Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Night Birds

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Night Birds by Ian Montgomery

If you can remember that far back, the last bird of the moment was Eastern Grass Owl [http://www.birdway.com.au/botw/botw_584.php] found during a spot-lighting trip to the Townsville Town Common led by local night-bird expert and pillar of BirdLife Townsville Ian Boyd.

At the time, Ian was refusing to be discouraged by pancreatic cancer, an attitude that we all admired until his death on 23rd of February. Typically undaunted he gave a presentation on his favourite topic, Night Birds at the BirdLife Townsville AGM on the 10th of February although he had less than a couple of weeks to live. Isolated by flood waters in Bluewater, I couldn’t attend the funeral on 1st March so here is a photographic tribute to him instead.

I got to know him well during his last year or and am left with some precious memories of searching for night birds with him. So let’s go birding together while I share three special occasions with you.

The first was when a birding friend and photographer from Mt Isa was visiting Townsville and wanted to photograph a Rufous Owl. I contacted Ian Boyd and he took us to an active nesting site on a hot afternoon at the end of October. There he showed us the two adults which we photographed (one of them is in the first photo) and our visitor from Mt Isa returned to the site later and got a photo of a fledgling peering out of the tree hollow.

The second was the occasion when we found the female Eastern Grass Owl at the Townsville Town Common which featured as the last Bird of the Moment. At the time our goal was to search for Spotted Nightjars which are supposed to occur occasionally along the Freshwater Track that goes across the grassy, saltbush flats between Bald Rock and the Freshwater hide (see this map:). We drove across the Town Common arriving at Shelley Beach on the northern side at sunset and then drove slowly back in darkness checking for night birds as we went along.

The first stretch of riverine forest on the Shelley Beach Trail produced a remarkable five Owlet Nightjars (second photo) and a single male Tawny Frogmouth (third photo). Male Tawny Frogmouths have silvery grey, strongly marbled plumage. We had only just started along the Freshwater Track when the cry went up ‘Barn Owl’ but we quickly realised that the Tyto Owl beside the track was a female Eastern Grass Owl (fourth photo).

There was no sign of any Spotted Nightjars – we suspect that they are more like to be found in the dry winter months – but at the start of the Freshwater Lagoon Road south of the Freshwater hide, we found a Large-tailed Nightjar (fifth photo). This species is the commonest Nightjar around Townsville and is well known for its persistent, loud ‘chop chop’ call that gives it the colloquial name of Carpenter or Axe Bird.

Finally, along the track between Payet’s Tower and the Forest Walk, a Barking Owl (sixth photo) represented the only remaining Australian night bird family for the evening – Aegothelidae (Owlet NIghtjars), Podargidae (Frogmouths), Tytonidae (Barn Owls), Caprimulgidae (Nightjars) and Strigidae (Hawk Owls). I’m following the IOC and BirdLife International in lumping the Nightjars and Eared-Nightjars into a single family.

We repeated the spotlighting at the Town Common a week later. This time we found one or two Owlet Nightjars along the Shelley Beach Trail, but Tawny Frogmouths were out in force. The seventh photo shows a female; females are often rufous like this one but always have plainer less marked plumage than the males. The eight photo shows a remarkably approachable male Tawny Frogmouth.

This time there was no sign of the Eastern Grass Owl (or Spotted NIghtjars) and the surprise of the night was a Barn Owl perched in a tree along the stretch where we’d found the Barking Owl the previous week (ninth photo). This bird seemed unbothered by our spot- and flash-lights and when it did leave it did so to plunge into the undergrowth after some prey.
That was the last time I went birding with Ian Boyd. He is greatly missed by his wife Robyn, the rest of his family and all us bird watchers who appreciated his generosity, warmth, leadership and enthusiasm. I’ll treasure these great memories of birding with him during his last few months with us. Thank you, Ian Boyd.
Greetings, Ian


What a nice tribute to a good friend and fellow birder. What courage for Ian Boyd to continue on under very adverse conditions. Thanks Ian for the neat birds and a memorial to one of your friends.

