Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Swan Watch: II

It is freezing cold today (it's supposed to be snowing in the high country around here again).

I hope it is a case of no news is good news with our swan family to be. There is still no sign of hatchlings. The swan is still sitting on her platform nest .Perhaps because of the cold, the Swan was absolutely motionless.
In fact she was so still I got a bit worried that she was dead. It was a relief when I saw her move move her head after about ten minutes.
If you look closely at her eye in these two blown up images you'll see something I couldn't see on site.

She was blinking.
There were very few other waterfowl around today,
the main exception being some Maned Geese (also known as Australian Wood Ducks)
This guy thought I got a bit close...
taking off and revealing a flash of green on his flight feathers.
Before landing again a short distance away.
These guys are unusual in the duck family, in that they nest high in trees.

And speaking of trees, as I got ready to leave all hell broke loose high up in a big river gum nearby.

It seems the swans are not the only birds with breeding on their mind.No less than three pairs of Long-Billed Corellas ...
were squabbling ...
Over a nesting hollow in the end of this broken branch.
Like most parrots, Corellas nest in hollow branches in trees. As a large cockatoo they need a decent sized hollow which can be difficult to find. So these normally sociable birds become very argumentative about who will take possession of a suitable site.

Boy they were noisy!


Lisa said...

That bit of green on the duck wing is like wearing a classic grey suit with a jewel green lining. So unexpected and beautiful.

Theres just life said...

I agree with Lisa the green was unexpected and beautiful.
I hope the Corellas were able to come to an agreement as to who gets to move in. You know a water view is always desirable in real estate.

Old Kitty said...

It's so incredible that the birds down under are breeding during winter! Amazing!! Oh I love that beautiful black swan blinking with her big red eye!! Lovely!!! Fingers crossed they have a healthy brood!!

Ducks nest in the oddest of places, usually somewhere high up - the silly things! There was an (in)famous family who nested in the Barbican - a posh concrete block of flats in the City of London. These flats are surrounded by a man-made lake and fountains. Duck mum and ducklings jumped from one of the balconies to the waters. Safely. But it was done in a blaze of publicity - LOL!

Anyway the Corellas are beautiful!!! Awwww I hope both find good nesting places!

Lovely lovely pics as always!

Take care

Anonymous said...

Those Corellas made me smile. Such a des. res. that hollow branch.
Hope the cygnets make their appearance soon.

Piedmont Writer said...

How wondreously beautiful where you live. I used to have swans when I lived at the beach. Did you know they mate for life?

I hope your crazy corellas found a home.

Congratulations again on your book.
Fantastic news!

Theresa Milstein said...

Lovely pictures. Wood ducks are so pretty. It's nice to see signs of life through the long winter. Your spring will come soon and so will our autumn.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love the pics! Hopefully the swan and her babes will be okay.

Ann said...

Fabulous photos of the duck in flight. Just fabulous! Glad to hear Mrs Swan is well and just huddling down for a bit of warmth.

Susan Fields said...

I'm so glad the swan is okay! I hope it doesn't snow on her. :(

Al said...

Hi Lisa,
What a lovely metaphor.
It is indeed beautiful.

Hi Pamela Jo,
I hope the corellas didn’t get too cross with each other!
I’ll have a looksee when I check on the swans next.
Water views can certainly increase a price, (maybe that is what they were arguing about)

Hi Jennifer,
We don’t have such hard winters as yours, which is part of the reason they breed now. Swans breed in winter in southern Oz because they are most likely to get reliable rain to keep ponds etc full. The corellas are just beginning now, so their little ones will hatch as spring arrives.
There are quite a number of old trees with hollows in the area, so hopefully they all will end up with something that suits their needs.

Hi Christine,
A des. res. Indeed! I’ve looked into parrot nests and they hardly deserve the term. A hollow with a few pieces of wood and bark roughly sheared up with those amazing beaks.
The cygnets should be close (at least based on their usual incubation period)

Hi Anne,
We are pretty spoiled to have still have wildlife around.
I did know they are usually faithful to one partner. How romantic they are!
Thank you about the book!

Hi Theresa,
Thank you. I think the wood ducks are gorgeous. Spring isn’t too far away, our winter isn’t very long.

Hi Jemi,
Thank you. I saw her again today, she was much more active, still no babies though.

Hi Ann,
Thank you, pleased you liked the piccies.
As I said to Jemi, she is a bit more active today, preening as she sits.

Hi Susan,
It’s been a bit warmer for the rest of the week. No snow except in the mountains, it has been wet, but that doesn’t bother a swan :-)

Ellie Great said...

Great photos of the duck in flight!

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Al said...

Hi Anonymous,
I guess it isn't possible given I don't know who you are or what kind of site you want to link to