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 »

Leaden Flycatcher

Cardwell to Bowen Birding

Cardwell, Queensland.

I missed out on seeing a crocodile off the beach of Cardwell this morning. I rocked up at the tourist information center and then went for a look at the wharf and some guy told me there was a crocodile crusising along the beach. I was a bit skeptical at first but a few others said they saw it too. I was talking to a local aboriginal man and he said that the croc regularly cruises along the beach and that he eats turtles!

Australasian Figbird
Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vieilloti flaviventris)

This is the northern “Yellow Figbird”, the flaviventris race of the Australasian Figbird. They have a very yellow front. The other unusual sights I saw were a pair of Pied Oystercatchers on the beach and a Brahminy Kite circling high overhead. There is also a New Guinea pigeon that comes here periodically that is white with black wingtips. (Pied Imperial Pigeon) But I never saw it. There also may be a pair of Beach Stone-curlews at the southern end of Cardwell Beach. But again, never saw ’em. :(

Cardwell bird list

Australasian Figbird
Little Egret
Pied Oystercatcher
White-breasted Woodswallow
Brahminy Kite

Ingham – Tyto Wetlands

This is from the the afternoon session at Tyto Wetlands. I forgot to add it to the other lot. doh! A tick for the Nutmeg Mannikin.

Nutmeg Mannikin
Nutmeg Mannikin (Lonchura punctulata)

Ayr – Plantation Park – Juru Walk

I was quite surprised to see the Olive-backed Sunbird here at Ayr. I had seen this bird in South-east Asia before and I knew that we had only one sunbird. But maybe I had not seen a male before with its black chin and bright yellow colors. Also called Yellow-bellied Sunbird.

Olive-backed Sunbird
Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarina jugularis)

I think he is sticking out his tongue here! I guess it is for sucking up nectar from the flowers.

Olive-backed Sunbird
Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarina jugularis)

Here is a reasonable shot of a Blue-winged Kookaburra, mainly because other ones have been a bit dark.

Blue-winged Kookaburra
Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)

I walked across the Burdekin River bridge but there was not much below. Just a heap of Pacific Black Ducks and a few Comb-crested Jacana.

Ayr bird list

Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarina jugularis)
Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)
Yellow Honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Leaden Flycatcher
Whistling Kite
Black Kite
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Rainbow Bee-eater
Peaceful Dove
Sacred Kingfisher
Olive-backed Oriole
Australian Pelican
Little Pied Cormorant
Noisy Friarbird

Cape Edgecumbe – Bowen

Arriving in Bowen, I went to Cape Edgecumbe, hoping to see some boobys or frigatebirds but all I got was this great shot showing the big schnoz of the Helmeted Friarbird.

Helmeted Friarbird
Helmeted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides)

Later, I am going to Muller’s Lagoon for a look.

tyto

Tyto Wetlands Redux

North Queensland Birding.

Well here I am back in Ingham and digging around in the Tyto Wetlands. I love the place. I saw some Green Pygmy-goose this afternoon. I did not see them last time. And I saw some mannikins I think. Not sure exactly what they are until I have a good look at them. Nutmeg Mannikin. And Cotton Pygmy-goose. Amazing!

Little Egret
Little Egret

This morning I got up early before sunrise and even did not have breakfast or a cup of coffee! And it was cold and wet grass. At least when the sun came up I got some good light unlike the last time I was here with overcast skies and bad bad light.

Australasian Figbird
Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vieilloti flaviventris)

This is the northern “Yellow Figbird”, the flaviventris race of the Australasian Figbird. They have a very yellow front.

Spangled Drongo
Spangled Drongo

Comb-crested Jacana
Comb-crested Jacana

Red-backed Fairy-wren
Red-backed Fairy-wren

This Red-backed Fairy-wren mob were huddled up against the cold. brrr.

Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo
Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites basalis)

The Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo has a rufous edge along the tail feathers.

Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo
Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites basalis)

And the bars on the chest do not go all the way across. Not sure why one has a red eye and the other a white eye?

Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Fan-tailed Cuckoo

Green Pygmy-goose
Green Pygmy-goose

This is the male and female in good light.

Ingham bird list

Spangled Drongo
Red-backed Finch
Straw-necked Ibis
Australian White Ibis
Royal Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Great Egret
Little Egret
Magpie Goose
Hardhead
Pacific Black Duck
Wandering Whistling-duck
Green Pygmy-goose
Cotton Pygmy-goose
Comb-crested Jacana
White-breasted Woodswallow
Brown Honeyeater
Yellow Honeyeater
White-gaped Honeyeater
Peaceful Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove
Black-fronted Dotterel
Magpie-lark
Helmeted Friarbird
Red-browed Finch
Crimson Finch
Nutmeg Mannikin (Lonchura punctulata)
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin ?
Australasian Figbird
Australian Pelican
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Rufous Whistler
Olive-backed Oriole
Leaden Flycatcher
Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites basalis)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Rainbow Bee-eater

scarlet honeyeater

Abattoir Swamp Birding

Julatten, Queensland.

Abattoir Swamp is between Mount Molloy and Julatten on the Atherton Tablelands in Far Northern Queensland. I stumbled upon it by accident. I was just driving past and I saw the sign and said to myself “Hey, didn’t I read something about this place?”.

Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops)

So I stopped and walked to the hide which was closed and in disrepair, so I morosely trudged back and heard a few birds feeding in the eucalpyt buds and they just kept coming on and on. Finally I ended up with four new birds. This place is extraordinary. There are honeyeater everywhere. I think I counted about seven different species of honeyeaters. Amazing.

White-throated Honeyeater
White-throated Honeyeater (Melithreptus albogularis)

The only difference from the White-naped Honeyeater is that the black from the head extends under the bill on the White-naped Honeyeater.

Northern Fantail
Northern Fantail (Rhipidura rufiventris)

No white ear markings on the Northern Fantail and heaps less hyperactive. Works more like a flycatcher than a fantail

Macleay's Honeyeater
Macleay’s Honeyeater (Xanthotis macleayana)

I thought this was a Regent Honeyeater at first but after a good look concluded what it was. This is a very localised bird and endemic to this area.

Lewin's Honeyeater
Lewin’s Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii)

These are heaps common down south all the way along the coast.

Scarlet Honeyeater
Scarlet Honeyeater (Myzomela sanguinolenta)

The Scarlet Honeyeater is one of the most beautiful birds evah!

Abattoir Swamp bird list

Peaceful Dove
Brown Honeyeater
Northern Fantail (Rhipidura rufiventris)
Lewin’s Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii)
White-throated Honeyeater (Melithreptus albogularis)
White-cheeked Honeyeater (Phylidonyris nigra)
Scarlet Honeyeater (Myzomela sanguinolenta)
Macleay’s Honeyeater (Xanthotis macleayana)
Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops)
Yellow Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavus)
Pheasant Coucal ?

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Mareeba Wetlands

Far North Queensland Birding.

The Mareeba Wetlands is about ten kilometers north of Mareeba. Well worth a visit if only for the both species of Pygmy-goose that they have here. I went for a walk around the lagoon, then headed inland past the wash section of the pandanus trail and up the hill. This seemed to be a better area than around the lagoon. After the walk, I went for a boat ride on the lagoon. It is only $15, so well worth it to get up close to the birds. The boat has an electric motor, so it is very quiet.

emu
Emu

This Darter drying its wings had the most amazing colours.

darter
Darter

White-winged Triller
White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor)

Cotton Pygmy-goose
Cotton Pygmy-goose (Nettapus coromandelianus)

The Cotton Pygmy-goose is relatively rare from what the guide at the wetlands tells me. Something like about a thousand pairs of birds. Recently about half a dozen have been coming to the Mareeba Wetlands, so that is a good sign.

Green Pygmy-goose
Green Pygmy-goose (Nettapus pulchellus)

The Green Pygmy-goose is very different from the Cotton Pygmy-goose. It has a green patch at the back of the neck and very scalloped body plumage, unlike the cotton which has a mostly white body. But both ducks are only seen in the far north of Australia.

Black-throated Finch
Black-throated Finch (Poephila cincta)

A pair of Black-throated Finch were hanging around very quietly at the wash section of the pandanus trail. They were hiding amongst the leaves in their tree and not making much noise at all. I was lucky to see them on the way back from my walk.

