Sunday, October 02, 2005

2005-10-01/02 Capertee Valley - Part 1

A pair of Rainbow Bee-eater sand bathing at dusk, Glenowlan Bridge

This is my last trip to Capertee Valley in year 2005. Main reason of driving 4 hours here is still the same - to see my favorite endangered Regent Honeyeater. Alas, my camera's cable release became faulty and it is always a jinx that the Regent Honeyeater had really put up a very good show this time.

The best shows are usually the live shows - I became the fascinated audience to have witnessed this endangered honeyeater preening and gliding in front of me. However, I still managed to take a few photos by using timer shutter on my camera. (Now you know that I am not a serious photographer and my equipment is not that high end)

Carpertee Valley inthe morning. The morning dew has made the grass look a bit bluish.

Renegerated vegetation

The Rainbow Bee-eater started to congregrate just before sunset and enjoyed their sand-bathing. This is my ever observation of bee-eater species practising sand bathing. Photo was taken using timing shutter.

Tall and mature trees provide good shelter as well as suitable nesting holes for birds. During breeding season, it is not uncommon to find 4~5 active nests of various bird species on the same tree.
This is a typical tree which has provided nesting holes for various birds including the endangered Regent Honeyeater.

Capertee Valley at dusk

This is the cosy cottage that I stayed for a night.
Bumping into a family of wild kangaroo is one of my memorable Australian experiences. How relaxing!!
This is my favourite spot to take a photo of Capertee Valley. Seen from Pearson Lookout, I am most satisfied with this particular shot as the mountains look very bluish. That is why the vast mountain range in this region are also referred as Blue Mountains.

2005-10-01/02 Golden Moments Part 2

Regent Honeyeater seems to prefer building its nest close to the tree canopy. That made it alot harder to spot the nest. In fact I did not see the nest but had noticed a pair keep returning to a specific spot.

In lower part of the tree, there are other birds which were also breeding by buiding nest on the same tree. These included Sacred Kingfisher, Willie Wagtail, White-plumed Honeyeater and Noisy Friarbird.

Sacried Kingfisher, taken at Warriewood Wetlands, Sydney Northern Beaches.

Willie Wagtail, taken at Maroubra.
This tame looking little bird can be very aggressive when defending its nesting territory. I have seen the pair drove away a much larger Noisy Friarbird when it wandered too close to the Wagtail's nest.

However, Regent Honeyeater does not seem to do so well in defending its nest. I had witnessed a Noisy Friarbird flew to the canopy and plucked some fine twigs to repair its nest 'down stair'.
The Regent Honeyeater become very agitated by this intruder. It flapped its wings very rapidly and dashed from one branch to another, trying to distract and scare the Noisy Friarbird. However the Noisy Friarbird was completely oblivious of this highly annoyed Regent Honeyeater, as if he knows,
"Go on jumping around, I am sure that you will never have the gut to hit me, unlike that pair of Willie Wagtail at the middle storey, they are smaller but really a pain in the neck."

That might explain why Regent Honeyeater becomes endangered as they are not as successful as other birds.

This messege is clear eventhough you are not a birdwatcher

The following four photos were taken at another spot in Capertee Valley. It was so unexpected that there were at least 4 of Regent Honeyeaters feeding the nector and two birds actually took a brief nap 5 feet above me. A curious and friendly resident came over and I had shown her the Regent Honeyeaters where she could observe it with naked eyes.

The 2 photos below are the first photos that I took in July 2005