Saturday, 25 February 2017

Australian Pelicans and a Lizard Ambushing a Beetle

1. Australian Pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus)

The Australian Pelican  is found in Australia and New Guinea, They occasionally turn up as a vagrant in New Zealand and parts of Indonesia. They have the largest bill of any bird measuring from 40 cm - 50 cm. They have a wingspan of 2.3 m - 2.5 m. Their diet is primarily fish. In Tasmania they do not occur in large numbers as they do on the mainland. These ones were filmed at Scamander and St Helens on the east coast of Tasmania.

( Astralian Pelican  - Click the play button)

2.  Lizard Ambushes Beetle -White's Skink (Egernia whitii) - 
    
 The White's Skink (Egernia whitii) is generally an ambush hunter. The one in this video is quite a young and small lizard. As I was watching, it made several attempts to catch passing prey. It lunged at a large fly which got away. It leapt upwards at a passing bee. A piece of fluffy material blown by the wind was caught, but the lizard soon realised it was not food. (you can see this fluffy object in the video) Next a beetle (a weevil) came by and this time I had the camera set up. The beetle seems to have had a previous injury. I have no idea what the story is. It looked to me like it had been in a spiders web at some point. The skink soon noticed the passing beetle and you can see it creep out from it's tunnel and then charge at the beetle, bowling it over. It gets quite graphic after that. I take no pleasure at seeing the beetle being eaten but at the same time I am in awe at the  amazing world of wildlife that exists in our own backyards. Many people would not have even spotted this lizard let alone this encounter with the beetle. So, find a quiet spot, sit still, be patient, and you never know what amazing things you might see in your own backyard.


(Lizard Ambushes Beetle - Click the play button)




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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Tasmanian Devils and Honeybrown Beetles

1. Tasmanian Devils Relaxing and Lazing Around ( Sarcophilus harrisii )

A while back uploaded a video of Tasmanian Devils fighting and feeding.
 (Here's the link: https://youtu.be/VE0013H7A0Y )

This video shows them relaxing and lazing around. Many of my videos are filmed "in the wild" so I need to mention that these were filmed at a wildlife park. Wild Tasmanian Devils are nocturnal however they do occasional take in the sun in forest clearings just like these ones.

( Tasmaninan Devil  - Click the play button)

2.  Honeybrown Beetle (Ecnolagria grandis)
 
This is the Honeybrown Beetle (Ecnolagria grandis) The following notes are from an old blog post of mine back in 2008.
The majority of Tenebrionids feed on dead plant material and fungi and many books and web sites say that E. grandis is also such a scavenger. Personally I had always assumed they were leaf eaters as I usually find them on a variety of native plants, especially on Eucalypts. Confused, I searched for more information and I found the paper listed below. This clearly states that they feed on fresh leaves of a variety of plants including, Brachychiton, and Leptospermum. While beetles were found on Eucalyptus spp, no mention is made of Eucalyptus being part of their diet so I will have to observe more closely the Honeybrown Beetles in my backyard. At least it confirms that they do in fact feed on living leaves. The adults of this species are short lived. Most of their life is spent in the larval stage underground. Perhaps it is at this stage that they feed on leaf litter.



(Honeybrown Beetle - Click the play button)




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Since September I've gone from about 12 subscribers on my YouTube channel to over 210. Thank you all very much for your support and encouragement. If you have not yet subscribed please consider doing so, as not all of my videos appear on this blog. If you are logged in with your google account you simply need to use the YouTube/Subscribe button below.

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Linked to Saturday's Critters



References:
  • Hawkeswood T.J. & Turner J. R. (2003) Some notes on the biology, host plants and occurrence of the Australian lagrid beetle Ecnolagria grandis (Gyllenhal, 1817) (Coleoptera: Lagriidae). Spilopyra, 4: 1-3.


Friday, 10 February 2017

White-faced Heron and a Mole Cricket

1. White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)

The White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) is found throughout Australia as well as Indonesia, New Guinea, New Caledonia and New Zealand.

( White-faced heron  - Click the play button)

2.  Mole Cricket - Gryllotalpa sp and its Chirping Call
 
Well it's not all birds and furry animals around here. I like the creepy crawlies too. These alien like Mole crickets spend most of their lives underground and are heard more often than seen. They will sometimes come to the surface after heavy rain or you might come across one while digging in the garden. In summer, at dusk, you can hear them chirping from their underground burrows. The opening of the burrow actually amplifies the sound. Most are omnivorous.   This one is of the genus Gryllotalpa. The sound recording in the background is of a mole cricket calling from its underground burrow. I was testing out my new Zoom H4n Pro Mic. If the sound annoys you just turn it down :-)


(Mole cricket - Click the play button)




Thank You!
Since September I've gone from about 12 subscribers on my YouTube channel to over 210. Thank you all very much for your support and encouragement. If you have not yet subscribed please consider doing so, as not all of my videos appear on this blog. If you are logged in with your google account you simply need to use the YouTube/Subscribe button below.

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Saturday, 4 February 2017

Black Cockatoos, Blue-tongued Lizard and Baby Quails

1. Yellow-tailed black-cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

These are Yellow-tailed black-cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus). The video includes a young bird begging/calling for food. Their population is rapidly declining due to loss of habitat. It's interesting to note that the cockatoos in this video are feeding on two different introduced plants. Protea cones  (Protea sp) from South Africa and Pine cones (Pinus radiata) from North America. However, these additional food sources will not help them in regard to to finding nest hollows.
If you hear the occasional thud in the sound recording, it is the sound of bits of pine cone hitting the ground.

( Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos  - Click the play button)

2.  Blotched Blue tongue Lizard - Slow Motion Licks (Tiliqua nigrolutea)
 
There are loads of Blue-tongue lizards around at the moment. This one was trying to come in the back door. We relocated it further up the backyard away from our cars. It was also an opportunity to get some slow motion shots of them licking the air with their blue tongues. The red on the mouth is not blood. We fed it a raspberry before releasing it :-)

There are eight species in the genus Tiliqua. All are found in Australia with the exception of Tiliqua gigas, which is found in New Guinea and parts of Indonesia. Here in Tasmania we get Tiliqua nigrolutea, the Blotched blue-tongue.

(Blotched Blue-tongue Lizard - Click the play button)


3. Update on the Quail Chicks

Remember the wee one day old quail chicks? Here they are 16 days later. If you didn't see them at one day old then you can see them here: https://youtu.be/AZ-7xVJ33SE 

(Japanese Quails - Click the play button)


Thank You!
Since September I've gone from about 12 subscribers on my YouTube channel to 200. Thank you all very much for your support and encouragement. If you have not yet subscribed please consider doing so, as not all of my videos appear on this blog. If you are logged in with your google account you simply need to use the YouTube/Subscribe button below.

I hope you enjoy the videos.


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