Mareeba Wetlands bird list

Rufous Whistler
Peaceful Dove
Emu
Darter
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Mistletoebird
Double-barred Finch
Black-throated Finch (Poephila cincta)
Laughing Kookaburra
White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)
Rainbow Bee-eater
Striated Pardalote
White-breasted woodswallow
Straw-necked Ibis
Black Swan

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From Mission Beach to Atherton Highlands

Far North Queensland Birding.

I started off towards Mission Beach looking for a Cassowary, but no dice. I stopped at Licuala picnic area , Djiru National Park and went for a walk along the track. The weather was appalling. Overcast and raining. I saw nothing except and Brown Cuckoo-dove and a Leaden Flycatcher.

Brown Cuckoo-dove
Brown Cuckoo-dove (Macropygia amboinensis)

After lunch at Malanda, I turned off to the Bromfield Swamp and thought I had seen a Sarus Crane but it turned out to be a Jabiru. :( Discouraged, I headed for the Nyleta Wetland – Hasties Swamp National Park. And lo and behold there were thousands and billions of Plumed Whistling-ducks. tick!

Plumed Whistling-duck
Plumed Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)

This one obliged my by standing on a post and posing classically.

Plumed Whistling-duck
Plumed Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)

And this is one in flight. Nice.

Plumed Whistling-duck
Plumed Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)

bird list

Black-necked Stork, Jabiru (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)
Cattle Egret
Plumed Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)
Pacific Black Duck
Brown Cuckoo-dove
Leaden Flycatcher
Australasian Grebe

ingham

Tyto Wetlands 2

Ingham, Queensland Birding.

I spent all day yesterday processing the photos from the Tyto Wetlands. I took over 800 photos so it was a mammoth effort going through them all and discarding the rubbish. The light was appalling on both days so I had to shoot at a pretty high ISO which I do not like doing, but had no choice.

Comb-crested Jacana
Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea)

This is the adult Comb-crested Jacana. I had seen these before at Lismore in northern New South Wales.

immature Comb-crested Jacanas
immature Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea)

I had thought there might have been two species of Jacana until I looked at the book. The immature birds have a fair bit of difference to the adult birds, so that threw me for a while.

Kreft's River Turtle
Kreft’s River Turtle (Emydura kreftii)

I am fairly sure this is a Kreft’s River Turtle, also called Kreft’s Short-necked Turtle. But let me know if I am wrong as I am not so good on reptiles and amphibians.

Agile Wallaby
Agile Wallaby (Macropus agilis)

There were lots of these wallabies around the wetlands. And they were pretty agile. And they liked to chew on grass.

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

It is pretty easy to get these confused with the Australasian Figbird. But a closer look will reveal the truth.

Red-backed Fairy-wren
Red-backed Fairy-wren (Malurus melanocephalus)

The light was really bad for these shots. I had the ISO cranked right up and there is heaps of noise in the photos. doh!

Forest Kingfisher
Forest Kingfisher ( Todiramphus macleayii)

These Forest Kingfishers are sometimes hard to distinguish from the Sacred Kingfisher.

Wandering Whistling-duck
Wandering Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna arcuata)

The whole family was out on the lagoon.

Magpie Goose
Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata)

Lots of Magpie Geese everywhere.

Spangled Drongo
Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus)

And the Spangled Drongos have been quite common along the coast.

Ingham bird list

Great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis)
Helemeted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides)
Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)
Yellow Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavus)
White-gaped Honeyeater (Lichenostomus unicolor)
Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton)
White-browed Robin (Poecilodryas superciliosa)
Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea)
Wandering Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna arcuata)
Straw-necked Ibis
Australian White Ibis
Magpie Goose
Darter
Royal Spoonbill
Little Pied Cormorant
Cattle Egret
Great Egret
Comb-crested Jacana
Pacific Black Duck
Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)
Forest KIngfisher
Welcome Swallow
White-breasted Woodswallow
Leaden Flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula)
Restless Flycatcher ? juvenile?
Red-browed Finch
Olive-backed Oriole
Rufous Whistler
Peaceful Dove
Grey Fantail
Red-backed Fairy-wren
Rainbow Bee-eater
Brown Honeyeater
Willy Wagtail
Common Myna
Black Kite
Whistling Kite

Others

Kreft’s River Turtle (Emydura kreftii)
Agile Wallaby (Macropus agilis)

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Tyto Wetlands Ticks

Ingham, Queensland.

