Monday, March 14, 2011
All Quiet on the Allen Road Front
Overall aerial view of Allen Road. To the right [east] is the Nanango-Maidenwell Road. The fainter line to the left [west] is Andrew Road. The house can be seen at the approximate centre. The circle towards the bottom [south] is the dam. The blue line denotes the extensive area of Casuarinas
All told, it’s been a rather quiet birding time along Allen Road. Matters have not been helped by our inability to do our usual walk, either up towards the Nanango-Maidenwell Road junction or down to Andrew Road. Having a tree, well, a substantial main branch at least, suddenly fall across the Orchard/Middle Compound fence tends to rather preoccupy one’s attention… all the more when the chainsaw fuel line decides to rupture part way through the task!
Allen Road looking east to the Maidenwell-Maidenwell Road.
We continue our early morning birding, sitting in bed, both windows ajar [thank goodness for mosquito mesh], cup of tea in hand, listening to the growing crescendo of the Dawn Chorus. At weekends we do actually record these precursors to sunrise; during the working week we simply enjoy the various symphonies on offer.
Earlier in the week, Wednesday 9 March, Fay did note a handful of White-throated Needletails Hirundapus caudacutus overhead at the Allen/Andrew Road corner. They are often seen as portents of forthcoming storms. A minor rainstorm hit us on Sunday.
On returning from visiting our [non-birding] son [see the recent post at Birding the South Burnett] on Saturday, I drove a little further than normal past the gate, to allow for the trailer. I spotted a black bird in a low growing Casuarina, perhaps four metres to the west of the track. My initial reaction was to dismiss it as just another crow but immediately realized that the entire topographical jizz was wrong for crow. When I heard the soft crunch of large bill chew a Casuarina seed I knew the Glossy Black-Cockatoos Calyptorhynchus lathami, the darlings of our Backyard List, were back. Indeed, on closer examination we noted a pair of these beauties.
Allen Road looking west towards Andrew Road.
It was too tempting. We alighted and searched the area until we gained better views of the pair. I got in a couple of very poor shots [failing light remains my only excuse] before the bird flew off to the north.
Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus @ Allen Road.
We’d no sooner got back into the car than Fay spotted the Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus perched on a branch of the dead tree overhanging the track. We had written it off a while back as just another migratory species that had returned to its alternative residency. Perhaps when I have eventually transcribed all our handwritten notes onto computer I’ll be in a position to put together a paper on the local comings and goings of this little gem.
Other than these highlights the past week at Allen Road has been rather quiet- and science conferences will keep me away for the next two Saturdays!