.

Clown Bug ----- Amorbus robusta  4th instar ------ Pie Creek area.

Australian Leafwing Butterfly ------  Male ----- resting with wings open towards the sun ------- The wings bottom sides , which is a completely different color,camouflage with dry leaf patterns when closed  ------ hence the name.