ON THE ROAD — The Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) is renowned for its complex and mellifluous song. But at the Olive Pink Botanical Garden in Alice Springs, with the temperature heading towards 40 degrees centigrade mid-morning, the adult bird was gaping her beak only to cool down. Her youngster, wearing immature plumage which includes the superb brown and black bib, was coping a little better with the heat.

My friend Ian Munro saw a Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) sitting on a nest before he headed off to Central Australia for a few weeks. When he returned to his little piece of paradise near Esk in South East Queensland the nest was occupied by three little creatures covered in pin-feathers. In the next eight days they grew into these fully feathered and most demanding youngsters. Drongos do cope with up to five in a brood. Great mothering Mrs Drongo and great pics Mr Munro. Thanks for sharing.

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.