“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17 NKJV)

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

See more of Ian’s Posts:

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Night Birds

If you can remember that far back, the last bird of the moment was Eastern Grass Owl. [http://www.birdway.com.au/botw/botw_584.php] found during a spot-lighting trip to the Townsville Town Common led by local night-bird expert and pillar of BirdLife Townsville Ian Boyd.
At the time, Ian Boyd was refusing to be discouraged by pancreatic cancer, an attitude that we all admired until his death on 23rd of February. Typically undaunted he gave a presentation on his favourite topic, Night Birds at the BirdLife Townsville AGM on the 10th of February although he had less than a couple of weeks to live. Isolated by flood waters in Bluewater, I couldn’t attend the funeral on 1st March so here is a photographic tribute to him instead.
I got to know him well during his last year or and am left with some precious memories of searching for night birds with him. So let’s go birding together while I share three special occasions with you.
The first was when a birding friend and photographer from Mt Isa was visiting Townsville and wanted to photograph a Rufous Owl. I contacted Ian Boyd and he took us to an active nesting site on a hot afternoon at the end of October. There he showed us the two adults which we photographed (one of them is in the first photo) and our visitor from Mt Isa returned to the site later and got a photo of a fledgling peering out of the tree hollow.
The second was the occasion when we found the female Eastern Grass Owl at the Townsville Town Common which featured as the last Bird of the Moment. At the time our goal was to search for Spotted Nightjars which are supposed to occur occasionally along the Freshwater Track that goes across the grassy, saltbush flats between Bald Rock and the Freshwater hide (see this map: https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/townsville/pdf/townsville-town-common-map.pdf). We drove across the Town Common arriving at Shelley Beach on the northern side at sunset and then drove slowly back in darkness checking for night birds as we went along.
The first stretch of riverine forest on the Shelley Beach Trail produced a remarkable five Owlet Nightjars (second photo) and a single male Tawny Frogmouth (third photo). Male Tawny Frogmouths have silvery grey, strongly marbled plumage. We had only just started along the Freshwater Track when the cry went up ‘Barn Owl’ but we quickly realised that the Tyto Owl beside the track was a female Eastern Grass Owl (fourth photo).
There was no sign of any Spotted Nightjars – we suspect that they are more like to be found in the dry winter months – but at the start of the Freshwater Lagoon Road south of the Freshwater hide, we found a Large-tailed Nightjar (fifth photo). This species is the commonest Nightjar around Townsville and is well known for its persistent, loud ‘chop chop’ call that gives it the colloquial name of Carpenter or Axe Bird.
Finally, along the track between Payet’s Tower and the Forest Walk, a Barking Owl (sixth photo) represented the only remaining Australian night bird family for the evening – Aegothelidae (Owlet NIghtjars), Podargidae (Frogmouths), Tytonidae (Barn Owls), Caprimulgidae (Nightjars) and Strigidae (Hawk Owls). I’m following the IOC and BirdLife International in lumping the Nightjars and Eared-Nightjars into a single family.
We repeated the spotlighting at the Town Common a week later. This time we found one or two Owlet Nightjars along the Shelley Beach Trail, but Tawny Frogmouths were out in force. The seventh photo shows a female; females are often rufous like this one but always have plainer less marked plumage than the males. The eight photo shows a remarkably approachable male Tawny Frogmouth.
This time there was no sign of the Eastern Grass Owl (or Spotted NIghtjars) and the surprise of the night was a Barn Owl perched in a tree along the stretch where we’d found the Barking Owl the previous week (ninth photo). This bird seemed unbothered by our spot- and flash-lights and when it did leave it did so to plunge into the undergrowth after some prey.
That was the last time I went birding with Ian Boyd. He is greatly missed by his wife Robyn, the rest of his family and all us bird watchers who appreciated his generosity, warmth, leadership and enthusiasm. I’ll treasure these great memories of birding with him during his last few months with us. Thank you, Ian Boyd.
Ian Montgomery

Lee’s Addition:

“And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,” (Leviticus 11:16 KJV)

Fantastic photos of Night Birds. Also, sorry to hear about the death of Ian’s friend, Ian Boyd.

We have missed Ian’s newsletters. We have gone from Ian’s Bird of the Week, to Ian’s Bird of the Month, to Ian’s Bird of the Moment [whenever he can find time]. I think many of us have reasons why our previously vigorously produced posts slow down. I believe Ian has been dealing with some eye issues. Not good for a photographer. I can relate, as my back issues have slowed our birdwatching adventures down to a trickle.

At any rate, these are some very great photos. Enjoy!

