Notes to readers of this Blog


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.
Cheers,
Richard

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Wedge-tailed Eagles along the Tanami Road

I had been wondering where the Wedge-tailed Eagles were hanging out, as I hadn't seen one for quite a while heading out via Glen Helen towards Papunya. So, one week recently I decided to head up the Tanami Road, not to llok for Wedgies specifically, more for a change of scenery.

The first pair I came across were quite close to the road, one on a roadkill about 5 metres from the road and the other off the road a bit more, probably 15 metres from the road. I then noticed a third one soaring above. Generally it is the crows that make me aware of the possibility a Wedgie could be around as they are the birds that spread from the roadside first. On this occasion, there weren't any crows around, but the one by the roadside was moving on the carcass. I slowed, then stopped. The sun was still rising behind me. The golden hour. Time to try to get out of the car without disturbing the birds. Door open. Foot outside the car. Open the door wider. Camera in hand. Stand up to exit the car completely. Still the birds hadn't moved. Closed the door gently. Still there. Looking wary. Camera starts to come up ..... and there goes the close one. I looked across towards the second one on the ground, still there. I moved around behind the car and managed to get a few photos.

Wedge-tailed Eagle


I then continued driving, and saw another lone Wedgies sitting in a tree, again, the sun was still rising behind me. More photos.





I did see 5 more birds that morning, 9 in total, another couple and another threesome. All of the birds were within 15 kilometres, between the first sighting and the last. I thought this was interesting as generally I would see them further apart, but probably this was where the food was, so this is where they were. I didn't see any more roadkill after the initial threesome location, but it was lovely to see these majestic birds once more in the wild.


Monday, 17 April 2017

A few recent favourite birding photos

Apologies to regular readers of this blog for not posting much recently. Sometimes life gets in the way. The photos below come from as far afield as southern NSW, along the coast northwards to Rockhampton and across to Alice Springs. I'll mention where each was taken.

Eastern Osprey, Urangan, Qld

Brahminy Kite, Burrum Heads, Qld

Brown Booby, Urangan, Qld

Intermediate Egret, Rockhampton, Qld

Forest Kingfisher, Glenlee, Qld

Green Pygmy Goose, Camoweal, Qld

Pied Butcherbird, Burrum Heads, Qld

Little Eagle, near Rockhampton, Qld

 Mangrove Honeyeater, near Yeppoon, Qld

Rainbow Lorijeet, Burrum Heads, Qld

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Burrum Heads, Qld

Spangled Drongo, Glenlee, Qld

White-breasted Woodswallows, Mt Isa, Qld

Friday, 3 February 2017

Buangor State Park, Victoria, west of Beaufort

You would think there would be many many photos from a trip that took me from Alice Springs to Melbourne to Canberra to Wollongong to Sydney, Newcastle, Ballina, Burrum Heads, Rockhampton, Longreach, Mt Isa and then back to Alice Springs. Yes there are a few but not nearly as many as I would have thought. Sometimes life gets in the way of a passion and rather than devote my time to birding and photography, the main focus on the trip was to enjoy spending time with others.

But, of course there were a few photo opportunities along the way.

The trip from Alice Springs to Melbourne was fairly meandering once I hit the Victorian border. I had hoped to stay in National Parks, but quickly realised the rain they had had was making birding much harder than normal. Not only did I get the usual neck strain from looking up at and through tall trees, the grasses were so long it was very hard to see the ground dwelling birds. Until I reached Buangor State Park, just west of Beaufort.

Driving in on the dirt road, I noticed the lack of dust covering the trees by the side of the road. Windows down, I could hear both familiar, and not so familiar sounds. I pulled into a picnic area/campground, totally stunned to find I was the only one there. I headed over to the toilet block (one of my main reasons for choosing this spot), and stopped only five steps from the car. A male Flame Robin was sitting on a bollard, right there, right next to me. The an Eastern Yellow Robin, then Superb Fairy-wren, and the varieties just kept coming. The skies were filled with the calls of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos and Long-billed Corellas. Dusky Woodswallows raced around and Crested Shrike-tits. I wasn't sure what to do. Go to the toilet or return to the car to grab the camera. Nature calls, both very different, were having a tug of war inside me. The former won out. I figured if they were there now, they would be there post toilet. Thankfully I was right.

Here are some of the photos from that little adventure:

Flame Robin



Eastern Yellow Robin

Crested Shrike-tit

Dusky Woodswallow

Golden Whistler

Grey Fantail

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A (loving?) couple of Zebra Finches

I stumbled across a puddle (there's a surprise to regular readers) in the middle of a track recently. Apart from a few other species (Diamond Doves, Crested Pigeons, Spiny-cheeked and Singing Honeyeaters, Black-faced Woodswallows etc), the main attraction were a couple of Zebra Finches, in amongst a few dozen more. This pair seemed to have a tiff, and then a make-up bath together. Very cute.

Zebra Finch




Friday, 25 November 2016

White-browed Treecreeper with chick

I went birding with Mark Carter of Mark Carter Birding and Wildlife (best guide and bird-watcher in Alice Springs) as he wanted to try to find some White-browed Treecreepers as he suspected they had chicks. He didn't disappoint.

It took a little while to locate them, firstly by call, and then by sight.

we noticed first one, then three Treecreepers flitting from Ironwood to Ironwood, one fairly consistently calling/begging. We stayed on the roadside of the brabed-wire fenceline, and the birds slowly came closer. We took quite a few shots of the birds at distance, and then,they came a lot closer to where we had thought/hoped they would come. We were ready with the cameras and managed to get some decent photos.

These birds are common further south in South Australia, but can be tricky to find in the NT so it was wonderful to see they are breeding locally.

A huge thank you to Mark for allowing me to see and capture these birds.

White-browed Treecreeper







Thursday, 3 November 2016

Some Recent photos - Parrots - Bourkes, Mulga, and Budgerigars

Recently I've been travelling west of Alice Springs. There is a wonderful stretch of road called the Namatjira-Kintore Link Road. It is a dirt road that runs for about 44 kms, from the Glen Helen Road turnoff to the T intersection where you can go left to Haasts Bluff or right to Papunya. The scenery is dominated by the Haasts Bluff range, and the countryside is thick with spinifex grasses, mulga trees, as well as ghost gums, rocky hills and the occasional creek crossing (that are dry almost all of the time.

In the past I have found Bourkes Parrots fairly easy to find on this stretch of road in a particular spot. Generally I can stop the car, walk into a mulga patch, stand and listen for a few minutes and I can hear their calls. At the moment though, they have moved into an area that is a bit higher and can be easily spotted during the day feeding on the side of the road. There are many other species, but when I saw 40 of the Bourkes Parrots, I didn't seem to notice the other birds.

The Mulga Parrots are in the same vicinity and occasionally I have seen them feeding next to Bourkes and Budgerigars. Quite a colourful (and noisy) mix.

The Budgerigars are flocking more and more as each day passes. It is a real buzz to hear even a small flock of 50 birds whizz past. On one day recently I estimated about 500, it was early and they seem to get together early in the morning then spread out into smaller groups during the day, presumably to re-congregate in the evenings. The flashes of vibrant green are a fairly common occurrence at the moment as the Budgerigars burst from roadside feeding.

Even more recent rains to follow up last month's rainfall promises the Boom Time to continue for a while yet.

Bourkes Parrot


 


Mulga Parrots
 











 


Budgerigars