A day of bedragglement

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

The rains have finally come, a gift from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald  after several months of drought, searing heat waves — and more recently, weeks of bushfires. Up north in Queensland there are tornadoes and floods. On the New South Wales Central Coast and Sydney, wind and rain. It has been raining non-stop with varying intensity since early yesterday morning or perhaps the night before. All my rainwater tanks (about 9000 litres’ worth) are overflowing.

Yesterday I visited my friends A & U at their home near Gosford and was afforded the opportunity to photograph the local wildlife in the wet. The drive was interesting and the highway crowded with pretty much everyone driving at or just above the speed limit (which is fine in the dry but probably not particularly wise in inclement weather, hmm? There were several wrecks, accompanied by blue-red flashing lights, tow trucks and cop cars on the other side of the road on the trip back). Here are some of the photos from the visit:

Australian Wood Duck, Maned Duck or Maned Goose (Chenonetta jubata)

Australian Wood Duck, Maned Duck or Maned Goose (Chenonetta jubata)

A is none too fond of these creatures because they love to fly in and paddle in his swimming pool. They look very pretty and all, but who wants to go swimming in duck shit? The wing-flapper is the male. He is surrounded by his harem flock.

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)

This juvenile Grey Butcherbird hasn’t grown into its adult plumage yet. It is quite partial to a bit of minced beef, and will one day (hopefully) become confident enough to take food directly from a human hand.

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)

Juvenile Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)

White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

White-headed pigeons are occasional visitors.

White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)

Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)

Noisy Miners are everywhere!

Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove (Macropygia phasianella)

Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove (Macropygia phasianella)

The Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove is also an occasional visitor that generally stays in the trees unless the weather is overcast and wet. One of these birds once crashed into a window, recovered and repeated the suicide attempt before recovering again and flying away.

Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove

Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove (Macropygia phasianella)

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

This Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, possibly an escaped pet, is relatively unafraid of people and will come right up to the house and eat from the guinea fowl’s food dish. If it reckons there aren’t enough noms it gets stroppy and starts eating the house. Its presence also draws in other wild cockatoos. For these reasons it is another of A‘s not-so-favourite birds.

cockatoo-03

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

Date: 27 January 2013
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens 1: Pentax smc DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]
Ambient light only.
Conditions: Overcast, rain.
Hand-held only.
Cropping and resizing in Irfanview.

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