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Eastern Grass Owl

Good News

A Great Friend Goes “Home”

Jim with Komono Dragon at Lowry Park Zoo

Jim with Komono Dragon at Lowry Park Zoo

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 KJV)

Dan and I have been privileged to have close friends over the years. As you move to new locations, the Lord helps you develop more “best friend” relationships. Here, Jim and Phyllis, have become more of our “best friends.” Yesterday, Jim (James) Foster, went home “to be with Our Lord.”

Jim and Phyllis Looking at Baby Gallinule at Lake Hollingsworth

Jim and Phyllis Looking at Baby Gallinule at Lake Hollingsworth

Over the years, Jim and Phyllis have joined us in some of our birdwatching adventures, and so, in honor of those great times together, I’d like to share some of those photos. This is also, to help ease the loss we feel at his “home going.”

Dan, Jim and Phyllis at MacDill AFB Shore

Dan, Jim and Phyllis at MacDill AFB Shore

Jim is enjoying the delights of heaven and of being in the presence with the Lord. It is those of us here, that are sad and happy at the same time.

Jim and Emma Foster - Work Day 2011

Jim and Emma Foster – Work Day 2011

Also, you are familiar with our great stories from Emma Foster. This is her grandfather. She, and all of her family will appreciate your prayers.

Jim and Phyllis were always ready and willing to volunteer for VBS and other events at church. Most of the time, it was in the kitchen area.

Jim with Pastor Pete and Emma at Window

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 KJV)

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Lee’s Seven-Word Sunday – 1/24/16

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House Sparrow nest in Sign

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house

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Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. (Psalms 84:3 KJV)

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Sandra’s New Kooky Challenge

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Sandra’s New Kooky Experiment

Guira Cuckoo by Dan

Guira Cuckoo by Dan

My friend, Sandra Conner, over at The Right Word Makes All The Difference, has come up with a new kooky experiment. Instead of, or in addition to, her Six Word Saturday posts, she came up with this schedule:

Now, this week, I got a really kooky idea. Why not do a post every day of the week — each day receiving its own number of words?

Monday = One-Word Post
Tuesday = Two-Word Post
Wednesday = Three-Word Post
Thursday = Four-Word Post
Friday = Five-Word Post
Saturday = Six-Word Post
Sunday = Seven-Word Post

So that’s what I’m going to do for the next three weeks. Now, I will be posting other regular posts as well, as the mood strikes me, but I’m going to challenge myself to say something relevant — or at least that means something to me — in the restricted number of words for each day.

Here is her Seven-Word Sunday – 1/24/16

She has challenged us to try to do the same for three weeks. Many times she inserts a picture along with six words on Saturdays.  I think I will take the challenge, except the photos or videos here will be, you guessed it, birds. Also, something honoring the Lord.

Since it’s late Sunday evening, I’ll give it a try. Watch for the next post.

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Seven-Word Sunday – 1/24/16

One-Word Monday – 1/25/16

Two-Word Tuesday – 1/26/16

Three-Word Wednesday – 1/27/16

Four-Word Thursday – 1/28/16

Five-Word Friday – 1/29/16

Six-Word Saturday – 1/30/16

Seven-Word Sunday – 1/31/16

One-Word Monday – 2/1/16

Two-Word Tuesday – 2/2/16

Three-Word Wednesday – 2/3/16

Four-Word Thursday – 2/4/16

Five-Word Friday – 2/5/16

Six-Word Saturday – 2/6/16

Seven-Word Sunday – 2/7/16

One-Word Monday – 2/8/16

Two-Word Tuesday – 2/9/16

Three-Word Wednesday – 2/10/16

Four-Word Thursday – 2/11/16

Five-Word Friday – 2/12/16

Six-Word Saturday – 2/13/16

End of Challenge

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BLT at Noah’s ARK

Interesting Things from Smiley CentralFrom another e-mail received, this one is about a Bear, Lion and a Tiger. They are affectionately known as “BLT” and housed at the Noah’s Ark Sanctuary in Georgia.

This is Leo the African Lion, Baloo the Black Bear, and Shere Khan the Bengal Tiger.

BLT 1

The threesome were rescued as babies from the basement of an Atlanta drug dealer’s home when it was raided by authorities.

BLT 2

They were starving, traumatized and had bacterial infections.

BLT 3

Since then, they were brought to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary

BLT 4

… where they’ve lived in the same habitat together for 13 years.

BLT 5

The only time the three were separated was when Baloo was sent to surgery. [While at the drug dealer’s home, Baloo had been mistreated so profoundly that the harness that was put on him had grown into his skin.]

