After my few days in hospital sorting out the problem with my ticker, my wife and I took flight to the warm tropical weather of Far North Queensland to the Reef House at Palm Cove. We figured that we would find out what our winter migrant birds get up to while they are away. The beautiful Rainbow Bee-eater does not like the cold, and will return to our state in a few months when Spring arrives again. We did not have to look far to find these birds. We heard their zit zitting call as we walked from our room to breakfast. They occupied the same bare tree each morning for a couple of hours.
These insectivorous birds inhabit the warm to hot regions of mainly inland mainland Australia, including the deserts, but not Tasmania. They also migrate to Indonesia and New Guinea. The male has two long thin streamers extended from its tail. The female has short thick streamers. Juvenile Bee-eaters lack streamers and also the black marking under the chin. see examples below:
The predictable nature of these birds when perched assists the photographer and observer, as they dart from the branch after insects in flight and return to the same branch. However, the speed of their flight and rapid wing movement make them a dazzling flash of brilliant colour, which can be a challenge to photograph if you are not using the sport burst setting on your DSLR. Here are some flight shots similar to my feature photo above. Click on photos to enlarge them.
Lastly, this slowed to half speed video of their flight.
In the next few weeks I will share more of the birds from Far North Queensland. As were in holiday rest mode we did not travel as extensively as usual, but we did lots of birding around our resort and were granted some wonderful gifts which we will share later.
Take a look at these photos. There are signs everywhere you go near water warning of the danger of Crocodiles and Stingers, but as you can see there is no fear here. Notice the stroller next to the sign and the children playing in the water. Crocodiles are mainly a threat after heavy rain, as they get washed down the rivers, where they live into the ocean and then end up on beaches. However, they can turn up at any time, which is just one of the risks of living here. The few who do get taken by crocs are usually drunk with alcohol and/or go swimming at night in the rivers without being aware of the danger. This is how it is in life. We are warned of many dangers to our health and safety, some we adhere to and others we filter out of our minds. These are the Crocs in our lives, that can lie just beneath the water waiting unseen to suddenly emerge. This was my experience when I recently found I had a heart condition, I did not expect it, but there were warnings which I did not pay enough attention to. We need knowledge and wisdom more than riches, but it is only of use to us if we actually employ it in our lives.
“Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold.” – Proverbs 8:10 (NIV)
Have a wonderful week!
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