Notes to readers of this Blog


Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Glen Helen to Haasts Bluff Road - Banded Lapwing juvenile and others

The stretch of road between Glen Helen and Haasts luff to the west of Alice Springs has often been a good bird-watching spot for me. I normally see Bourke's Parrots during the day, as well as normally finding Australian Ringnecks and Mulga Parrots. This trip was no different.
An additional find has been Banded Lapwings along a particular area about 1 km in length, and this trip there was a small family group, one of which was a juvenile, slowly sauntering across the road. I don't normally drive very fast through this part anyway, and I was going quite slow, and the juvenile walked up the side of the road and unlije the adults didn't fly off. I wound down the window and took the chance to get some photos much closer than is usually the case. Normally the adults are under a tree off the road a bit, so it was nice to get shots u close.
There were also a lot of other young birds in the same area of different species. The Centre has had a true Spring with lots of rains and lots of new birds.

Banded Lapwing juvenile

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill juvenile


Red-capped Robin juvenile

Rufous Whistler

Southern Whiteface

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Crimson Chats, Crested Pigeon, Zebra Finch and a Bee on a Poached Egg Daisy flower

Recently I sat by a puddle on an outback road. I noticed a Bourke's Parrot that flew off as I walked up to the puddle. I figured it was probably a good place to sit for a while. Alas, the Bourke's Parrot never returned for a drink, although I could hear them calling and feeding nearby.

I did manage to take some nice photos of some Crimson Chats though. They reappeared a number of times, and I eventually put the camera down and just watched them drink and bathe. I haven't seen this behaviour before, so it was interesting just to observe. Many more of these birds flew over me, and didn't stop, but enough did to make the stop worthwhile.

Of course the Zebra Finches were almost ever-present (disappearing briefly when an alarm call rang out from a nearby Singing Honeyeater). And a few Crested Pigeons strolled down the well-covered banks to have a drink as well. Other birds I could see but didn't come for a drink included White-fronted Honeyeaters, Black-faced and Masked Woodswallows, Australasian Pipits, Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo and a couple of Pallid Cuckoos filling the air with their calls.

All in all, a nice little bird-watching and photography session.

Crimson Chats

Young female

Adult Female

Crested Pigeon

Zebra Finch

One of the other delights of the area were the wildflowers. Below is a single Poached Egg Daisy flower with a bee

Monday, 26 September 2016

Dusky Grasswren, Red-browed Pardalote and Red-backed Kingfisher

Back in the home environment and the birding continues to be amazing.

If the Centre has Spring, then it has sprung. Birds are nesting everywhere, and with a slightly cooler than average period at the moment, they are active under the cloudy skies.

The weekend activity included a short bike ride where Moses and I found a Red-browed Pardalote frenzy. They were calling non-stop and actively building their "nests" in the side of a dirt mound. The Red-backed Kingfishers were out as well, the one in the photo with the remains of an unfortunate, unknown small reptile.

But by far the most exciting was the Dusky Grasswrens I ran into today. I had tried to find them, and, after searching the spinifex-laden, rocky gullies, finally found some. One in particular was enjoying being a model for the camera.

I hope you enjoy the photos.

Dusky Grasswren

Red-browed Pardalote

Red-backed Kingfisher

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Lorikeets of Adelaide - Musk and Rainbow

I had a short 4 hour lay-over in Adelaide on the way home and went for a bit of a walk. Fortunately the rain I had experienced virtually constantly since leaving home a week earlier had dissipated. I had been looking for the Musk Lorikeets in Melbourne but they were in different locations to me there, so I was happy to hear their slightly subdued calls (compared to the Rainbow Lorikeets) as I commenced my walk.
The Rainbow Lorikeets were their normal gregarious selves, and they were my first decent photo models, and it wasn't until I was almost back to the airport that the Muskies finally showed themselves enough for decent photos.
Lorikeets of any type are colourful and I love to see them in general, although it is sad they are now well established in Alice Springs despite not (I think) being native to the area, hence they will start to affect the local populations of parrot species. However, I did enjoy the below photos.

Musk Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet

A Quick visit to Melbourne and some bird photos

I had to make a quick one week visit to Melbourne and had a few opportunities to get out and see some of the local bird species. I visited some of the local hills and a few of the local parks. Probably the excitement of these limited opportunities was my first visit to One Tree Hill. The day (as were most of the days) was very overcast and cold, and the hills were pretty muddy and damp. Perfect conditions for Superb Lyrebirds. I had only just started walking up one of the paths when I noticed a male Superb Lyrebird foraging on the side of the path, scratching away at the ground and then moving to the next likely food place. While I was standing and watching, an Eastern Whipbird "cracked" further along the path, only to be answered by another very close to me. I managed to get a photo of the one close to me, although not a great photo as it moved off into the scrub a bit and I had foliage in the way as well as not much light, but still happy I had finally managed a recognisable photo of one of these birds, something I hadn't managed in the past. The Lyrebird meanwhile had disappeared, only to reappear a short time later when I was walking back down the path. This time I crouched on the path and observed as the bird walked up towards me. Again the light was poor even though it was out on the path. The closer it came, the harder the camera had to try to focus, so I switched to the M mode and eventually, after a few setting changes, managed some half decent photos, although by now the Lyrebird had jumped up into a tree on some low branches.
At the same location but on top of the hill at the picnic area, a male Scarlet Robin came out and perched very obligingly on rocks, bollards but again the light wasn't fantastic and the misty rain started moving in. On a subsequent visit I managed to get decent photos of the Scarlet Robin.

The other places I visited were Edithvale Wetlands, Jells Park and Valley Reserve. Below are some of the photos from the week:

Black Swan Cygnet

Eastern Whipbird

Grey Fantail

Long-billed Corella

Purple Swamphen

Scarlet Robin

Superb Lyrebird

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Return of the Black-breasted Buzzard pair from last year

Last year I watched a pair of Black-breasted Buzzards nest, mate and then raise a chick until almost a fledgling. Sadly, the young one (I think) fell out of the nest, possibly during a fairly windy, violent storm, and I'm fairly certain didn't make it.

The pair has returned to the same nest to try again. I'm hoping they are more experienced and have better luck.

Currently they are sitting (I am presuming) on egg(s). The male was doing the majority of the sitting while I was there recently, with the female preening, chasing off Whistling Kites and being harassed by the nearby Brown Goshawk neighbours when she flew a bit close to them mating.

I managed to get a few shots of the pair as per below. Hopefully as the year continues I'll be able to post some shots of a chick or two and then some fledged young.

Black-breasted Buzzard