BLT 7

The two cats were distraught and cried for the bear’s return when he was at the vet’s. Since then no one has separated the group.

BLT 8

They clearly bonded during their earliest memories and never wanted to be apart.

BLT 9

Now they live together as if they were brothers of the same species.

BLT 10

They play together, nuzzle one another and are extremely affectionate.

BLT 11

The threesome are the only lion, tiger and bear living together in the world.

BLT 12

They’re just that exceptional.

BLT 13

Humans could really learn from the bond that these three have.

BLT 14

No one ever told them they couldn’t love one another, so they did just that.

BLT 15

And now, even all these years later, they continue to do so.

BLT 16

The trio are affectionately referred to as BLT, standing for bear, lion, and tiger. They might just be the most adorable sandwich ever!

That is the end of the e-mail I received. Their behavior reminds us that when the Lord returns, sets up His kingdom on earth and Isaiah is fulfilled:

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9 NKJV)

Here are two videos found on the internet about them.

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Noah’s Ark Sanctuary in Georgia

The Brave Brown Sparrows In Winter

Sparrow on Branch ©©Bing

Sparrow on Branch ©©Bing

THE BRAVE BROWN SPARROWS IN WINTER

One Bird Seemed to be the Leader.

One Bird Seemed to be the Leader.

“You know,” said daddy, “I saw such a strange thing to-day in the city.”

“Tell us about it,” said Jack.

“What was it?” asked Evelyn, who was always interested in whatever daddy had to say.

“Well,” continued daddy, “in a tree in the park lots and lots of little sparrows were roosting. It was, of course, a perfectly bare tree without a leaf on it, and they were huddled together, keeping each other warm.

“I watched them for quite a time. There was one sparrow who looked the leader. He did most of the chirping and was apparently telling all the others what they must do and giving all sorts of directions. He chirped almost constantly for ten minutes, and then he flew down from the tree and hopped along the ground. He picked up crumb after crumb, and then when he had as many as he could carry in his beak he flew up in the tree again and left them on a branch where there was a kind of hole in which to put them. He was evidently showing all the other birds just what to do, for in a minute or two any number of them flew down to the ground and began to pick up crumbs.

“It was wonderful to see how many they could find, for I myself could hardly see any, and all the time he kept chirping to the others and telling them what to do.

“This kept up for some time, for the birds would fly back and forth, just picking up goodies and then putting them up in the tree. Meantime a lot of other birds who had stayed up in the tree were fixing them on the branch and dividing them all evenly.”

“Didn’t they eat any of them?” asked Evelyn.

“Yes. After quite awhile they all flew back to the tree again, and once more they huddled together and had the most marvelous meal. You see, it was their dinner time, and they all had it together at the same time to make it more sociable. From all the cries of joy and the noise I fancy they were having a pretty good time of it and enjoying themselves immensely. In fact, I think they almost forgot how cold it was.”

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Evelyn, “how well the birds can look after themselves, for it must be pretty hard sometimes, especially in the winter.”

“Yes,” said daddy, “it is, but these birds seemed so happy together and to be having such a good time. After dinner was over they all chased each other from one tree to another in the park and played tag and had a beautiful time. So I think really birds and animals are smart and brave to be able to look after themselves and their little ones so well.”


Sparrows in snow ©©Bing

Sparrows in snow ©©Bing


Lee’s Addition:

We enjoyed being together, and we went with others to your house, our God. (Psalms 55:14 CEV)

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:16 NKJV)

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Another Bird Tales

From

Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories – Gutenberg ebooks

By

Mary Graham Bonner

With four illustrations in color by
Florence Choate and Elizabeth Curtis

Daddys Bedtime Story Images

 

These stories first appeared in the American Press Association Service and the Western Newspaper Union.


Many of the sketches in this volume are the work of Rebecca McCann, creator of the “Cheerful Cherub,” etc.

Daddy's Bedtime Bird Stories by Mary Graham Bonner - 1917

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Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories by Mary Graham Bonner – 1917

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Links:

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©©Flickr

 

 

  Bird Tales

 

 

 

 

 

  Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories

 

 

 

Spanish Sparrow (Passer Hispaniolensis) female ©WikiC

 

  Wordless Birds

 

 

 

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House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
  Emberizidae – Buntings, New World Sparrows & Allies

 

 

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The Cat and the Crow

Just received an email from a friend today with this YouTube Video. Thought I would share it. It is really amazing.

From ozricus

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. … They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9 KJV)