Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 13, 2009

Minmi Bird Watching

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:57 am

Blue Gum Hills Regional Park

I got up early this morning to do some birding at Blue Gum Hills Regional Park before the Snipe count that was going to be held later at Pambalong Nature Reserve. It was a bit quiet at first with a few birds like Noisy Friarbird, Noisy Miner and Eastern Rosella. I walked around the garden near the creek at the bottom of the cemetery. A Bar-shouldered Dove was trying to hide from me and the Welcome Swallows were flying around the trees behind the creek. A Satin Bowerbird flew past and I tried to find him but he took off when I got near him.

I walked up the track past the dam, which was dry. A few immature Golden Whistlers had a good look at me, who were followed by a mature male Rufous Whistler who sang me a lovely song. At the end of my walk I saw a pair of Channel-billed Cuckoos flying past in the distance.

Blue Gum bird list

Noisy Friarbird
Bell Miner
Eastern Rosella
Bar-shouldered Dove
Welcome Swallow
Grey Fantail
Satin Bowerbird
Australian Magpie
Red-browed Finch
Golden Whistler
Rufous Whistler
Silvereye
Superb Fairy-wren
Galah
Crested Pigeon
Channel-billed Cuckoo

Pambalong Nature Reserve

After the Blue Gum stint I drove to the Minmi Hotel to meet up with the Snipe surveyors from the Hunter Bird Observers Club. We drove to a property at the edge of the Pambalong swamp and divided into beaters and counters. The beaters had to walk through the swamp and the counters had to count the number of snipes that came into our areas. Here is a photo of a couple of the beaters walking through the swamp.

Beaters at the Snipe Count

I saw an Azure Kingfisher launch itself into the water and catch something but I could not see what it was. There were a male and female King Parrot flying past, as well as a bunch of Noisy Friarbird. When we got down to the railway track, I did end up spotting 1 Lathams Snipe, but it took off really quickly and made a circle around and came down in the other section of the swamp to the north. About 5 raptors were circling to the north and I think most of them were Swamp Harriers and probably one or two Whistling Kites. We did also see an Australian Hobby at one stage.

The beaters made it back to the counters and then went on the other side of the swamp to try and drive the snipe to the west. We did not see any more snipe but the other saw a total of 18 Lathams Snipe. When we got back to the cars, a boy saw a male Mistletoebird on a branch and we went to have a look at it, and it was just right in front of us.

Mistletoebird
male Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum)

We were quite amazed at the Mistletoebird’s strange behaviour, because it had this strange postures, sort of crouching down and bobbbing up and down and then singing as well. It was quite bizarre.

Mistletoebird

Anyway,it was an interesting morning and here is my final count for the morning at Pambalong Nature Reserve.

Pambalong Nature Reserve – Bird Count

Little Black Cormorant 3
Australian Pelican 1
Eastern Rosella 1
Pacific Black Duck 30
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike 2
Nankeen Night-heron 1
Whistling Kite 1
Mistletoebird 2
Welcome Swallow 10
Great Egret 3
Australian Reed Warbler 2
White-necked Heron 1
Tree Martin 30
Grey Teal 50
Fan-tailed Cuckoo 1
Dollarbird 1
Australian King-parrot 2
White-breasted Woodswallow 1
Azure Kingfisher 1
Noisy Friarbird 7
Red-browed Finch 2
Willy Wagtail 1
Lathams Snipe 18 (whole group)
Australian White Ibis 35
Swamp Harrier 3
Yellow-faced Honeyeater 6
Purple Swamphen 5
Magpie-lark 2
Channel-billed Cuckoo 1
Superb Fairy-wren 2
Australian Hobby 1
Cattle Egret 2
White-faced Heron 5
Bell Miner 5

Recommended Field Guide – The Field Guide to Birds of Australia

December 12, 2009

Newcastle Walk Against Warming

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — admin @ 6:20 am

Newcastle Walk Against Warming

The Walk Against Warming is a community day of action on climate change. This is supposed to provide a powerful voice for ordinary Australians to stand up and be counted on the most critical issue of and for our lives – climate change. As world leaders are meeting now in Copenhagen, it is important to send them the message that ordinary people who put these “leaders” in power want action to ensure that there is a future for their children and their grand-children.

The Newcastle Walk against Warming started at 1pm at Wheeler Place near the Civic Theatre in Newcastle. There were a number of impassioned speeches, including Greens Councillor on Newcastle City Council, Michael Osborne.

Michael Osborne
Michael Osborne – Greens Councillor on Newcastle City Council

The marchers then set off down towards the harbour and walked along the boardwalk that skirts Newcastle Harbour, one of the largest coal exporting ports in the the world. Oh, the irony.

Along Newcastle Harbour

There were loads of people eating at the brewery and all those fancy restaurants along the harbour. Many people were a bit gob-smocked to see all these people marching past while they were having dinner. Only a couple of people were hostile and said something negative. But I think over all the march made a good impression and there were mainly ordinary people and not feral hippies going off their brains. So it was all good.

