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, 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

Monday, 22 August 2016

Red-backed Kingfisher in the morning sun

One of my most enjoyable stopping places between Haasts Bluff and Papunya is the Frederick Blakely Memorial. I have had a few enjoyable birding experiences there, including a close-up "viewing" by a Black-breasted Buzzard, watching a pair of Red-capped Robins hopping about the road chirping away to one another, and last week I enjoyed a rare close-up experience with a Red-backed Kingfisher.

As I pulled off the road into the small memorial area, the kingfisher took off (as per usual) from a tree very close to the memorial itself. I watched as it flew not far away (not normal) and perched on an exposed branch on a nearby tree. I inched the car forward, winding down the window as I progressed, trying to reach over to the camera at the same time. It was still there. I stopped the car, turned off the engine and slowly brought the camera to my eye. It is normally at about this point in time I realise I have settings on the camera for a completely different shot, ie on the TV setting, with the lens set for a long distant shot and lots of the focal points selected. I was pleased to realise the camera was on the right settings for the shot in front of me. I clicked away. The resultant photos below are a few of the ones I chose.

Red-backed Kingfisher

Thursday, 18 August 2016

A week at Papunya

This week has been a bit of a change from the normal settings on the camera to try to use the "M" mode. I have heard a lot of people say if you can master that your photos will become a lot higher quality and finish. Certainly haven't mastered it, but have managed to fluke a few unusual shots, and see some stunning birds.

The last is not a huge list, probably only about 25 birds for the week. A few pleasant surprises - Painted Finches coming to drink, and Common Bronzewings during the day. Interestingly, hardly a bird of prey. I think I have only seen one Whistling Kite for the whole week atPapunya, very different to seeing all 6 falco varieties in one hour last year at the same spot.

Below are a few selected photos. You can probably notice the difference best with the "M" mode in the second Common Bronzewing, and the second Crested Pigeon. I hope you enjoy the photos:

Painted Finches

Zebra Finch

Common Bronzewing

Crested Pigeon

Horsefield's Bronze-cuckoo

Little Crow

White-winged Fairy-wrens

Maybe my favourite shot, the Willie Wagtail on an old cattle bone, I've titled this "Art Appreciation"

Monday, 15 August 2016

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos

The Red-tailed Black Cockatoos were in full voice around Lajamanu and surrounds. Both in town and out at the Turkey Nest "Swimming" Hole (wouldn't swim there myself).

Below are some shots I took over a couple of days.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos