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.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Altona III

Went for another walk though Altona again this morning, some nice birds were around, below are some of the results!
Hooded Robin

In full voice!

Crested Shrike-tit

CST in waving mode!

His beak isnt nearly as big as his belly!!!

Diamond Firetail

Diamonds are stunning little birds!

Shining Bronze-cuckoo, bad photo but it's more for my records than anything else!
White-winged Triller, first one back for the season!

White-naped Honeyeaters

This Red-rumped Parrot was quite confiding!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Expect the unexpected! White-backed Swallows and friends!

Took the kids to a mates farm for the afternoon to get them out of the house! while they kept themselves busy riding bikes and so on, I managed to go for a walk into a small mallee scrub and sand quarry that is on this farm to see what was around. I had never birded this spot and was expecting the usual mallee species, but hoping for something unusual. I was not to be disappointed as you will see below by some of the photos! White-backed Swallows were the highlight as I have only ever seen them much further north than here and didn't know they came down this far! so as you can imagine I was pretty happy with that! also in the unexpected category was around 12 Blue-winged Parrots and 4 Brown Quail! I expected Elegant Parrots but only found one and not the BWP but there you go! the Brown Quails were also something of a surprise as this place usually only turns up Stubble Quails in the surrounding cereal crops. I heard their distinct call from at least four birds and flushed a couple of these as well.
All up a great little session and topped off with a lovely Barn Owl on the way home!

White-backed Swallow

Pair of White-backed Swallows

This single Elegant Parrot was loosely associating with the Blue-wings!

Blue-winged parrot adult, there were a few juveniles around too

Spectacular birds Rainbow Bee-eaters

Rainbow Bee-eater

Dusky Woodswallow

Four little cuties! Australian Kestrels.

Welcome Swallow, common bird but I had to add this photo as it is probably the best photo I took for the day!
Rufous Songlarks were constantly calling

The most familiar night time bird in these parts, Barn Owls are about in good numbers at the moment! This bird allowed me to aim the car headlights on it and get out and photograph it, all the time it just kept on scanning the ground looking for a rodent meal!

Luckiest Black-shouldered Kite around!

A couple of weeks back there were a series of extremely windy days here in South Australia. Now mostly this is nothing out of the ordinary and most of our birds are quite used of it. Occasionally though their nest building skills can be put to the test! On the last day like this a good mate of mine was driving along a fairly busy dirt road he lives near, and noticed a little white bird on the side of the road. He pulled up to find a half grown Black-shouldered Kite sitting on the edge of the road besides it's destroyed nest and two dead siblings! one of which had been run over! Fearing the same fate for this remaining Kite he captured it and took it home. For two days he fed it and rang people to try and find what would be best to do with it. Eventually it was suggested to him that probably the best chance for this bird would be to try and construct a new 'nest' or platform for the chick and see if the parents were still around and willing to keep looking after it. I was skeptical as I thought the chick had been away from it's parents for too long, and thought they may have moved on. At the same time it was a situation that needed to be resolved soon, so we decided to try and see how it went and feed the chick in the tree if necessary. With the help of a car hub cap we built a make shift nest and placed the chick in it and left the sight to monitor from a distant. There was no sign of the parents for the first few hours but eventually an adult ventured into the area. After a few days both adult birds were visiting the hub cap nest and things were looking good for the little chick!
Now it's two weeks later and the little Black-shouldered Kite is about to fledge and looking good! I visited it yesterday to get a photo before it flew the results are below.

Baby Black-shouldered Kite not far from fledging!

One of the parents

The other parent feeding on a mouse!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flinders Ranges

Headed up to the Finders Ranges for a mates Buck show on the weekend just gone. Now there may have been a few more bottle caps opening than camera shutters! but along the way I still managed to get a few shots of some of the birdlife which inhabit this beautiful place!

The Aroona Valley a stunning place to visit!

One of the commonest sights in the Flinders Ranges!

Wedge-tailed Eagles rule the skies! and there's plenty of them!

Grey Butcherbird on nest along a section of the Heysen trail in the Aroona Valley.

and this is the sitting birds mate keeping an eye on us.

Peaceful Dove

The only other true Aussie eagle! The Little Eagle is also found in the Flinders, we found three of them during our trip. Plumage of Little Eagles can vary from light to dark, this bird is from the light phase end of the scale!

We found this Black Falcon and it's mate after it had just split a flock of Feral Pigeons and Galahs, just South of a little town called Carrieton on the RM Williams Way. It was in the exact location we found one last year on our way home from a trip up the Strezlecki Track!

While watching the Black Falcons ride a thermal off to the West, I spied this male Red-rump Parrot hiding away not moving an inch, trying not to become a Falcon's next meal!

A little further south on the way home this Australian Hobby was soaking up the Sun's last warm rays on a fence near Spalding in the states mid north.

Same bird a little closer!