Thursday, November 29, 2012

Patroling Peril - Lace Monitor Under Attack

Persistant Noisy Miners causing much Peril to this Lace Monitor last week at Jarowar.  J.G.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Return of the Dollarbirds 21/11/12

The Dollarbirds have returned to Jarowair this summer and have been present most days over the last few weeks.  J.G.

Dollarbird at Jarowair 21/11/12. J.G.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Noisy Miner V's Common Myna

By Judith Gray

This week I have had a baby Noisy Miner come into care after it was found on the ground near Queens Park in Toowoomba.  The juvenile bird is very cute and I shared a photo of this bird with my friends on my personal facebook page.  One of my friends enquired as to why I would be looking after a bird that kills other baby birds and is a pest... so this article is for you Leesa and other non-birders who are confused by these two Very different Miner and Myna Bird Species in Australia.  J.G.


Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)
AKA:  Soldierbird, Mickey

Australian Native Bird - Honeyeater Family

Identification:  Length: 25cm, Grey with white forehead and black face, slightly curved yellow beak, narrow yellow patch around eye. Yellow Legs.

Feeds On:  Nectar, Fruits & Insects

Breeding:  The Female makes a nest in trees, often the nests may only be a few meters from the ground.  The female incubates the eggs alone, but both sexes will care for and feed the young birds.

Notes:  The Noisy Miner - while being very noisy, this is a curious bird and is often responsible for allerting our attention to a nearby wildlife intruder, e.g. Lace Monitor (Goanna) or a Visiting Water Bird!

Australian Native Noisy Miner

 Noisy Miner Nest image at Jarowair

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
AKA:  Indian Myna or Mynah

Introduced Bird - Native bird of ASIA.

Identification:  Length: 25cm, Dark Brown bird with short tail, yellow beak and yellow patch around the eye and legs. Located wide-spread but mainly down East Coast of Australia.

Feeds On:  *Common Myna's are scavengers, feeding on almost anything, including insects, fruits and vegetables, scraps, pets' food and even fledgling sparrows.

Breeding:  *Nests are made in tree hollows, which would normally be used by native birds. Nests are quite messy and consist of a variety of materials,  Leaves, grasses, feathers and assorted items of rubbish are common materials.  When nesting hollows are rare, the Mynas will resort to walls and ceilings of buildings, making these birds a nuisance to humans.

Introduction to Australia:  *The Common Myna was introduced into the cane fields of north-eastern Queensland in 1883, to combat insect pests, particularly plague locusts and cane beetles. Other releases occurred, and by the 1940s and 1950s it was established in many eastern metropolitan areas.
In southern Asia Common Mynas are not generally considered pests, as flocks follow the plough to feast on the insects and grubs turned up with the soil. In Australia, however, their fruit-eating habits make them a pest of fruit trees, especially figs. Birds are also responsible for picking off seedlings in market gardens. 

Common Myna perched above Nesting Hollow (South-East Queensland)

Click HERE to view a fantastic news article about the Common Myna - Australia's Number One Feral Enemy "Myna Fightback" by Abbie Thomas

{Information Sources: *; Birds of Australia by Jim Flegg, Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - Queensland Museum Wild Guide.  Photo's:  Judith Gray  Links: "Myna Fightback" by Abbie Thomas @ }

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Three-clawed Worm-Skink 10/11/12

Three-Clawed Worm Skink AKA Verreaux's Skink (Anomalopus verreauxii) found today after the moving of large timber fence posts lying down in the grass.  It was very fast moving and hard to get good pictures of it.  Brendon picked it up so we could get a good look at the markings on its head and its little legs for identification purposes, once it was back on the ground it was burrowing away in the soft dirt very quickly.  They feed on soil-dwelling invertebrates. 

 Another newbie for our List!!

Head is hidden amongst bark/soil that was under the logs.

Three-clawed Worm Skink

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gerygone's,Triller's, Wrens & Kingfishers 07/11/12

Birds at the Waterhole at Jarowair...
It seems that more birds are frequenting the little waterhole/dam at Jarowair of recent as it is a constant source of water.  Long grasses and small trees nearby make it a non-threatening place to visit, despite an amateur photographer hidden amongst the grass on the waters edge!  Damselflies and Dragonflies frequent the waters edge and the grasses, including the Eastern Billabongfly (Eastern Dart) and the Wandering Percher.

Birds seen at Jarowair 07/11/12

White-necked Heron
White-faced Heron
Striated Pardalote
White-throated Gerygone
White-winged Triller
Red-backed Fairywren
Sacred Kingfisher
Willie Wagtail
Laughing Kookaburra
Noisy Miner
Australian Magpie

White-throated Gerygone 07/11/12

White-throated Gerygone

Sacred Kingfisher
White-winged Triller (Female? or non-breeding male?)

White-winged Triller (Male Breeding)
Male Red-backed Fairy Wren being non-cooperative for the camera!  Rarely do the males come out of hiding - except for when there isn't a camera in sight!

Wandering Percher Dragonfly
Eastern Billabongfly (Eastern Dart) Damselfly

last but not least... my favorite wildflower... Paroo Lily still in abundant flowers at Jarowair :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

White-necked Heron visits after the rain 03/11/12

In the last week Spring has certainly proved that is is "any kind of weather" time.  We have had very hot dry temperatures during some days over 30 degrees and then chilly cold mornings and evenings, just to confuse us all.  This week saw the very much needed arrival of rain... 35ml at Jarowair, filling the rainwater tanks, pockets of water in the dry Cooby Creek and about half filling the Dam.

Yesterday our daughter spotted this White-necked Heron visiting the "small dam/waterhole" at the top of our property.  I was able to take a few photos of it from across the eastern side of the creek bed to avoid scaring it away.  This is only the second time we have seen a White-necked heron at Jarowair, the last time was also at the same little waterhole.

This week has also seen the return of the Sacred Kingfishers... much to the Nosiy Miners disgust!


White-necked Heron at Jarowair - taken from across the creek.