wedge-tailed eagle

Raptors

Order: Falconiformes. Family: Accipitridae – hawks, eagles, buzzards, harriers, kites and Old World vultures Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans) Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) Brahminy More »

hyottoko mask

Japanese Cultural Night #2

Saturday Night Live. Last night I went out to the second Japanese Cultural Night at the Ski-jo up the road(Furano, Hokkaido, Japan). The last one was a few weeks ago so I More »

ski furano

Furano Skiing 3

Skiing at the Furano Zone. I woke up this morning an looked out the window and there was about ten centimeters of fresh snow on the cars. Which was a very good More »

kobe

On to Hokkaido

Arrived in Furano. I am so tired. My eyelids are drooping and my shoulders feel like the weight of the world is upon them. My head feels heavy and I am almost More »

oasis hummingbird

Best Bird of the Year 2010

Best Bird of 2010 I saw a post on 10,000 birds about the best bird of 2010 so I was curious as to what defines the “best” bird of the year. I More »

Pacific Gull

2010 Birding Photography Retrospective

2010 Looking Back Well here we go again. Another year bites the dust. I can remember doing my Overview of 2009 just like it was yesterday. The new year of 2010 started More »

la hoya skiing

South America Overview

South America I flew into Buenos Aries from Sydney after a horrendous 14 hour flight. It took me a few days to readjust my body clock. Meanwhile I was really enjoying going More »

Snowy Egret

More Chicama Surf, Birds

More Surfing and Birds at Chicama, Peru. This morning after my surf at Chicama, I saw an Egret down on the rocks below the hostel. I had seen a couple of them More »

American Oystercatcher

El Chaco, Paracas NP

El Chaco Birding. El chaco is the town and port at the entrance to Paracas Nature Reserve in Southern Peru. This morning after I arrived here, I went for a walk along More »

Andean Lapwing

Bird of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Copacabana and Isla del Sol, Bolivia. The Puna Teal is found on the Andean altiplano. Its Chilean name is Pato puna. They have a black cap that extends to below the eyes. More »

cobAR

Cobar Birding

Outback New South Wales.

Cobar is a small mining town in the middle of nowhere on the way to Broken Hill. For all that it seems quite a nice place. There were heaps of birds here. First stop was the Tourist info office where I got the town map and headed off on a walk along Centenary of Federation Walk. Across the road I happened upon a family of Zebra Finch. I have a vague idea that they are race castanotis but I am not sure at all.

baby Zebra Finch
baby Zebra Finch (Taenopygia guttata)

This nosy Blue-faced Honeyeater had a good sticky-beak at me as I went past.

Blue-faced Honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis).

I thought this Striped Honeyeater was an inland thornbill at first until I got it up on the computer and had a good look at it.

Striped Honeyeater
Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata)

I thought these were Fork-tailed Swift before I had a good look at the book. They were hanging around the footy field watching some guy kick goals.

White-backed Swallow
White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosternus)

After lunch I went for a drive to check out the gold mine. It was big.

new cobar gold mine
New Cobar Gold Mine.

Late in the afternoon I trundled off to the new tank and wandered along the pitiful remnants of water. Here is a Whistling Kite in its nest.

Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus).

There were a few waders along the edges of the pond.

White-necked Heron
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica).

Lots of Spotted Bowerbirds around. I thought these might have been juvenile blackbirds at first and I did not see any of them with a pink crest on top of the head. I have no idea why.

Spotted Bowerbird
Spotted Bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata)

And the Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters were quite common as well.

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis).

Cobar Bird List

Spotted Bowerbird
White-plumed Honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Zebra Finch (Taenopygia guttata)
Double-barred Finch
Black Kite
Whistling Kite
Apostlebird
White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosternus)
White-breasted Woodswallow
Australian Magpie
House Sparrow
Crested Pigeon
Galah
Willy Wagtail
Pacific Black Duck
Australian Wood Duck
Eurasian Coot
White-necked Heron
White-faced Heron
Great Egret
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Black-fronted Dotterel
Black-winged Stilt
Peaceful Dove
Red-winged Parrot
Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus)
Pied Cormorant

Noisy Miner

Outback NSW birding

From Narromine to Cobar.

I am now in Cobar. At Narromine there was a huge flock of Little Corella by the river.

