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Bird Watching: More birds from Down Under

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
10:03 AM

Post #5739525

I hope you'll enjoy looking at the birds I'm seeing locally.

DH and I went to a large wetland area known as Herdsman's Lake a few days ago. It is three and a half square kilometres in size and never completely dries out in summer. The bird life there was amazing. The first bird we saw when we got there was a Rainbow Bee Eater. My aim this summer is to get some really good shots of this incredibly beautiful little bird that migrates to southern Western Australia from the northern part of the state to breed. It nests in holes in firm sandy embankments.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
10:06 AM

Post #5739527

This is a shot of one of the many nest holes in a big, artificial sand hill, obviously there from when the lake is dredged. Dredging equipment was nearby.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
10:09 AM

Post #5739528

There were Cormorants all over the dredge, drying in the sun.

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leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 1, 2008
10:13 AM

Post #5739531

Now Margaret, the bee eater is one beautiful bird. You know how I find the Aussie wildlife so fascinating. Well done. Lee
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
10:18 AM

Post #5739534

Thanks Lee. They really are beautiful birds. When seen in flight, the underside of their wings is the most exquisite coral colour.

There were White Ibis extracting tasty morsels from the mud. This is a small group preening themselves at the edge of a stream. The other birds in the stream were ducks and coots.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
10:28 AM

Post #5739541

I'm not certain what these two birds are but they were at the beginning of a stand off. The smaller bird on the left had a yellow beak and whitish eyes; the other, larger bird had a blackish beak and green between its eyes and the base of its bill.

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leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 1, 2008
10:30 AM

Post #5739543

I cann only imagine the color of the Rainbow Bee Eaters. Ibis are interesting birds. I remember reading in elementary school about a Scarlet Ibis. Have always remembered that. I find the ducks and coots interesting. You are certainly expanding our knowledge of Aussie birds and wildlife. Please, do continue. Lee
leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 1, 2008
10:31 AM

Post #5739544

yes, it does appear as if they are in a stand off. what was the outcome? Lee
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
10:34 AM

Post #5739547

A bit tetchy

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
10:37 AM

Post #5739549

It escalated to a pretty impressive display. Focus isn't sharp. Pity.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
10:41 AM

Post #5739555

Black beak had greater bluffability and the other one flew off into a nearby tree. I managed to get a shot of that one a little closer and will post that one next.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
10:45 AM

Post #5739560

Here it is in the tree.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
10:47 AM

Post #5739561

Heavily cropped for detail.

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leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 1, 2008
11:03 AM

Post #5739576

I see now the outcome. Margaret are they herons? or Egrets? Lee
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
11:11 AM

Post #5739585

Lee, I'm not sure and will rely on Resin's good nature to ID them. I think the larger bird may be a Great Egret.

Willie Wagtails, those plucky little birds that harass the Ospreys will attempt to chase anyone or anything away from their nest. The pair who had this nest gave themselves away by their behaviour. I could zero in on the nest by their increasing belligerence which would ease off if I moved away from it. I took only one shot as I didn't want to distress them. They use spiders web to anchor the nest to the branch.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
11:18 AM

Post #5739594

Another shot. I have no idea if it was the same bird as the area is so bushy in parts that it is impossible to keep track of a bird's movements.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
11:25 AM

Post #5739607

A pair of Crested Grebes were displaying. The weather turned dark and windy at the same time and I couldn't get a decent shot, but they were wonderful to watch.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
11:30 AM

Post #5739615

This will give an idea of how windy it was. Hard to have a good feather day in weather like that.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
11:33 AM

Post #5739617

Herdsman's Lake is about five kilometres from the city. That isn't smog, it's misty because of salt driven wind.

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leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 1, 2008
11:58 AM

Post #5739652

Margaret, I love the one of the bird which is on the branch. For some reason, It reminded me of me, somewhat anxious or something. Now, the 'good feather day' had me laughing til the tears were running down each cheek. Haven't laughed like that in months. You have made my day and it beats the heck out of a pain pill.
Do cont to educate and make me laugh. Lee
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
11:59 AM

Post #5739653

Mountain Shelducks, Pacific Black Ducks and a Black Swan sheltering from the wind in the bullrushes.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
12:07 PM

Post #5739664

I'll do my darndest, Lee.

An Australian White Ibis in flight (duh).

