Readers’ wildlife photos

Please send in your photos; there’s always a need.

Today’s batch comes from reader Tony Eales from Queensland, who sends us pictures from the western part of his country. His notes and IDs are indented:

I recently went to Western Australia for a very short visit. It is my first time there and it’s like another country, the Central Desert of Australia is a very effective barrier for many species’ dispersal. Unfortunately on this short trip I wasn’t able to hunt for Western Australian endemics and the mix of birds around the capital was basically the same as any east coast city.

Nevertheless I got out and about to photograph some locals.

I went to some nearby small rocky islands on the coast. There they had a group of male Australian Sea Lions (Neophoca cinerea).

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There was also a breeding colony of Australian Pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus), one of only 6 such places where they are known to breed annually. Despite being distributed continent-wide and commonly encountered, most Australian Pelicans only breed when there is a rare filling of inland desert lakes. The conditions on this small island in Western Australia are such that they can access fresh water close enough to an isolated and protected breeding spot. Hence here they can breed every year. See this link for more information.

2australian-pelican

On the main Island called Penguin Island there is, apart from the penguins a large colony of Bridled Terns (Onychoprion anaethetus) which were just lovely. I couldn’t stop photographing them.

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The colony also has its resident large skink species, the King’s Skink (Egernia kingii), which, among other things, eats the tern eggs.

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We also saw a couple of young Eastern Osprey (Pandion cristatus).

8osprey

Back on the mainland I had a look around the excellent King’s Park Botanic Gardens in Perth and managed to photograph a White Cheeked Honeyeater (Phylidonyris niger), the classic West Australian Flowering Gum (Corymbia ficifolia) and some large Bulldog Ants (Myrmecia sp.), my favourite ants.

9white-cheeked-he

corymbia-ficifolia

myrmecia

7 Comments

  1. rickflick
    Posted February 22, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    The tern in flight is an example of that wonderful sculpting by natural selection that takes your breath away. The bird is like a fine instrument – a Stradivarius.

  2. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 22, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures! Thank you.

  3. Posted February 22, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous terns, and great shots.

  4. Diane G.
    Posted February 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Great photos and subjects, Tony! Such a beautiful honeyeater.

    Would you care to elaborate on your fondness for the bulldog ants? 🙂

    • Tony Eales
      Posted February 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Well they’re large so there’s the charismatic megafauna thing as far as an ant can be mega. They’re behaviorally interesting to watch. again all ants are but being big and out and about it’s easier with bulldog ants. And lastly they’re alarming, when they get agitated they can jump about like grasshoppers. For a big painful ant that tends to get one’s attention 🙂

      • Diane G.
        Posted February 24, 2017 at 3:30 am | Permalink

        Ooh, sounds a lot like our Latin American bullet ants! I hope you’ve never been stung!

        I agree, all ants are fascinating.

  5. Posted February 23, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Great photo!


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