Thursday, December 8, 2011

Birds inbetween the Bats! Gluepot delivers again!

Last weekend I spent three days at Gluepot Reserve chasing Bats! I was there doing a course on the Bats of Gluepot. This involved a lot of night work and a bit of a fragmented schedule during the day! As someone who enjoys Bats but loves birds I spent nearly every second I wasn't at the course out searching for birds! Needless to say by the end of the three days I was wrecked! Didn't matter though! as I really enjoyed the course and found and photographed some great birds! as you can see below!!

Major Mitchell Cockatoo... they really are a beautiful bird!


Not long out of the nest!

Striated Grasswren... easily my best photo of the species!

In all I found 12 Grasswrens for the trip all in pairs, some of the territories were quite close though!

I had just told a really funny joke... and this little Grasswren just couldn't stop laughing!!!

White-browed Treecreeper - an extremely quiet and confiding species (they just about land on your shoulders sometimes!), compared to their cousins the Brown Treecreepers which are noisy and wary!

Red-lored Whistler - juvenile

Shy Heathwren - these guys proved harder to photograph than the Grasswrens! I guess they are called 'Shy' after all!!

Mulga Parrots were in the best numbers I have ever seen

Brown Falcon - this bird didn't care that I was standing only 4m away, it only flushed when a flock of Miners mobbed it!

Chestnut Quail-thrush

Redthroat - this one was doing a perfect mimicry of a male Red-capped Robin in the middle of it's song!

Varigated Fairy-wrens

Australian (Mallee) Ringneck

Same Brown Falcon as earlier but with a Australian Ringneck thrown in!

Australian (Nankeen) Kestrel - just checking me out! Thankfully I'm not edible!
 I also have to mention the great job my beautiful wife did in looking after our three kids while I was away! With three kids under six years old our house can be a little crazy at the best of times!! so to look after them for three days without a break......well if it was me I would probably end up in the nut-house!! So thank you baby! much appreciated!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Australian Falcons on Facebook

Australian Hobby
If anyone is on Facebook and are keen to see more pictures and chat about Australian Falcons I have started up a Facebook page dedicated to the 6 amazing species of Falcons we get here in Australia!
Feel free to like the page and add pics if you like? just post them to the Aust. Falcons wall and I will share them for everybody to see!!/pages/Australian-Falcons/183269638414736?sk=wall


Black Falcon

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Falcon pursuing Quail

Driving home from work the other day I was privileged to witness an attempt by my favourite Aussie bird the Black Falcon trying to snatch one of a couple of Stubble Quails which were fleeing a Harvester reaping a Canola crop just on the outskirts of Freeling. The Falcon was unsuccessful and then headed off to the east riding a thermal to a great height! All I got was a couple of quick photos as the bird headed away from me, not the best photos but all I could manage as the Falcon didn't give me time to adjust my camera for the light conditions or anything else!
This time of year here in Southern Australia is a bit of a boom time for Black Falcons as they like to follow the harvesters that are currently reaping all the cereal crops around the place. These crops all usually full of Quail at this time of year as well and as the harvesters flush them constantly the Falcons, both Black and Peregrine are usually not far behind!

Riding a thermal after it's unsuccessful attempt at catching either of the lucky Stubble Quails!

Black Falcon largest of Australia's Falcon species.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pengilly Parrots!

Thought I would post up a few photos I took this morning of some of the currently resident parrots found in a tiny little Mallee scrub near Roseworthy, South Australia.

Immature Elegant Parrot

Budgerigars, there were 12 in this flock but with my zoom lens I could only frame these four!

More Budgies

Cockatiel and a Rainbow Bee-eater

This fella was trying to hide!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wedge-tailed Eagle nest!

Went out to a mate's place the other day to do a little birding in a scrub just up the road from his house where we new of a Wedge-tailed Eagle nest which was being used this year and had a single chick in it. We have known this pair of Eagles have been nesting in this area for at least ten years and they have a couple of nests in the area and use one or the other each year. From our point of view it's always good when this one is chosen as it is quite low down and easily accessible! We are always careful as Wedgies are notoriously wary around their nests and if disturbed when on eggs will often abandon the nest so for that reason we only visit once we are sure there is a fairly well grown chick in the nest! As you will see below!
It's only in a low tree and even then only half way up but in it's position the Eagles have a commanding view out over the plains to the east!

In this photo you can see the half grown Eaglets downy head slightly dwarfed by the huge stucture of it's nest! 

Looks quite comfy!

Even at this size Wedge-tailed Eagle chicks are impressive birds!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pengilly Scrub, tiny and isolated yet superb birding!

Went for a walk around an amazing little block of Scrub just down the road from where I live on Wednesday morning. The birding here is amazing at the moment with quite a few spring migrants residing here currently so theres plenty of birds to be found!
I have been here three times in the past two weeks trying to photograph the Painted Button-Quails which reside in here but they are proving quite challenging to snap, as I have seen them on two of these trips yet still haven't seen one through my viewfinder yet! only my Binoculars! oh well good excuse to go back another time!

Rainbow Bee-eater


White-winged Triller

Blokes Club! three male Budgerigars!

The Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater has a beautiful warbling song, it's one of the great sounds of dry country birding in Australia! There's only one other bird which in my opinion has a more distinctive call in outback Australia and that's the Crested Bellbird with it's amazing waterdrop call!

Elegant Parrot

Galahs are one of most common yet beautiful birds!

There were six Galahs in this tree and it was going to take more than me with my camera walking underneath them to make them fly as they had just been the target of a male Peregrine Falcon, who luckily for them had missed on his attacking stoop and then given up! when this photo was taken they were keeping their heads very low! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Scarlets again at Gluepot

The amazing and beautiful Scarlet-chested Parrots are still frequenting Gluepot at the moment and as I had a course to attend for two days at Gluepot, in some of the down time I went and scouted around the areas they are hanging around in. In the two days I saw six birds but only managed to photograph one the results are below!
This was my third trip up to GP since the Scarlets showed up and I have now seen a total of twelve birds, first trip 4, second trip 6 and this trip 6. So my strike rate has been pretty good!
Also below are some of the other great birds at Gluepot at the moment!
Scarlet-chested Parrot

They aren't always easy to see even with all those bright colours!!

Budgerigars had moved into the area in big numbers! Quite unusual as Budgies are normally uncommon in this area.

Another spring migrant a Black Honeyeater, there were a few of these around.

White-fronted Honeyeater

Australian Owlet-nightjar, this little cutie watched us as we had our lunch at the homestead.

Red-backed Kingfisher

White-winged Triller

This White-necked Heron was photographed on the way home near Waikerie.