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
12:16 PM

Post #5739676

Another shot of the Ibis.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
12:21 PM

Post #5739686

Just a few of the Ibis. I didn't see any Straw Necked Ibis that day. Plenty more opportunities before the place becomes riddled with Tiger Snakes.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
12:28 PM

Post #5739701

Nankeen Kestrel.  These little birds of prey are fairly common around Perth.  I often see them hovering above the embankment at the ocean.  It was so windy I was having difficulty holding the camera steady and this bird was blown off the pole several times.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
12:33 PM

Post #5739711

Same bird in flight.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
12:39 PM

Post #5739724

I've never seen as many Swamphens as I saw that day. They were uncharacteristically flighty (intended). This one's saying "I'm outa here". So am I. For now.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 1, 2008
12:40 PM

Post #5739725

Hi Margaret, Wonderful pics! I believe your egret with the yellow bill is a Great Egret and the black billed one is a Little Egret. Check this site and see if you agree.

http://dl.id.au/g.php?c=1&f=150

Pelle
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
1:03 PM

Post #5739785

Thanks Pelle. Yep, I agree that the yellow billed one is the Great Egret. The only difference with the other one is that the area between the eye and the bill was very green. The closer shots I got were so appallingly blurry, I deleted them in disgust. I've just zoomed in and cropped one of the shots I posted. It's at about 3 million percent so the quality is really off, but hopefully the green can be seen.

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irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

November 1, 2008
1:08 PM

Post #5739806

Great pictures Margaret. Lucy
leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 1, 2008
1:11 PM

Post #5739815

Margaret, you are a gem by posting all these picx. All of the birds are so interesting. Lee
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 1, 2008
1:19 PM

Post #5739838

Here we are Margaret; still a Great Egret.

http://dl.id.au/g.php?c=1&i=54
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

November 1, 2008
1:29 PM

Post #5739870

Oh Marg! Your pictures are spectacular! I cannot wait to see them in person ;o) Eliza is going to have such a good time. LOL
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
1:37 PM

Post #5739903

Thanks Pelle. You're brilliant. Spot on and thanks for the ID's.

I'm glad you're enjoying them Lucy and Lee. There'll be lots more to come in the weeks ahead.

Kim, Eliza will have a ball. We've got a 7,000 litre koi pond out front and my pet chicken will enjoy the company. She'll be as happy as Larry.
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

November 1, 2008
1:42 PM

Post #5739923

Oh boy. A swimming area and a friend?! We better start pricing plane tickets ;o)

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

November 1, 2008
2:52 PM

Post #5740142

They're both Great Egrets; black bill is a breeding bird, yellow bill is a non-breeder (immature, or failed). The bill and face patch just colour up for the display and early part of the breeding season, by late summer both will have yellow bills.

Resin

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

November 1, 2008
7:42 PM

Post #5740796

No wonder they were having a staring match.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

November 1, 2008
10:09 PM

Post #5741146

Yep, sort of "Get out of my patch!"

Resin

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

November 1, 2008
10:38 PM

Post #5741211

That is very interesting Resin.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 1, 2008
10:53 PM

Post #5741242

Hey duckmother, maybe we can get seats on the same plane! I so wish I could join on one of those photos trips.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
11:08 PM

Post #5741298

In the weeds at the side of the track was a Richard's Pipit.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 1, 2008
11:11 PM

Post #5741391

Richard's Pipit out in the open.

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duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

November 2, 2008
12:36 AM

Post #5741682

Mrs_Ed, if we can get enough people to fly with us...we can get a discounted rate or maybe a private plane!

What a cutie, Marg.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 2, 2008
12:39 AM

Post #5741698

Yes, I'd like a private plane please, with beds for the long trip.
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

November 2, 2008
11:06 AM

Post #5742801

Fantastic pictures Margaret! You have such a wonderful place to bird and like everyone else I would love to visit your country someday (but I would have to fly there on my broom)! That Rainbow Bee Eater is sure a gorgeous bird and your Kestrel reminds me of the ones we have here. So many beautiful birds...thanks for sharing them!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 2, 2008
12:26 PM

Post #5742942

Beautiful series of photos, Margaret. I read where there are at least 867 species of birds in Australia. We're counting on you !!! Only 700+ to go ...
wallaby1
Lincoln
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

November 2, 2008
2:22 PM

Post #5743282

I'm enjoying every bit of it, the Rainbow Bee Eater takes the cake! Thanks again for your mighty efforts Margaret!
Shan71
Danvers, MA

November 4, 2008
3:34 AM

Post #5749829

Great pics! Love the Bee Eater!

