Sunday, April 24, 2011

Brookfield Conservation Park, Easter 2011

A quick 3 hour trip up to Brookfield Conservation Park with my good mate Michael Warnes to see what's flying around the Mallee at the moment!
First we stopped just into the park at one of my favoured spots where we found the usual suspects in this area of Mallee: Spiny-cheeked and Singing Honeyeaters, Hooded and Red-capped Robins, Mallee Ringnecks and Mulga Parrots etc. Plus a few less often seen species such as Pallid Cuckoo and four Crested Bellbirds (including at least one juvenile).

Pallid Cuckoo

Australian (Mallee) Ringneck
  There seemed to be many Australian (Mallee) Ringnecks around on this trip as we saw many birds all over the park! Another species we saw a lot of on this trip were Mistletoebirds, not that i managed any decent photos of them this time.
We then headed around the Mallee track stopping at a few different spots to see what was around, we found both Variegated and Splendid Fairy wrens, Southern Scrub-Robin, Gilbert's Whistlers, Yellow-plumed, Brown-headed and a possible White-eared Honeyeater, Chestnut-crowned and White-browed Babblers plus lots of other species.
As we looped around back to the outskirts of the homestead we flushed a pair of Blue-bonnets which is a new species for me in this park so that was pretty cool!

Gilbert's Whistler (Male)

Southern Scrub-robin

Southern Scrub-robin
All up a very enjoyable trip through one of my favourite parks! and all this only 40 minutes from my front door! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hobby Time, Part 2 !

Went to grab a paper this morning and the Male Hobby was still in the same tree out the front, albeit a little lower down!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hobby Time !

Walked out the front door late this afternoon to a chorus of unhappy Wattlebirds, Honeyeaters and Lorikeets. As is always my way I instantly started scanning for the usual suspects in this neck of the woods. Falcons or Goshawks are the most likely culprits around these parts and today it was an Australian Hobby which came whizzing through to land in a big gum not far from the front of my yard.

Australian Hobby (female)

Went inside grabbed the camera and headed out to the tree. In the time it took to get the camera another Hobby had also turned up and looked to be settling in for the evening. While photographing the Hobbies the other culprit mentioned appeared! A Brown Goshawk flew through low about 50m away and into a large stand of dense Pines, I thought about trying to find it but decided against it as it would have been too dark for photography, as it was the sun dropped behind a cloud on the horizon and it got a little dark even for the Falcons.

Pair settling in to roost for the night. (female above, Male below)

Friday, April 1, 2011

More birds of the night...

 After the spotlighting session of about a week ago when we came across the Tawny Frogmouth from the last post, the kids (and Dad!) were keen to head back out and see what else we could find.
This time we headed over to a good mate Nigel's farm at Reeves Plains near Mallala, he also has a couple of ankle-biters who love to get out and look for Frogmouths. So we piled all the kids into the back of Nigel's dual cab, hooked up a couple spotlights and went out to see what was about.
Just after leaving the house yard a pair of fox eyes were reflecting back our direction, the accelerator was pushed and the fox thought it wise to reposition itself into the Mallee scrub nearby. Not long after we found a Barn owl which was willing to be photographed.

Barn Owl

This trip we didn't come across any Froggies, but the Barn Owl seen here and another one flying low hunting Harrier like across an open paddock more than made up for it!
Later on I decided to try and catch a quail or two to show the kids. We had been flushing many as we moved through the paddock's, so next one flushed we followed till it landed then located it in the stubble (no easy task!). When in the light, Stubble Quails will generally freeze where they are, so with some careful footwork I was soon showing the tribe a Stubble Quail up close! they loved it! Later we come across a loose flock of Singing (Horsfields) Bushlarks, they also behave in the stubble very similar to the Quails and I was soon showing the kids one of these as well.

Singing Bushlark
 There's always something interesting to see with the help of a spotlight!!