Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

January 15, 2019

Whyalla Birding Afternoon

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:20 am

Whyalla Wetlands Afternoon

In the afternoon I went back to Whyalla Wetlands. I was not expecting anything and most of my expectations were met! No sane bird would be out in this heat.

female White-winged Fairy-Wren


female White-winged Fairy-Wren (Malurus leucopterus)

I think this might be an immature male Splendid Fairywren but I am awaiting confirmation and possible correction from the experts. Edit: I was wrong. female White-winged Fairywren. Thanks John Tongue for the identification.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper


Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)

Note the red cap on top of the head.

New Holland Honeyeater


New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)

Whyalla bird list

Red-necked Avocet
White-headed Stilt
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)
Splendid Fairywren (Malurus spendens musgravi) ??? immature male ???
House Sparrow

January 14, 2019

Gluepot to Port Augusta Tourist

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:48 am

South Australia Tourism Photos

I set out from Waikerie on the River Murray and had to drive 50 kilometers through the red sand dirt road to Gluepot Reserve. Stinking hot weather. Not pleasant at all. #notwhingeing. This is the camping area and the facilities. A spoonful of lime after depositing into the long drop.

Gluepot Reserve Camping


Gluepot Reserve Camping

Burra Mine


Burra Mine

The Burra Burra Mine was first worked between 1845 and 1867 as an underground mine to a depth of 183 meter. After that it was worked as an open cut mine. This was one of the earliest attempts to open cut low grade metal ore in Australia.

Broughton River


Broughton River

I could not go over this ford in my car so I had to back track along the river the other way.

Bowman Park old buildings


Bowman Park old buildings

Bowman Park was a nice camp spot and it was pretty cheap as well. Some great walks along the gullies.

Bridge over dry creek


Bridge over dry creek

Nelshaby Reserve - Lawrie Park.


Nelshaby Reserve – Lawrie Park.

Some dead trees. It is so dry in South Australia.

Nelshaby Reservoir


Nelshaby Reservoir

Explorer Edward John Eyre led several expeditions into this area from 1839 onwards using the natural springs which still flow in this area. Nelshaby Reservoir, constructed in 1879, originally formed part of Port Pirie’s water supply until being superseded by the Morgan-Whyalla pipeline.

Southern Flinders Ranges


Southern Flinders Ranges

An old plough


An old plough

Chinaman's Creek - Winninowie Conservation Park.


Chinaman’s Creek – Winninowie Conservation Park.

Red Cliffs - Matthew Flinders Lookout.


Red Cliffs – Matthew Flinders Lookout.

This is looking out over the end of Spencers Gulf at the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden at Port Augusta.

Whyalla Birding 2019

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:53 am

Whyalla Wetlands

After processing and uploading my photos at Port Augusta, I did my shopping and headed south towards Whyalla. About ten kilometers from town, I found a camp near the train line and bedded down. I was awoken by a train hooting just after 6am and jumped in the car and headed to the Whyalla Wetlands where I had breakfast before heading off around the wetlands. I was after the Citrine Wagtail but did not see hide nor hair of it. I think I might have seen one in India. But I cannot remember. Edit, yes, I have seen them in the UAE at Al Ain and in Kashmir.

Common Greenshank


Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

Common Greenshank


Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper


Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)

Red-necked Avocet


Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)

White-headed Stilt


White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus)

Black-tailed Native-hen


Black-tailed Native-hen ( Tribonyx ventralis)

Red-kneed Dotterel


Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus)

Hoary-headed Grebe


Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)

Whyalla bird list

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) ??? 6631
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus)
Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus)
Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)
Silver Gull
Black-tailed Native-hen (Tribonyx ventralis)
Red Wattlebird
Little Black Cormorant
Little Egret
Galah
Australian Magpie
Magpie-lark
Welcome Swallow
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)
Pacific Black Duck
Grey Teal
Chestnut Teal

Crested Pigeon
Black Swan
Eurasian Coot

January 13, 2019

Port Augusta Birding 190113

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:11 am

Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden

I came into Port Augusta about mid-morning so I had breakfast at MacDonalds and then had a look around town and went shopping at Big W for a new camping chair. The last $5 one from Kmart only lasted me 3 months. grrr 😉

White-fronted Honeyeater


White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons)

Late in the afternoon, the wind came up and it was blowing really hard. But I went anyway to the Arid Lands Botanic Garden which is only a couple of kilometers to the north of Port Augusta. Not much around. Too windy.

Australia Raven


Australia Raven (Corvus coronoides)

Next morning I headed back to the Arid Lands Botanic Garden. First stop was Red Cliffs where there were a few Starlings and a Rainbow Bee-eater. On the way to the main building I stopped at the bird hide and there were a couple of local birders there – Brian and Bev. So I hung out for the rest of the morning with them and went and had a cup of coffee at 10 o’clock.