Depending on the election results tomorrow I may be packing my bags and coming to stay for a few years. :) We can all charter a plane! Look out Australia! Here we come!!!

irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

November 4, 2008
4:05 AM

Post #5749934

I am so tired of all the political ads. We get national ones, state ones & even NH ads. Much rather get back to plants, gardens birds etc.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 4, 2008
1:44 PM

Post #5750590

no way shan, Margaret's guest bedroom is already spoken for!!! ;-)

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 5, 2008
12:54 AM

Post #5753107

Things haven't really been slow. I've been working and the weather's also been pretty awful, but I got a few shots in the yard this morning.

This is one of the Short Billed Corellas that are so fun-loving. There were another half dozen in nearby trees, but didn't get any good shots because they were back-lit in the early morning light.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 5, 2008
1:00 AM

Post #5753135

This is a young Red Wattlebird in a native frangipani. The parents still feed it and its sibling, although less frequently. The parents have nested in various places in our yard for several years, often having four or even five clutches a year. The adult male hates me with a vengeance as I've rescued his babies from perilous situations on several occasions. He doesn't perceive my actions as helpful, even though on each occasion, if I hadn't intervened, the baby would have died or been killed. His name is Snap 'n' Glare.

Raaaar, Mrs ed

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 5, 2008
1:06 AM

Post #5753155

I posted this little Grey Butcherbird on the daily pics thread several weeks ago. His right leg was dislocated more than two and a half years ago and sticks out behind him at quite a grotesque angle. However, he seems happy enough, sitting in a tree or on the clothing drying on the clothes line, as he is in the picture (yet another item of clothing back into the wash). We give him supplementary feeds. These birds have the most exquisite flute like song and they are excellent mimics.

edited after DH pointed out spelling erroe

This message was edited Nov 6, 2008 7:49 AM

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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 5, 2008
2:28 AM

Post #5753493

haha. Raaawwrrr. SNAP

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

November 5, 2008
11:22 PM

Post #5756683

Your little Butcherbird looks so sweet and the Corella is another pretty one!
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 5, 2008
11:27 PM

Post #5756708

Aww, what a sweet face!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 5, 2008
11:45 PM

Post #5756781

It's so funny with the Butcher Birds. The Singing Honeyeaters set up an alarm call if they become aware of Butcherbirds in the area. The Butcherbirds take off in fright, not realizing that the alarm had been set up due to their presence.
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

November 6, 2008
1:40 AM

Post #5757247

I'm so, enjoying your birds Margaret. and like all the other the Rainbow Bee Eater is gorgeous.
Grasmussen
Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4a)

November 6, 2008
6:26 AM

Post #5757989

[quote]he seems happy enough, sitting in a tree or on the clothing drying on the clothes line,...[/quote]

When we were kids, we had a pet crow, which liked to sit on clothes lines. One day a neighbor got mad about the dirty laundry, and shot the crow off the clothes line.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 6, 2008
6:45 AM

Post #5757998

Yes Gary, the intolerance of some people towards animal life, because it doesn't always fit conveniently into their lives, is so arrogant it never ceases to amaze me. How sad about your pet crow.
hel
Alstonville
Australia

November 6, 2008
7:03 AM

Post #5758011

Hi Everyone here is a pic of a very friendly Brush Turkey they don't have much of a sense of fear, not around here anyway, they think they own the place. I know their protected (what a shame). One even came into the house (silly me left the door open) had to throw a towel over him to catch him. All's well I'm safe but won't leave the door open again. Next time it might be a big brown or one of the big goannas won't be throwing a towel over them!!

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Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

November 6, 2008
9:49 AM

Post #5758080

[quote]they think they own the place[/quote]
But they do own the place!

;-)
leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 6, 2008
1:12 PM

Post #5758338

hel, that's what I look like this morning. Lee Referring to the Brush Turkey.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 7, 2008
9:56 AM

Post #5762012

At long last I was finally able to get a shot of one of our most common birds, the Singing Honeyeater. This little nectar loving insectivore landed on a dead tree branch a few feet from me whilst I was sitting (patiently) waiting for some Osprey action. Singing Honeyeaters are the ones who set up an alarm call when any predator is approaching and everything ducks for cover, including the Butcherbirds, when in fact the alarm call may be alerting others to the Butcher Bird's presence.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 7, 2008
10:06 AM

Post #5762021

The warning sound the Singing Honeyeater makes is a trilling noise, not dissimilar to an umpires whistle. In this photo a little bit of orange-yellow can be seen protruding from the end of it beak. This is a small portion of the tongue, which is feathered at the tip to aid extracting nectar, often from deep within flowers.

