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Film Diary / 15.02.2010

For the first time since I started using my HDV camera, I was able to film an intriguing event in the form of a host of yellow butterflies attracted to the yellow flowers of a native tree on which they apparently breed. I had never seen so many of the butterflies. In the last few years I only ever saw four or so, but now there were a score or more.

After dark we went to the Knoll National Park, with a storm rolling towards the Mountain from the west. We reckoned we had an hour before the storm arrived and so it proved. Numbers of Great Barred Frogs rested on the path as if in anticipation of the rain. We were lucky to encounter a Brown Tree Snake taking its time to negotiate the path. On our way back to the entrance I was able to film a Giant Panda Snail eating a fungus.

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Film Diary / 08.02.2010

Late in the afternoon I stopped to talk with a couple of ladies who have guided me to some excellent subjects for filming, when I noticed a pair of White-headed Pigeons perched on a power line. These birds are not that common. It was years since I had filmed one, high up in a tree, and partly obscured. A man who lived in the street explained that the birds were attracted to the birdfeeder of a nearby house. I decided to go and get my camera only to find that the birds had gone. However, within moments of my arrival one of them returned to the power line in front of the house. I started to set up, but the bird flew out of sight onto the house’s verandah, only to reappear on the top rail of the balustrade, allowing me an excellent shot. This is a large bird as are a number of Australia’s other pigeons.

 

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Film Diary / 18.12.2009

My second visit to film Golden Whistlers from the living quarters of a house next to the Wild Garden. The house is raised on poles, so that the camera was on a level with the birds, who either perch on a wild tobacco tree or a more leafy White Bollygum tree. I had long lusted after this very pretty bird with its beautiful, full throated song. The male has a bright yellow underside, a black head, a black collar beneath a white throat, and olive green and black wings. The female has a white underside and fawn head and wings.

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Film Diary / 01.12.2009

Night filming at the Knoll National Park. Jaap had fitted a new battery to his spotlight. Olle Bakker, on a visit from Sweden where he now lives, had carried my tripod in the rainforest when I was filming the original archive and took on the job for old times’ sake. This was his first experience of night filming. I filmed beetles, a ladybird, a Brown Huntsman spider, a cricket, trapdoor spiders and a Brushtail Possum.

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Film Diary / 10.11.2009

The first night filming jaunt since May. We chose the Knoll National Park and our first encounter was the rare sighting of an Echidna which hid before I could set up to film it. We filmed another semi-snail. The first one we saw was in MacDonald National Park (entry for 6 January 2009) which can be seen on Night Life 2 on my YouTube and Vimeo channels. They are remarkable in that they have a hump which is covered by a soft membrane instead of having a hard shell. Unfortunately Jaap’s battery was playing up, which curtailed our filming.

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Film Diary / 12.10.2009

The Scrub Turkey mound has become much bigger thanks to yesterday’s rain. The turkey was very active on and around his mound. Previous dry weather made it hard for him to achieve the correct mound temperature for eggs to be incubated, so he went walkabout and the only scratching he did was for food. Scrub Turkeys seem to alternate between being indefatigable and indolent.

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Film Diary / 22.09.2009

The start of a new season of filming moths on the garage I belatedly discovered as a good location for this purpose (see my entry for March 26 2009).

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Film Diary / 18.09.2009

Have embarked on filming a Scrub Turkey, mound gathering and mound building in the Wild Garden. The work is undertaken by the male. He uses his very powerful feet to scratch leaf litter from the ground within a radius of 25 metres from the mound site, by repeatedly retracing his steps and ultimately leaving bare ground behind him. Nothing appears to stop him. He will scrape his material over rocks and the roots of large trees, ending up with a mound which may contain up to four tons of material – earth, leaves and sticks.

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Film Diary / 29.08.2009

On a day I was checking out various parts of the Mountain for recording good birdsong (which we can always do with, for our Supplements and YouTube clips), I happened upon three alpacas grazing the lush grass of a paddock near the golf course. I regard them in the same light as the Asian Water Buffaloes, which were the first creatures I filmed with my new camera in April 2007 – as welcome exotics.

 

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Film Diary / 17.07.2009

For the past fortnight I have been filming Wompoo Pidgeons in a Moreton Bay fig tree adjacent to the house on whose lawn and drive I have filmed the pademelons. The tree merges into the rainforest of Palm Grove National Park. Wompoo Pigeons are typical of the breed in Australia, visually striking and of an imposing size, particularly this species which has a pale grey head and neck, green wings with a yellow band, a purple breast and yellow abdomen.  The tree is as much a favourite place of the pigeons as the lawn is of the small marsupials; there must be twenty or so birds in its canopy. They are elusive to film and always stay a long way from the camera.