An immature and an adult Lemon Bellied Flycatcher (Microega flavigaster) in the mangroves at Rapid Creek. The youngster with the spotted back still thinks it’s worth a try asking mum for food, trying on the dropped wing and open gape posture. I don’t think so kid. The three races of LBFs cover North Australia and are also found in Papua-New Guinea. They lay only one egg in a tiny nest of bark fibre and spiders web.

The Monsoon turned up to celebrate the New Year. It’s been raining steadily for about 18 hours and if we’re lucky we’ll have monsoon conditions cooling down the town for the next week. It has been a long and horrid period of “buildup”, temperatures in the mid 30s all day, barely dropping into the 20s at night and humidity full on. Today has been beautiful and great to watch the rain running off the corrugated iron roof to start 2015. May your 2015 bring you many blessings, and most of all peace and good health.

Still all fuzz and pin feathers this young Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) was ready to confidently explore the big world and get in some foraging practice on the lawns at Rapid Creek yesterday afternoon. Mum and dad were nearby and keeping an eye out, but being rather remarkably relaxed about a human with a camera. I had expected to be dive-bombed by the parents but the whole family was very laid back.

The Urban Dictionary pretty much nails it: Galah: An “Old Australian” word; an derogatory term that means a “loud-mouthed idiot.” Named specifically for the galah, a native Australian bird that makes a distinctive (and quite funny-sounding) call.”Oh, Scotty, ya bloody galah! What are you ON ABOUT?!”
It is, fortunately, now an outdated Australian insult and these beautiful parrots are mostly spared being put in the same class as politicians and various other “fools, clowns, doofuses, sapheads, dickheads, dills and nongs”. Similarly the spangled drongo is also now spared such insult, although 40 years ago drongo was a common label for a dill…etc.
Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus) are often seen in large flocks inland, especially in grain-growing country. The galah above and her/his mate were augmenting their diet with some weedy greens from the Nightcliff foreshore.

Woken by thunder about 2am. Lots of lightning and some serious rain. The first really good storm of the “build up” season that precedes the arrival of the monsoon from the north west. The “build up”, or kunumeleng in kundedjngenghmi language from Arnhem Land is a time of oppressive heat and humidity …temperatures mid to high 20s C at night and heading for 40 in the day. Many days watching storm clouds that tease but don’t deliver. After last night’s storm a drop in humidity and temperature…but just a temporary relief as we wait for the wet season. The image covers about 400km East/West.