In past years we've raised many baby Honeyeaters that often well-meaning people have "rescued", when in fact the baby didn't need to be rescued at all and would have been fine if left alone. They are the sweetest little birds imaginable.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 7, 2008
10:23 AM

Post #5762034

New Holland Honeyeater. Focus is dodgy, but I just love the colours.

There are so many different birds in the area where I watch the Ospreys. This afternoon, in addition to these two types of honeyeater I also saw more Rainbow Bee Eaters, a Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike, Kookaburras, Red Wattlebirds, Port Lincoln Ringnecks (28's), Rainbow Lorikeets, Brown Honeyeaters, Willie Wagtails (with babies), Laughing Turtledoves, Spotted Doves and some tiny little birds that I couldn't get a look at.

Down below I saw an Australian Pelican, Pied and Black Cormorants, Silver Gulls, Divers and could hear, but not see Pied Oyster catchers. There's always something to see. At one stage I was torn between getting a photo of the male Osprey who I thought was about to take off and two Rainbow Birds. The Osprey won out as I'd spend an hour sitting on the damp ground waiting for him to move.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 7, 2008
10:29 AM

Post #5762040

Speaking of Ospreys, here's the male leaving one of his favoured perches. He'd glance over to the nest regularly to see that the chick was OK.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 7, 2008
10:35 AM

Post #5762045

Here's the chick about three hours ago. We're expecting a series of fine, cloudless days ahead, so hope to be able to get some good shots of little Aussie.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 7, 2008
12:55 PM

Post #5762252

Great pics Margaret! Love the Singing Honeyeater along with the others.
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

November 7, 2008
12:56 PM

Post #5762253

Those are great photos, Marg. I would not be able to see the chick if he did not have his mouth open.

I hope your ALS class went well!

Kim
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 7, 2008
1:35 PM

Post #5762378

Thanks Pelle. I was just saying to DH yesterday that the bird I was having the greatest difficulty capturing was the Singing Honeyeater, and lo and behold, I got one today.

Kim, I was thinking "what's ALS". That's a bit scary isn't it. It was remarkably uncomplicated. Amazing what the brain can retain from a couple of quick reads and a demo.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 8, 2008
12:43 PM

Post #5765696

This tiny bird is a Striated Pardalote.  I was at yet another wetland-park today for a 3rd birthday party (and survived).  This was shot in the gloom of a paperbark copse.  At certain times of the year, particularly early winter, we have these birds in a huge gum tree in our yard, but as they congregate in the canopy, they are heard, but rarely seen.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 8, 2008
12:46 PM

Post #5765703

No shots I got were good quality, but hopefully you'll get the idea.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 8, 2008
12:53 PM

Post #5765722

It flew into a paperbark and grabbed a tiny insect. The quality of this shot is really dodgy, but it's probably the best one to confirm it as a Striated Pardalote.



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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 8, 2008
12:58 PM

Post #5765740

White-faced Heron.

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leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 8, 2008
3:06 PM

Post #5766132

Yeah Margaret, Good pic. of the Striated Pardalote. Distinctive supercilium. Lee
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 8, 2008
10:02 PM

Post #5767540

Love the SP and the White-faced Heron.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
12:36 AM

Post #5768195

Thanks Lee and Pelle. It's Sunday morning here and I'm just about to head off to Herdsmans Lake armed with Camera, 300mm lens and pepper spray. Hopefully will get some shots of new birds or better shots of old ones.
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

November 9, 2008
2:39 AM

Post #5768594

That Striated Pardolate is so sweet. But what a complicated name, for such a small creature. Love the bark of that tree, so interesting.
What type of wildlife are you expecting to use the pepper spray on Margaret?
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
11:24 AM

Post #5769398

Burn, the tree is a "paper bark", a species of Melaleuca. They are really beautiful trees and the bark peels off in papery layers. It is so soft to the touch and even in the middle of winter (yeah, I can hear you all laughing) it feels almost warm. The pepper spray? Well...

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
11:29 AM

Post #5769409

There were lots of Rainbow Bee Eaters but I struggled to get a decent shot of them. I'm happy to keep on trying. They often land in the middle of a tree and aredifficult to get in focus because of all the twigs.



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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
11:37 AM

Post #5769418

It was having a stretch and this gives a hint of what the extended wings look like. They are the most incredibly beautiful little birds. This is the colour that's seen when looking up at the bird in flight, but because such a view is usually back-lit, the exquisite colour with the strong light behind it is enhanced and is breathtaking.



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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
11:40 AM

Post #5769420

A White Ibis. My DH reckons it looks like a bundle of dirty laundry.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
11:43 AM

Post #5769426

Caught at take-off, the light coming through the translucent skin where the wings and body join was the most glorious red. I wish I could post a full screen image.