Zebra Finch


Zebra Finch (Taenopygia guttata)

There were a big mob of about twenty Zebra Finch hanging around the water hole.

Common Starling


Common Starling ( Sturnus vulgaris)

Lots of spots on these starlings.

Crested Pigeon


Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)

Western Grey Kangaroo


Western Grey Kangaroo ( Macropus fuliginosus)

I think this might be a male and female Western Grey Kangaroo.

Port Augusta bird list

Purple-backed Fairywren (Malurus assimilis)
White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons)
Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
Zebra Finch (Taenopygia guttata)
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)
Grey Butcherbird
Red Wattlebird
Emu
White-browed Babbler
Common Starling ( Sturnus vulgaris)
Rainbow Bee-eater
Australia Raven (Corvus coronoides)
Willie Wagtail

January 12, 2019

Winninowie Conservation Park

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 1:47 am

Chinaman’s Creek

Situated on the eastern shore of upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia, Winninowie Conservation Park covers an area of 4,318 hectares. It is mainly sited on a low-lying coastal plain bordered by ocean and contains an interesting blend of marine and semi-arid habitats. The western boundary follows the low water mark line and includes important mangrove forest, tidal mudflats and seagrass.

Yellow-throated Miner


Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)

Singing Honeyeater


Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens)

Nankeen Night-heron


Nankeen Night-heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)

Welcome Swallow


Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)

Kangaroo eating mangroves


Kangaroo

This kangaroo was eating Mangrove tree leaves or buds. I thought it was interesting.

Winninowie Conservation Park bird list

Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)
Nankeen Night-heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)
Emu
Silver Gull

January 10, 2019

Under the Flinders Ranges

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:13 am

Nelshaby Reserve and Lawrie Park

Lawrie Park is about 15 kilometers from Port Pirie and just below, at the foot of, the Flinders Ranges. In the afternoon I went for a walk in the Nelshaby Reserve to have a look at the reservoir and it was empty! Dry. Not a drop of water. 🙁 There was a bird hide at the edge of the reservoir looking very forlorn.

Yellow-throated Miner
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)

Nelshaby Reservoir was built in 1879 and was originally the water supply for Port Pirie but was bypassed in 1987.

Yellow  Rosella
Yellow Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus)

It is so hard to definitively say which sub-species these “Adelaide” Rosellas fit into. They interbreed and have varying degrees of red on the belly which make it difficult to pinpoint the exact race.

Yellow/Adelaide Rosella
Yellow/Adelaide Rosella – Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus/subadelaidae)

This one was feeding with the one above and it had much more red on the chest. Which would make it a subadelaidae sub-species.

Mallee Ringneck
Mallee Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius barnardi)

Red Wattlebird
Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)

In the morning I took a walk around Lawrie Park, which was a bit better with a few birds. Everything is so dry.

Variegated Fairy-wren
purple-backed fairywren (Malurus assimilis)

Not a Variegated Fairywren as I originally thought. They have been split.

White-browed Babbler
White-browed Babbler (Pomotostomus superciliosus)

SingingS Honeyeater
Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens)

peekaboo i see you
Peekaboo, I see you.

Nelshaby bird list

purple-backed fairywren (Malurus assimilis)

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)
Yellow/Adelaide Rosella – Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus/subadelaidae)
House Sparrow
Red Wattlebird
White-browed Babbler (Pomotostomus superciliosus)

Galah
Australian Magpie
Magpie-lark
Mallee Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius barnardi)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater
Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens)

January 8, 2019

Bowman Park South Australia

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:09 am

Crystal Brook

It was a relief to get out of the mallee country and the weather has cooled down a lot. I found a spot to camp near Crystal Brook at Bowman Park. There are a few valleys with lots of trees surrounding the gullies so there were lots of birds around.

Diamond Firetail
Diamond Firetail (Stagonopleura guttata)

These are beautiful little birds that feed on the ground on the grass seeds.

Diamond Firetail
Diamond Firetail (Stagonopleura guttata)

Wedge-tailed Eagle
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)

It was good to see a wedgie. I have not seen one for ages.

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

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters are so beautiful I reckon.

Grey Shrike-thrush
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica harmonica)

Eastern race harmonica with the white lores.

Adelaide Rosella
Adelaide Rosella (Platycercus elegans subadelaidae)

This is the adelaide sub-species of the Crimson Rosella. They often interbreed with race fleurensis.

Grey Currawong
Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor melanoptera)

This is the local race melanoptera. Typically in eastern South Australia.