Little Corella
Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

At Nyngan, the most interesting thing was the helicopter in the park. It was a gift from the government because the town was evacuated from flooding in 1990 by helicopter. I think this one is an Iriquois.

Iriquois helicopter
Helicopter.

I stopped at Hermidale Rest Area and walked along the train line for a while. There were lots of Noisy Miners and a mob of Grey-crowned Babblers.

Outback nsw
Outback New South Wales.

spider
Spider.

Florida Rest Area is on the Barrier Highway, 80 kilometers from Nyngan and 50 kilometers from Cobar. On the border between the shires of Bogan and Cobar.

Noisy Miner
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)

There are lots of Noisy Miner, some Red-winged Parrots, mainly female or juvenile. I did happen to see one adult male. The birds were drinking out of a plastic bowl near a water tank.

Red-winged Parrot
Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus).

Outback NSW bird list

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)
Grey-crowned Babbler
Apostlebird
Australian Ringneck
Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus)
Noisy Miner
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Pied Butcherbird

Narromine

Narromine Birding

Central West NSW.

It has poured raining here in Narromine this morning. You would not believe it! The streets were almost flooding. Last night I was going to camp at Mac’s Reserve, about four kilometers out of town on the banks of the Macquarie River. It was a horrible place, all dry and dusty and a place for rednecks to go and get drunk and burn out cars.

Burnt out car
Burnt out car.

Instead I camped at the rest area out of town. It was OK. It had a table and toilets. I have done about 450 kilometers so far from Newcastle. I plan to do about 500 kilometers per week. This is a standard view of most inland towns in Australia – big wide streets and wheat silos.

Narromine nsw
Standard country town view.

Whilst eating breakfast, I caught sight of this Black-shouldered Kite over the other side of the railway tracks. I never get bored taking photos of these beautiful raptors.

Black-shouldered Kite
Black-shouldered Kite ( Elanus axillaris)

I went for a walk along the river in town at the Rotary Park. A few birds here and there but not much.

Red-rumped Parrots
Red-rumped Parrots (Psephotus haematonotus)

A few Welcome Swallows were circling over the football oval. And I spotted a Black Kite in the distance.

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow ( Hirundo neoxena)

Some good camping sites west from Newcastle are:

1. Jerry Plains rest area – just before the village. It has a big field with plenty of room for caravans and turning, barbecue, tables and toilets.

2. Cassilis Park rest area – 5 k west of Cassilis. A nice bush area off the road with plenty of space, toilets, and tables.

Narromine Bird List

Pacific Black Duck
Crested Pigeon
Australian Magpie
Magpie-lark
Australian Raven
Common Starling
Red-shouldered Parrot
Red-rumped Parrot
Eastern Rosella
Welcome Swallow
Black Kite
Black-shouldered Kite
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Galah

pigeon

Cassilis Birding

Great Dividing Range.

On top of the Great Dividing Range at around 700 meters. Woohoo! This is my favourite camping spot going west. It is called Cassilis Park rest area and is about 5 kilometers past the village of Cassilis on the Golden Highway.

Olive-backed Oriole
Olive-backed Oriole (Oriolus sagittatus)

I was a bit surprised to see these here. I do not know why.

Kookaburra
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Treecreeper
White-throated Treecreeper ( Cormobates leucophaea)

Probably a female White-throated Treecreeper but have to look in the book yet. Edit: Yes it is. (from birdsinbackyard.net) “The White-throated Treecreeper is dark brown, with a distinctive white throat and chest, and white streaks on its flanks, edged with black. The wings have a red bar that is visible in flight and the undertail is barred. The female has an orange mark on the sides of the face. Like other treecreepers, spends most of its time foraging in trees and has a short, spiralling flight.”

Butcherbird
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)

Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana)

I do not have my book on me at the moment, so I will properly identify this later. My internet time in the library is limited. doh! I need my book. doh! Edit: hopefully this is right but with limited time to properly check.

spider
Spider

Dragonfly
Dragonfly

osaka

Isshin-ji Temple and Shin-sekai

Isshinji Temple.

My last day in Japan and I had checked out of my hotel. So I went for a walk with the camera. I wanted to go somewhere different so I went past the zoo and found this amazing temple up the hill. The Isshin-ji Temple is the common people’s temple and a lot of what was there I did not understand.

statue
Stone statue.