Edited for spelling





This message was edited Nov 9, 2008 10:19 PM

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
12:08 PM

Post #5769457

Great Cresated Grebe. These birds are really camera shy.



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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
12:12 PM

Post #5769459

A pair of Great Crested Grebes in mating display.



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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
12:20 PM

Post #5769464

Extravagantly coiffed.



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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
12:31 PM

Post #5769477

After two hours I was dying of thirst, and being well prepared, had money (as well as pepper spray) on me so headed to the nearby fresh produce market for H2O and a beautiful, new season Fuji apple - my absolute favourite. I sat down close to the waters edge and was joined by this beautiful Goose. He enjoyed the apple, taking pieces from me so gently. Others that enjoyed my Fuji were Swamphens with two babies and Pacific Black Ducks and a sweet little domestic duck. I'm sure the apple was crisp, sweet and juicy. At least I managed to have a drink.



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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 9, 2008
12:40 PM

Post #5769486

Does anyone know what sort of Goose this is? I'd loved to have nabbed him and taken him home. (I'm assuming he's a he. He could in fact be a she). It did a lot of hissing and posturing at the Swamphens and I saw why. The Swamphens are so small in comparison, yet chased the poor thing relentlessly. Reminded me of the Willie Wagtail with the Osprey.





Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

kniphofia
Morpeth
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

November 9, 2008
2:15 PM

Post #5769723

What a wonderful goose, 'he' is very like the goose I often see at the local country park.

Some amazing shots here Margaret, that ibis take off is fantastic!
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 9, 2008
2:21 PM

Post #5769743

Love those great crested grebes and all the others Margaret!
leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 9, 2008
2:42 PM

Post #5769798

Hey Margaret, All pics. are great. Yes, now I see why you took peppers spray. Good choice. This morning , my hair is looking like the grebes' feathers. I'm certainly not well coiffed this a.m., yet. lee

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 9, 2008
3:30 PM

Post #5769944

What a wonderful day you had again! They are all so beautiful!
wallaby1
Lincoln
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

November 9, 2008
3:49 PM

Post #5770033

What a pleasurable day out, or in as it is for us, lol! The Great Crested Grebes hairdo is wonderful, maybe if I dipped my head in water it would look as good? :)

You know the birds needed that apple more than you did Margaret, lol!
leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 9, 2008
4:01 PM

Post #5770080

Margaret, am now coiffed. Don't look as good as the grebes but feel better. Re: Rainbow Bee Eaters, are they numerous? Lee

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

November 9, 2008
5:01 PM

Post #5770313

My gosh...I would love to get to visit these places and see these beautiful birds.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

November 9, 2008
9:17 PM

Post #5771099

That's a domesticated farmyard goose, escaped from a poultry farm somewhere. Ultimately derived from the Greylag Goose, but that's like comparing a pet dog with a wolf!

Resin
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

November 9, 2008
10:41 PM

Post #5771391

LOL Well, I was going to say the same thing but Resin beat me to it ;o) The pictures are wonderful...as usual. I love the paperbark. Do people keep the Rainbow Bee Eater as a caged bird? Such a beauty.

There may be a large group of us that come for a visit, Marg!
gardenpom
Melbourne, FL

November 13, 2008
2:44 AM

Post #5784777

Wonderful pics, Margaret. So many beautiful birds!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 13, 2008
11:50 AM

Post #5785555

Thanks for allowing me to share some of our birds with you. I saw a new one (for me) this afternoon after I'd left the Ospreys. I'm fairly certain it is a Common Sandpiper.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 13, 2008
11:55 AM

Post #5785563

It flew off, very low, to a different spot into different light.  It was very shy.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 13, 2008
11:58 AM

Post #5785567

From the Osprey's nest. The chick is growing fast.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

November 13, 2008
12:40 PM

Post #5785639

Yep, Common Sandpiper. They breed right across Europe and Asia, and are away for the winter at the moment. The ones that breed here go to Africa, yours will be from somewhere in eastern Asia. Somewhere like Lake Baikal, or the banks of the Lena River.

Resin
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

November 13, 2008
2:13 PM

Post #5785883

Great shots, Marg! The little chick is getting big!

Kim
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 13, 2008
3:19 PM

Post #5786111

Wow the chick is big!
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

November 13, 2008
7:02 PM

Post #5786882

Loving all the pics Margaret...the baby chick is growing so fast and that Sandpiper is lovely!
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

November 14, 2008
12:17 AM

Post #5787968

That baby Osphrey is growing fast, lovely shot of the sandpiper. Love seeing your native birds.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
9:48 AM

Post #5789341

DH and I went to the local swamp this afternoon. It was windy, as you'll see...

