Brave Musketeers, Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Masked lap-wing families don’t have a preferred natural habitat.

Plunge by the beach @ Bribie Island, South-east Queensland, Australia

Insects and vertebrates are found almost anywhere in substantial quantities.

Deep in scruburbia @ Woody Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Deep in scruburbia @ Woody Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

These birds can be spotted in most of scruburbia.

Day on the beach @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Day on the beach @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Or even along the beach.

Golden waters @ Golden Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Golden waters @ Golden Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Their yellow mask is easily spotted whilst stalking shallow tidal areas.

Tidal area @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Tidal area @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Deception Bay is one of these locations.

Visitors @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Visitors @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

The long tidal mud zones are not favourable for human activities, but ideal for all other visitors.

Feeding frenzy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Feeding frenzy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Mangrove forests offer hiding spots from those, who are seeking.

Double vision @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Double vision @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Whilst exploring mudflats near the shoreline, all movements are closely monitored by mom and dad.

Outstanding in sepia @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Outstanding in sepia @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

There aren’t any sufficient hiding spots for these cuties to hide.

Feathered beacon @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Feathered beacon @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Their spotted feathers are outstanding on light sand.

Feather shelter @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Feather shelter @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Their parent’s plumage is an ideal, flexible solution. This is by far the safest survival tactic.

Feather shelter @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Feather shelter @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

The screeching pitches alarm the chicks to come in and shelter.

Wait for me @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Wait for me @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

And so they do. One by one.

Manfred! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Manfred! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Apart from Manfred.

Yummy, yummy food for my tummy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Yummy, yummy food for my tummy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

He is still hungry and oblivious to the world around him.

Sorry I am late! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Sorry I am late! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

He makes it just in time.

Gonski! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Gonski! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

He is the first one to leave safety again too. An ambitious youngster.

Family Portrait @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Family Portrait @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Like father, like son. Happy Father’s Day!

Wandering shadows @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Wandering shadows @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

It turned into quite an amusing spectacle. I watched this ongoing several times.

Off again @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Off again @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Chicks left their cover.

Hey mom @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Hey mom @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Only to seek shelter at the other parent’s wings.

Plenty of space @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Plenty of space @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

And others returned. I do admire their parent’s patience.

Creature comforts @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Creature comforts @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Some chicks appeared to slip under the doona for comfort and warmth. Just like we do.

Huddle and cuddle @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Huddle and cuddle @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Nothing like a nice huddle and cuddle. This alone is so cute to watch.

Birdie caterpillar @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Birdie caterpillar @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

I am not sure if this masked wingman knows how many extra feet are under his body. It was an interesting view photographically.

Hardly taller then grass @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Hardly taller then grass @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Eventually, all chicks have fled this mobile home and the adult can move on. All under watchful eyes.

Offence @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Offence @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

If all defensive tactics fail and the threat continues, lap-wings switch to the offensive. Smaller intruders, who unintentionally cross safety boundaries, are easily chased off.

Wingspan @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Wingspan @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

But size doesn’t matter for these brave birds. Swooping by and intimidating with loud shrieking sounds, they literally lap-wing their opponents. It is incredibly hard to capture this assault by a camera.

Courageous @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Courageous @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

I watched one of the parents courageously flying a long distance over Deception Bay to confront and chase a soaring fish eagle high in the sky.

One foot @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
One foot @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Standing only a foot tall, masked lap-wings do mean business.

In a hurry @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
In a hurry @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

One needs to hurry to get around.

Thirst quencher @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Thirst quencher @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Even when thirsty.

Golden bath @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Golden bath @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

This shallow waterhole invited for a welcoming change of pace.

Relaxed @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Relaxed @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

No alarm call from his partner was raised.

Kick off your shoes @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Kick off your shoes @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

This adult had a bit of time on his wings to take of his shoes. A welcoming change of pace, at least for a few minutes.

Pointy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Pointy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

There is another sting to their defence. Masked lap-wings contain a spike on each of their wings in a seemingly awkward position.

barbed and wired @ Bribie Island, South-east Queensland, Australia

They are hardly noticeable to the naked eye, as photos reveal the stinger’s location. Only a certain wing position reveals them. Otherwise, they are hidden.

Yellow masked ninja @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Yellow masked ninja @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

They do look impressive once spotted. Imagine yellow-masked ninjas chasing you around the paddock. These barbs are sharp too and do inflict a painful, sharp sting. If the tips have broken off, they will regrow with time.

Armed and ready @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Armed and ready @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

A chasing reflex reaction automatically kicks in, even with a full house. This could leave the brut exposed to other dangers, but this intruder needs to be dealt with.

I’ll be back @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
I’ll be back @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

The aim is clear and the stingers are set.

Tiny pilgrims @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Tiny pilgrims @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

The little ones are left exposed and wander off in all directions like pilgrims.

Just like starting over @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Just like starting over @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

It all starts over again.

Like their parents @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Like their parents @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Scratching and cleaning is part of any chick’s daily routine. So divine.

Brave musketeers @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Brave musketeers @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

I followed this brave family for a few days here at Deception Bay and have grown quite fond of them. 

Breakfast view @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Breakfast view @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

We had breakfast together most mornings and enjoyed the view over the bay.

Not quite sure @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Not quite sure @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

They kept a good eye out for me too. I doubt that they fully trusted me around their chicks, but a mutual agreement between us is my conclusion.

Walking by@ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Walking by@ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

Adult and baby chicks ventured close-by and around me. No aggression was noted from either side.

Itchy and scratchy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Itchy and scratchy @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

I couldn’t resist taking a few photos of these fluff balls whenever I had the chance.

Awww... @ Deception Bay, South=East Queensland, Australia
Awww… @ Deception Bay, South=East Queensland, Australia

They just are simply adorable and opportunities to capture them don’t come around often.

Weakest link @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Weakest link @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

By the time I left Deception Bay, only one of the chicks was still alive.

Walk on! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia
Walk on! @ Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

I hope that this youngster will walk on to have chicks of it’s own and become another brave musketeer. Just like his parents are.

One thought on “Brave Musketeers, Deception Bay, South-East Queensland, Australia

  1. Spectacular photos WOW your story took me on a closer look at these common birds, very amusing too had me laughing and left a big smile on my face with a different view to the behaviour of these cute creatures. Truely Beautiful the photographs you captured just stunning.
    l hope brave little Manfred makes it through to adult bird life too. Lovely story.

    Like

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