I saw an interesting entrance with some old stone carvings and what seemed like a garden but I think it might be some kind of cemetery. This fierce looking dude was holding up a huge globe – the world?

fierce stonework
Fierce dude.

I really liked the textures on some of the stone carvings. Do not ask me what it means.

kanji scupture
Kanji carving on stone.

Someone had left a can of coffee for this buddha.

boss buddha
Boss Buddha.

Another fierce dude. My guess is they are supposed to drive away or deter malevolent beings.

angry art
Bug Eyed Monster.

Shin-sekai

After the temple I followed the tourist route through Shinsekai. As it was Sunday there were heaps of people gawking at all the sights.

pachinko parlour
Looking into a pachinko parlour.

Except for the dudes in the pachinko parlour, who are oblivious to everything but little metal balls rolling down a machine.

lookout tower
The lookout tower.

And of course one must take a photo of the tower. It is mandatory.

shinsekai street
Street scene.

And here are the gawkers.

lunch menu
Restaurant menu board.

Lots of places to eat with touts outside trying to entice you inside.

Untitled
Gotta get that selfie.

Selfies are all over the world.

okonomoyaki ad
Advertising the okonomiyaki.

angry chef
Angry chef.

Is this the japanese version of Gordon Ramsay?

tokachidake

Furano, Hokkaido

A Winter Walk.

Today I went for a walk into Furano town. It is in the center of Hokkaido by the Sorachi River.

Tokachidake Mountain
A view of Tokachidake from Kitanomine

Kitanomine ski resort
Kitanomine skijo

prayer disks 2
shinto prayer disk, ema.

prayer disks
more ema

prayer notes
paper prayers, omikuji

rooftop
shinto temple roof

Sorachi Riverbank
Sorachi River bank

moon over tokachidake
Moon coming up over Tokachidake

yurtz rail jam

Yurtz Rail Jam

Hirafu Niseko.

Tonight I went down the road to the Rail Jam, which was skiing and snowboarding on a rail. Park tricks.

Rail Jam Yurtz
Big Crash.

Rail Jam Yurtz 2
sliding

Rail Jam Yurtz 3
Snowboarding park trick

Rail Jam Yurtz 4
skier park trick

Rail Jam Yurtz 5
Riding the rail

Rail Jam Yurtz 6
skier

bokor

Barbets

Some Megalaima.

These are some Barbets that I found a couple of years ago on my trip to South-east Asia. Megalaima is a genus of Asian barbets (family Megalaimidae). The name means ‘large throat’, from the Greek mega (‘large, great’) and laimos (‘throat’). There are 24 species in this genus
.

Blue-eared Barbet
Blue-eared Barbet (Megalaima australis).

Bokor Hill, near Kampot in Southern Cambodia. August 2012.

Flame-fronted Barbet
Flame-fronted Barbet (Megalaima armillaris baliensis).

baliensis sub-species. Bedugul Botanic Gardens, Bali, Indonesia. April 2012.

Lineated Barbet
Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata)

Record shot only. Ranong, South Thailand. June 2012.

Coppersmith Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala) .

Ayutthaya, Thailand. June 2012.

Red-throated Barbet
male Red-throated Barbet (Megalaima mystacophanos).

Phang Nga , south Thailand. June 2012.

niseko

Niseko Sunny Day

Hirafu.

Yesterday the sun came out again. No new snow.

super ridge
Super Ridge

kutchan
Kutchan

Looking towards Kutchan from up the top of Hirafu.

niseko peak
The peak at Hirafu

niseko peak 2
Hirafu Peak

annupuri

Annupuri Skiing

A Sunny Day.

Today it was a sunny day for a change. No new snow but at least the sun was out for a while. The wind was a bit chilly up the top of the mountain but down below it was ok. I took a few photos on my point and shoot. This was last night.

Kayo-chan
Kayoko

Sean and Mark
Sean and Mark

We took the hooded chair up to the top, then Ace number 4 and traversed across to Annupuri.

Niseko village
Looking towards Niseko Village

We did a few runs down below the quad chair. Then up the Annupuri Gondola to the top of the hill.

Kayo at annupuri
Annupuri

Then traverse back to Hirafu.

annupuri tree
Annupuri tree.