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
9:52 AM

Post #5789343

The Nankeen Night Heron wasn't happy with his feathers being ruffled, so he headed to a more sheltered spot.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
9:56 AM

Post #5789344

The Pink Eared Ducks were putting on quite a performance.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
10:02 AM

Post #5789346

A pair of Black Swans were doing a fabulous synchronized swimming routine.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
10:05 AM

Post #5789348

It was fascinating to watch. I missed the shot of the day where they had their necks intertwined.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
10:09 AM

Post #5789349

They are such beautiful birds.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
10:15 AM

Post #5789355

They continued to display, but behind the heavy foliage of large shrubs in the swamp, so this was the last shot I managed to get of them.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
10:19 AM

Post #5789359

From the exact same spot, DH spotted this little Black Fronted Dotterel.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
10:22 AM

Post #5789363

Such a sweet little thing. It did a lot of head bobbing and would run in short sharp bursts, but appeared unphased by our presence.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
10:26 AM

Post #5789368

It was on its own. Some years we don't observe any at the swamp.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
10:29 AM

Post #5789372

Last one of the Dotterel. I was really happy to have seen it.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

November 14, 2008
10:45 AM

Post #5789400

Nice pics!

Thing I've been wondering all through this thread . . . where does all that water come from? Last I heard on the news, the Perth area (and southwestern WA as a whole) was in the grip of a severe drought, with desperate water shortages. Has that ended at last?

Resin
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
12:17 PM

Post #5789498

Thanks Resin. No, I think we have accepted that drought or at least extremely dry conditions, are an ongoing part of life. Perth has a series of wetlands in a chain along the flat area between the Darling Escarpment, hills which run north south for about 200km, and the coast. Some of the larger wetland areas have permanent water, but others, such as our small local swamp, Lake Claremont, completely dry up by early summer.

We've been on water restrictions for more than two decades and the parameters of the limits are becoming more stringent as water becomes an even more precious commodity than it ever was. We can only water our gardens on two allocated watering days a week and that has to occur between 6 & 9am and 6 & 9pm. Heavy fines for those found breaching the restrictions. Householders generally are becoming more aware and take measures to conserve water wherever possible and there are government incentives for water saving devices, even a 10% rebate on soil wetting agents as the soil is sandy and water repellent.

There are a few massive aquifers in the state, but I think management of these precious reserves are generally poorly understood. I include myself in that. The far north of the state "The Kimberley", has more water than could be dreamed of in a lifetime, but huge controversies rage about how best to transport the water the several thousand kilometres south to Perth and areas even farther south than that., whilst maintaining the ecological and cultural purity of the source. I'm not sure just what environmental impact studies have been carried out. The cost, no matter what they decided on would be astronomical.

Now this winter, Perth has had better rains than in many years past, but the rainfall has still fallen below average. At the local swamp this afternoon, it's already showing signs of evaporation. Where I took the photos of the Dotterel was 6" deep in water only a week or so ago: now it's an inch or so deep, at best and the edges have already dried. By mid December, the lake has all but dried up, save for a few puddles at the southern end.

I could go on and on. (I'll bet you find that hard to believe). It's so complex and is affected by so many things. Western Australia is hugely mineral rich and is booming at present. Bring more and more people into a desert, this most fragile of environments, and it's going to have far reaching and long term consequences.

On a cheerier note, here's a Singing Honeyeater in the shrubby trees in the swamp. I love the lichen on the branches.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
12:23 PM

Post #5789507


This is an Australasian Grebe chick. I imagine it is one of the two I posted on the previous thread, a few weeks ago. It's not much smaller than the parent birds. The patterning is the distinguishing factor now. Cute little birds.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
12:24 PM

Post #5789511

Good grief, Resin. I did go on rather a bit. You probably only wanted as yes or no answer.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 14, 2008
12:30 PM

Post #5789525


This Pink Eared Duck was busily preening and I focused on the bill to see if I could get a decent shot of that amazing apparatus. I've cropped heavily to show the underside of the bill.

After this shot, I had to hurry home to download the shots to see if I'd had a good time. And I had! Hope you've enjoyed them.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 14, 2008
12:33 PM

Post #5789540

Quite interesting, actually margaret!

Those swans are so adorable. they look nice and fuzzy.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

November 14, 2008
2:18 PM

Post #5789855

Great pics...I like the one of the Pink eared Ducks!