Common Bronzewing
Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)

Bowman Park bird list

White-plumed Honeyeater
Red Wattlebird
Dusky Woodswallow
Diamond Firetail (Stagonopleura guttata)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica harmonica)
Laughing Kookaburra
Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor melanoptera)
Black-faced Cuckoo shrike
Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)
Adelaide Rosella (Platycercus elegans subadelaidae)
Sacred Kingfisher
Yellow-throated Miner
Mallee Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius barnardi)
Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel)
Variegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti)
White-winged Chough

January 7, 2019

South Australia Waikerie to Spalding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:44 am

South Australia Mallee

It is a long way to Gluepot Reserve from Waikerie. And fifty kilometers of dirt road that has patches of sand blown over it that scares the crap out of you. I got there safely after the scare of my life and settled down at the Babbler Camp, about three kilometers from the homestead. Luckily the weather was a lot cooler than it had been but the wind was still blowing hard.

Mulga Parrot and Mallee Ringneck
Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius) and Mallee Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius barnardi)

Mulga Parrot on the left and Mallee Ringneck on the right. The Mallee Ringneck is a sub-species of the Australian Ringneck – Barnardius zonarius barnardi.

Mulga Parrot  - male and female
Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius) – male and female

The male is below and the female above.

Grey Butcherbird
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)

Southern Whiteface
Southern Whiteface (Aphelocephala leucopsis)

I managed to successfully escape from Gluepot, despite my digital map being horribly wrong. I limped west to Morgan, where I stocked up with fuel and water and headed to Burra, then stopped at Broughton River near Spalding for the night. There was some water in the river, so in the morning I went for a walk with my camera.

Yellow-throated Miner
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)

Red-rumped Parrot
Red-rumped Parrot

A male Red-rumped Parrot having a drink in the river with some very photographic light.

Mallee Ringneck
Mallee Ringneck or Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius barnardi)

I like the texture of this fella.

Australian Reed-warbler
Australian Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus australis)

South Australi mallee bird list

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza uropygialis)
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)
Southern Whiteface (Aphelocephala leucopsis)
Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius)
Mallee Ringneck or Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius barnardi)
Red-rumped Parrot
Australian Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus australis)
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)
Black-tailed Native-hen
Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides)

January 4, 2019

Cadell South Australia

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:25 am

Western Riverlands Bird Photography

Today was so hot. It got up to 42 degrees Celsius and there was a howling boiling North-west wind blowing which made it as hot as hell. And there is no cooling sea-breeze out here in the never-never. Last night I camped half way to Morgan. I forget the name. Some sort of bend or other. In the morning I traipsed off to Cadell and had a look at the lagoon, then went to Morgan. After that I went back to Cadell and went swimming in the river and reading in the shade. It was too hot to do anything else.

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill
Chestnut-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza uropygialis)

And here I am in the library at Waikerie sorting out these photos from today and then late this afternoon I am going to Gluepot Reserve, which is north in the mulga and even hotter. But hopefully it is going to cool down for the weekend.

White-browed Babbler
White-browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus)

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

Tree Martin
Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)

Red-necked Avocet
Red-necked Avocet ( Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)

Riverlands bird list

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza uropygialis)
Red-necked Avocet ( Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)
Yellow Rosella
Grey Teal
Australian Swamphen
White-headed Stilt
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
White-browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus)
White-plumed Honeyeater
Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)

January 3, 2019

Hart and Ramco Lagoons

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:50 am

Waikerie Area Birding

I found out from the tourist information about the bird trails in the area, so I thought I might check them out. Yesterday afternoon I went to Hart Lagoon, which is just on the outskirts of Waikerie. This morning I ventured out to Ramco Point to see the lagoon there. I got out of the car, then walked down to the lagoon edge. I wanted to get closer, so I moved even nearer to the water and then splat, slipped over on the mud and got mud all over me and the camera. I was not impressed.

Banded Stilt
Banded Stilt (Cladorhynchus leucophalus)

After that I went to the Hart Lagoon for a short walk and then went back to the Waikerie waterfront and had a swim in the mighty Murray River to wash off all the mud. I was lucky to get one new bird at Ramco Lagoon, the Banded Stilt. Well I think so, anyway. I have lost track years ago of my lists. doh!

Banded Stilt
Banded Stilt (Cladorhynchus leucophalus)

And some young Banded Stilt without the front rufous band.

Pink-eared Duck
Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)

White-headed Stilt
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucophalus)

Red-kneed Dotterel
Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus)

Straw-necked Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis)

Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite ( Haliastur sphenurus)

There are lots of Whistling Kite along the Murray river.

Waikerie bird list

Banded Stilt (Cladorhynchus leucophalus)
Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)
Hardhead
Grey Teal
Chestnut Teal
Australian Shelduck (Chenonetta jubata)
Australian Pelican
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucophalus)
Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus)
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Australian White Ibis
Australian Swamphen
Red-necked Avocet
Crested Pigeon
Red Wattlebird
Laughing Kookaburra
Willie Wagtail
White-plumed Honeyeater
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis)
Whistling Kite
Crimson Rosella or Yellow Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus)

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