No time to write much. I took way too many photos at Tyto Wetlands. 7 ticks today so I will just post them and do the rest of them another time. The library is shutting in half an hour. doh!

Helemeted Friarbird
Helemeted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides)

Blue-winged Kookaburra
Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)

Yellow Honeyeater
Yellow Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavus)

White-gaped Honeyeater
White-gaped Honeyeater (Lichenostomus unicolor)

Crimson Finch
Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton)

White-browed Robin
White-browed Robin (Poecilodryas superciliosa)

Great Bowerbird
Great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis)

drongo

Charters Towers to Townsville

Queensland Birding.

There has been a big shift in bush from the dry center of Queensland to the coast. The birds have changed markedly. I am now getting the coastal birds. Spangled Drongo, ibis, Noisy Miner, etc. First stop was at Macrossan Park, where there was flowing water in the river. First time I have seen that for a long time. I even saw some Brush Turkey.

Water Striders
A whole mess of water striders

I continued on to the Reid River, where there was a flurry of bird activity as soon as the sun made its appearance and even before. Inland birds seem to get out of bird later. Probably because it is so cold.

Red-tailed Black-cockatoo
Red-tailed Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii)

This Australian Bustard flew over the river. I was a bit surprised to see him.

Australian Bustard
Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

There was very little water at the Townsville Common. Only a smidgen at one of the hides. The other hides were looking out over dirt. There were lots of Common Myna in the city center.

Bar-shouldered Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis)

North Queensland birds list.

Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus)
Red-tailed Black-cockatoo
White-breasted Woodswallow
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Rainbow Bee-eater
Straw-necked Ibis
Australian White Ibis
Brush Turkey
Little Pied Cormorant
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Great Egret
Black-winged Stilt
Whistling Kite
Black Kite
White-faced Heron
Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis)
Australian Bustard
Brolga
Peaceful Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove
Masked Lapwing
Black-fronted Dotterel
Magpie-lark
Common Myna

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Campaspe River

Queensland Birding.

The Campaspe River is between Hughenden and Charters Towers. I think it marks a significant line in flora and fauna. There were pandanus palms and ti trees in the dry river bed and the birds have changed quite a lot. There were the sightings of Apostlebirds, Blue-faced Honeyeaters, Kookaburras, currawongs and rosellas.

A7D-9835
Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea)

This is my first sighting of the Pale Headed Rosella which is a sub-species (race) of Eastern Rosella. This bird here is probably a hybrid of palliceps and adscitus races.

A7D-9819
Pale Headed Rosella (Platycerus eximius palliceps/adscitus)

This Pied Currawong was hanging around my breakfast waiting to steal anything that was not nailed down and eat it. I am wise to their tricks.

A7D-9842
Pied Currawong (Streptera graculina)

I am not quite sure but I think I have gone into the range for the Noisy Miner. But I did not get a conclusive sighting.

Campaspe River bird list

Apostlebird
Laughing Kookaburra
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Pied Butcherbird
Crested Pigeon
Eastern Rosella
Pied Currawong

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Cloncurry to Hughenden

North-west Queensland Birding

Heading out from Cloncurry, I jolted to a halt as I saw some Australian Bustards on the side of the road. I had not seen them on the ground yet, only in the air.

A7D-9727
Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

I saw a few Rainbow Bee-eaters, Diamond Dove, Black Kites at Eastern Creek. This Black Kite had a white patch on the chest. I had never noticed that before.

A7D-9771
Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

At Richmond there was a very nice man-made lake with a few ducks in it. Lots of White-breasted Woodswallows flitting about. And a couple of Restless Flycatchers. I saw my first Apostlebirds for a long time. They were not in the center.

A7D-9775
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

There were Hardheads, Pacific Black Ducks and Australasian Grebe on the lake. Nothing else.

A7D-9790
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)

North-west Queensland bird list

Australian Bustard
Brolga
Rainbow Bee-eater
Diamond Dove
Pacific Black Duck
Australasian Grebe
Pied Butcherbird
Straw-necked Ibis
White-breasted Woodswallow
Willy Wagtail
Black Kite
Whistling Kite
Apostlebird