I had no idea about the water situation there. Very interesting...
wallaby1
Lincoln
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

November 14, 2008
2:26 PM

Post #5789885

You definitely had a good day out! The Nankeen Night Heron certainly didn't look happy, lol.

It must be mating time again with the Swans putting on such a dispay, how many broods do they have in a year? Now I wonder why they disappeared behing the foliage, lol.

Those Pink Eared Ducks are spectacular birds! The under part of the beak looks almost flexible. Very interesting Black Fronted Dotterel, a pretty bird, sounds like you were lucky to see it.
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

November 14, 2008
5:17 PM

Post #5790513

Wow, Margaret, I knew there was a drought but did not realize it was that bad. Thanks for the info.

The pictures are so wonderful. At this moment, we are planning a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, in February. Then, I am going to start saving for a Perth trip!! ;o) I so want to hug those Pink Eared ducks!

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

November 14, 2008
5:35 PM

Post #5790613

[quote]Good grief, Resin. I did go on rather a bit[/quote]
Not at all! Very interesting, thanks!

Resin
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

November 14, 2008
8:53 PM

Post #5791239

These are wonderful pictures Margaret...and we are all learning a lot about your country. Thanks again for sharing with all of us...this is just delightful!
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

November 15, 2008
2:23 AM

Post #5792290

Oh love the Black Swans and the Dotterel. Feel very spoiled here, with all our water.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
12:03 AM

Post #5799016

Thanks for your comments everyone. 

Wallaby, I actually believe the displaying swans were two males.  I've seen it before, where the male breaks away from the female and goes and puts on one of these choreographed performances which ends with him chasing the other away from the area.  Then the male will return to the female with both of them doing lots of honking and neck stretching.  As swans mate for life, there's no way an interloper would be able to impress the female so quickly. 

Yes, the water situation is permanently critical.  Our dams have been at about 25% capacity for many years and are supplemented by groundwater and now by a desalination plant just south of Fremantle.  More are proposed along the coast.  Most householders do their bit, but it's frustrating when you see Government departments and local councils pouring vast amounts of water onto parks and playing fields.  Additionally, builders are subject to the same restrictions and it's common to see hoses on building sites running 24 hours a day. 

I went to the swamp yesterday and wasn't expecting to get any decent shots as it was really overcast.  However, when the cloud cover thinned momentarily, I was able to get some shots of Straw Necked Ibis standing or walking around on the flattened bull rushes.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
12:13 AM

Post #5799049

At home, to make every drop of water count, DH and I have had a two litre icecream container in the kitchen sink to catch all water that would otherwise go down the sink, say for rinsing hands or vegetables, etc. Also we use it to catch the water for washing up under the hot water tap until the water goes from cold to hot, usually about 3 litres. We have a 10 litre plastic water container with a funnel in it just outside the kitchen door to empty the icecream container into and when it's full the water is used on plants around the yard. We generally need to empty it about half a dozen times a day, saving about 60 litres that would otherwise have gone down the drain.

Another shot of an Ibis.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
12:17 AM

Post #5799063

I love that pattern on the bill. You should be able to see its ear.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
12:24 AM

Post #5799087

Pink Eared Ducks in a heavily shaded spot. Had to lighten this shot up.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
12:29 AM

Post #5799097

Grey Teal duckling. So tiny.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
12:39 AM

Post #5799130

Pacific Black ducklings. They and the Grey Teal family were only feet apart. The poor little bub in my last pic inadvertently crossed the body space comfort zone and mother Black Duck gave it a good shake before releasing it (unharmed - not even perturbed).

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
12:53 AM

Post #5799172

Details of the Ibis feathers.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 17, 2008
12:58 AM

Post #5799200

Wow those look metallic!
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

November 17, 2008
1:31 AM

Post #5799309

Excellent photos, Margaret. I particularly liked the Ibis photo at post #5799049.

Out of curiosity, do local residents, hotels, etc. have in-ground swimming pools ? I didn't realize the critical nature of your water shortage. We too often take for granted all of the natural resources that surround us.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

November 17, 2008
1:32 AM

Post #5799316

Cool!

I just adore baby ducks...my favorites babies of all
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
2:41 AM

Post #5799567

Thanks Nanny. They are just so sweet.

Yes, Mrs Ed. I thought the feathers looked like oil poured on water (not that anyone should do that).

Thanks Linth. I just had a Google and in 2006 20% of Perth's households had a swimming pool. Authorities certainly encourage the use of pool blankets to reduce the amount of evaporation. I would think that all major hotels and motels would have pools.

