Saturday, 26 July 2014

Hello from Coquette Point,

The cassowaries have continued their territorial disputes with sounds of drumming and bush crashing heard on an almost daily basis. I was pleased to see Cassowary Hero, on Wednesday, by himself at the top of the Moresby Range and looking no worse for his fight last week with Hagar. Hagar has also been seen with Rainbow and he does not appear to have any major injuries.

I have not seen matriarch cassowary Jessie all week, however, Ruth reports that she saw Jessie walking on the road, by herself, near the Moresby Range National Park.

Cassowary Queenie has been an almost daily visitor to the nursery and last Sunday when Waltburg Leinichen visited the nursery her dream of seeing a cassowary came true.

Waltburg migrated from Germany to settle on the Atherton Tablelands and it has been her dream to see and photograph a wild cassowary.
Waltburg quickly overcame her excitement and Queenie posed while Waltburg photographed her.

Later Waltburg and her partner went down onto the beach att Coquette Point where Cirino the pelican was enjoying the sun. To cap it off they accompanied a group visiting Cindy Lou the green sea turtle. Waltburg said she will never forget her day at Coquette Point.

Cindy Lou's new tank was fitted with a recirculating irrigation system by James Epong and she has now been shifted into this new big tank. Cindy Lou is enjoying the extra space and is swimming strongly and eating well.

Every day this week Alan Epong has arrived to feed and clean Cindy Lou .

Pictured James Epong, right, fitting the  valves for Cindy Lou's new tank.

Martin C told me he saw two green turtles mating on the outer reef yesterday. Soon they will be coming ashore to lay their eggs for the 2014 season.

                                                                                                    This week while I was checking out the drains alongside the rainforest track I heard distressed, repeated chirpings  from a cassowary chick. I entered the rainforest to investigate and caught a glimpse of an adult cassowary through the trees. I circled around to the source of the chirping and saw Queenie with Snout about 50 metres away in the distance, between them cassowary chick Ky was lying on the rainforest floor.  Queenie and Snout were looking at each other through the trees.  Queenie started drumming gently, almost like a love serenade, very different to the aggressive drumming I heard the week before. As she vocalised she bent her head in submission and seemed also to be bending her knees as if wanting to sit down. She repeated this action again and again with Snout watching intently.
When cassowary chick Ky stopped chirping and lifted his head and looked at Queenie, it was too much for her.

Queenie became agitated and rolled her neck, and shook her head.
Suddenly she lunged at Ky.

                        In a flash Ky escaped running up the hill away from both Snout and Queenie.
Queenie stopped in a cleared area in the rainforest, she looked to see where Ky and Snout where, the feathers around her neck raised.

Queenie remained sitting in the clearing in the rainforest and occasionally lowered her head, I did not hear any sounds coming from her. Snout continued to watch from a distance but made no movement towards her. Ky was nowhere to be seen.                                                    I waited watching them both for an hour but neither of them moved and I could not hear any noise from little Ky.

I believe this is the first attempt from this young female cassowary Queenie to attract a mate and she gave me the impression, by her actions, that she was inviting Snout to start courtship with her.

I saw Snout and Ky walking together today and I noticed Queenie's footprints on the beach this morning, so courtship has not commenced between these two Cassowaries.

 Ky is growing fast and his feet are already large so it won't be long  before he is forced to find his own territory.

Yellow Oriole has been very noisy this week, calling in bursts of bubbly song then changing to loud squawking notes.
Oriole enjoys the early morning sun when she meticulously preens her feathers.

Male and female leaden flycatchers are very busy catching insects in the warm air. When I watch these little birds hunting, so efficiently, it is amazing that there are any insects left to eat my cabbages.

Jumping spiders are also out and about hunting for dinner in the warm sun. This week I found another species that I had not photographed before and could not identify.  It was a large jumping spider about 15mm in body length. I found it, or at least it found me, at the edge of the mangroves on a hibiscus tiliaceus tree.  I was clearing the 'cottonwoods' from the back of the soil bays when the jumping spider jumped onto my shirt. This time I ran for my Sigma 50mm F2.8 DG macro lens, attached it to my Cannon EOS 7D and I shot some photos in a white plastic basin and more when I returned spider to the cottonwoods. He immediately crawled under the leaf from where I photographed him again, see below.

With the cool nights the old flowers on the 'cottonwood', hibiscus tiliaceus, have turned from yellow to red.

These beautiful flowers can also make a delicious addition to a tossed salad, only use the petals.

If you are feeling powerless due to all the horrible things that are happening on and to our planet, remember one person can try to make a difference.

However, when one person is joined by a community and they are all pulling together, then they have the ability to change the world.

Cheers for this week,


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