Sunday, January 28, 2007
Tree Martins--Take 2
I frequently feel the urge to get out and go birding armed of course with my camera. This morning's no exception. I keep looking out of the window willing the weather to improve--I think today is worse than yesterday. It isn't improving, but I'm going out anyway. There's a gusty westerly wind blowing, with frequent heavy rain showers, punctuated by short bursts of sun and blue sky. I'm really at a loss to think of a suitable spot to visit and repeat the coastal drive of yesterday. I end up at the foot of the Tasman Bridge, hoping as I arrive, that the Tree Martins might be roosting in the she oak, as they were yesterday. No joy! I stop the car, wind down the window, briefly scan the river, and decide it might be best to give it away. But as I contemplate my next move, I become aware of the unmistakable "twittering" of Tree Martins. They're on the powerline right above me. I manouevre the car accordingly, they fly off (sigh!). There's precious little insect life flying about in these conditions, but they fly low over the river bank searching. I've noted that where they occur in colder, wetter parts of Tasmania, they frequently feed on the ground, rather a case of having to I imagine. Shortly they fly up into THE she oak. I let them settle, then reposition the car. This all coincides with a sunny break, which I rapidly make the most of, as I take numerous shots. The 2 images at right, are the result. Not as good as I hoped (they seldom are) but an improvement on yesterday, and at least it made the morning's excursion seem worthwhile. The upper shot is possibly an adult, but could be an immature bird from an early clutch. The lower shot is of a fairly recently fledged youngster, very much 'fluffed up' against the cold wind.