In 1996 the Western Australian government passed legislation that all new homes must have dual flush toilet cisterns. I don't know how familiar people are with these, but there's a half flush and a full flush button, with the half flush using about 2 litres of H2O instead of the usual 9 or 12 litres. Full flush is used for more "significant" flushes.

There are also water saving shower heads, which reduce the amount of water from a shower without reducing the apparent flow. I don't know exactly what happens but I think that somehow air mixes with the water and it cleans as well and feels the same. (I could be talking through my hat on this).

People are encouraged to install rainwater tanks and there are many easy to install designs. New houses have strict energy and water saving requirements that have to be met before approval is gained and more and more developments have a low energy (and water) impact built in.
hel
Alstonville
Australia

November 17, 2008
3:18 AM

Post #5799648

Fantastic pics Marg.

Thumbnail by hel
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
3:26 AM

Post #5799665

Fabulous parrots, Hel.

The eastern states have been in the grip of drought for ages. Hel, what's your perspective on the water crisis? Has it affected you, being on the coast, or is it farther inland?
leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 17, 2008
6:22 AM

Post #5799915

Margaret, love the parrots. I can only imgine how it would be to have them just flying about. Keep 'em coming. Lee
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
10:22 AM

Post #5800087

Thank you very much, Lee, but you should be complimenting Hel, as they're parrots she has at her place. Hel, am I right in thinking the parrot closest is a King Parrot and the one behind is a Crimson Rosella?

On my way to the Osprey's nest today a few New Holland Honeyeaters were feasting on the nectar in this vine that covered a fence.

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
10:27 AM

Post #5800089

I just love the bright, contrasting colours

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 17, 2008
10:31 AM

Post #5800091

Sitting atop a finial

Thumbnail by MargaretK
Click the image for an enlarged view.

leeflea51
Golden, MS
(Zone 7a)

November 17, 2008
10:34 AM

Post #5800094

Sorry hel, I got you and Margaret mixed up. So now let me tell you that the pics of the parrots are lovely. Lee

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

November 17, 2008
1:18 PM

Post #5800347

love those honeyeaters
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

November 17, 2008
2:23 PM

Post #5800551

Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

November 17, 2008
7:57 PM

Post #5801895

Such gorgeous shots they make my mouth water! Thanks again Margaret!
hel
Alstonville
Australia

November 17, 2008
8:38 PM

Post #5802062

Hi all, Marg they are male and female King Parrots. Since I have been putting the wild parrot mix out I have had so many Kings and surprising how close I can get to them. We are not in a drought here, we are on rain water only and have never run out. It has been raining here since Sunday and still doesn't look like clearing. Once again your pics are great.
This pic is an Eastern Rosella

Thumbnail by hel
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 17, 2008
9:26 PM

Post #5802252

Love the duckling Margaret!

The parrots and rosella are beautiful hel!
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

November 17, 2008
11:26 PM

Post #5802660

Love the contrasting colors in your honey eater pic., Nice vine too.
Hel, the Eastern Rosella is so colorful, very beautiful bird.
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 19, 2008
2:31 AM

Post #5807216

This thread is getting a bit long. Thank you all for you wonderful comments and encouragement (as if I needed it).

Please join me here http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/925268/
wormfood
Lecanto, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 19, 2008
7:24 PM

Post #5809497

WOW, I have 2 eastern rosella I raised from eggs. One talks, they are the loves of my life. I sold the parents to someone who takes better care of them. They fly around when I let them (because they will eat my house) and they love my cooking. I wish I could take them all back to Australia and let them go. Thank you so much for the pics !
hel
Alstonville
Australia

November 20, 2008
6:10 AM

Post #5811270

G'Day Guy's, this a pic of my beautiful male King Parrot, I can get so close to him now aren't his colours magnificent?

Thumbnail by hel
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

November 20, 2008
7:15 AM

Post #5811324

Wormwood, maybe look at your local shelters to see if they know of anywhere to rehouse them where you are. Nice thought to have them repatriated to Australia, but the practicalities would be hugely problematic, notwithstanding that they have been hand reared and would be unlikely to cope in the wild. Yes, they are pretty destructive, aren't they?

Hel, you lucky thing, having a King Parrot that trusts you to the extent that you can approach him. Yes, he is absolutely magnificent. I've seen them at my sister's place in Canberra.

Please join us at Volume 2. Click on the link in my last post and it'll take you there.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

November 20, 2008
12:27 PM

Post #5811611

Beautiful parrot Hel!

HERE IS THE NEW THREAD

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/925268/

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