Dangers of birdwatching, Jagun, Valla Beach Feb 8
- Valla dawn, Feb 8
We strolled out early watching treecreepers, Long-billed Scrubwrens, Eastern Rozellas, Eastern Robins, Lewins Honeyeaters, Rainbow Lorikeets and the Kookaburras of course . . .
There are 90 species of bull ants in Australia, all with different adaptations, behaviours, nests and life cycles. They range in size from 4 cm to 1cm. Some of the smaller species are known as jumping or jumper ants after their pattern of aggression. I was watching a parent Grey Shrike-thrush feed a youngster who kept quiet but shivered its wings on the track. I forgot to look where I was standing. An ant about 2cm long leapt onto my ankle and bit the pain was as severe as our paper wasp and lasted similarly about 20 seconds.
I was also batting away a lovely large B&W March or Horse fly (there are many species). Only the female bites,using needle-like mouthparts to suck mammalian blood. You often see poor roos whipping their tails around as a fly attacks. She need blood to reproduce, the males feed on nectar.
- Small leaf spider home, 2cm long
And a minute earlier a sole mosquito had just begun sucking my blood before I could kill it.