I was especially proud of the fellow members who turned up to represent the Hunter Bird Observers Club. Well done, bird watchers of the Hunter Valley!

Hunter Bird Observers Club

Eventually the march finished up near the Customs House, where there were a number of speeches. Lee Rhiannon, a Greens member of Parliament made a great speech, which was well received by the crowd of 450.

Lee Rhiannon
Lee Rhiannon ( @leerhiannon on Twitter)is a Green MP in the New South Wales Upper House.

This great mum got up and introduced her son and said she wanted a world that was livable for him. She had organised a play-group for mothers who wanted to help stop the effects of climate change. She was fantastic.

A Mum talks for her son's future

So, in summing up. This was a day for getting out and making a stand for the environment and to send a message to world leaders and politicians to take action to curtail the human impact on the environment. Regardless of all the nit-picking and arguing over Climate Change, lets just get together and take action such as reducing waste, stopping logging, recycling and finding and using renewable energy sources.

December 9, 2009

Sumatra Birding Spots

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:45 pm

Birding in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Leuser Ecosystem
The Leuser Ecosystem is in Northern Sumatra, just inland from Medan. You can get there from either Medan or Padang. The main points of access into the park and places to stay are: Bukit Lawang, Brastagi, Gurah, Takengon, Keudah or Tapaktuan. There is a wide range of accommodation in Bukit Lawang and Brastagi and guest houses in other places. Guides are available at Gurah, Keudah and Tangkahan. There is forest trekking at Gurah, Keudah, Menggamat, Sikundur and Tangkahan.
At Berastagi stay at Hotel Sibayak.
At Tangkahan stay at Bamboo River or Jungle Lodge.
At Kedah stay at Tobacco Huts.
Bukit Lawang – Jungle Inn or Garden Inn.

Good birdwatching areas could include:
– the trails around Gurah
– maybe around Brastagi approaching Gunung Sinabung from Lau Kawar
– the Sibolangit Tourism Forest(Between Medan and Brastagi)
– 2 day trek from Brastagi to Bukit Lawang via Pamah Simelir
– Tracks out from Bukit Lawang, but be aware that this area is heavily infested with tourists.

Kerinci Seblat National Park

Kerinci is in central Sumatra and you can get there from Padang or from Bandar Lampung. Either way is a long trip, so be prepared for a mammoth bus ride either way. Padang is closer. You can get a permit from the park office in Sungai Penuh. A good start off place would be Pak Subandi’s homestay in Kersiktua. Pak Subandi is a top guide and very helpful in all ways. You may also stay at Muara Sako.
There is good birdwatching around Gunung Tujuh, to the north of Gunung Kerinci. Hike up to the mountain to the crater lake and hike around it, staying at Pondok Maliki or Batu Mesjid.
Try also the road from Tapan to Muara Sako, the trek to the Letter W waterfall near Pelompek and the Sipurak Valley, south of the Merangin River near Gunung Tujuh.

Way Kambas National Park

The Way Kambas National Park is in the very south of Sumatra, just north of Bandar Lampung. It is easily accessible from Jakarta via the West Java ferry port of Merak. The park entrance is at Tridatu, 2 hours east of Bandar Lampung. A taxi from the Sumatra ferry port of Bakauheni to Way Kanan may cost about 400,000Rp. There is a basic guest house at Way Kanan, but bring all supplies with you.
Good birdwatching spots include:
– around the guesthouse along the river.
– the Look Trail, 2kms from guest house.
– a boat along the river.
– across the river at Rawa Gajah to see the White-winged Duck.

Mentawais etc
You could also try the offshore islands of Sumatra such as Mentawais, Pulau Banyak, Siberut, Nias, Hinakos, Enggano. Many of these islands, such as the Telos and Nias, have established surf resorts.

Jambi
Stay at Hotel Da’lia in Jambi. Cemara Beach for waders.

Bangka – Belitung
There is a hydrofoil from Palembang to Mentok on Bangka. Pelni ships run from Jakarta to Bangka to Batam or Jakarta to Belitung to Pontianak on Kalimantan. Locally, hydrofoil goes from Bangka to Belitung daily.

Resources:

The National Parks and Other Wild Places of Indonesia (National Parks of the World)

A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Bali: The Greater Sunda Islands

Photographic Guide to Birds of Java, Sumatra and Bali

Sulawesi Bird Watching

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:41 pm

Sulawesi, Indonesia – Bird Watching Locations

Manado
You can fly into Manado from Singapore with Silk Air.
Stay – Rex Hotel or Hotel Ahlan.

Tangkoko Dua Suadara Nature Reserve
Tangkoko is located on the north-east tip of Sulawesi, 60km from Manado. Get there from Manado to Batuputih.
Stay at Batuhputih – 4 basic homestays near the park entrance or the nearby Pulisan Jungle Beach Resort which costs about 30 Euros a day, and you could go diving as well.

Gunung Ambang
Get permit at National Park office in Kotamobagu. You need to have a ranger as a guide. Best birding sites from Singsingon and can stay with ranger, but bring supplies. You can also stay with locals at their homes.

Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park
Wartabone is located 200km west of Manado in Northern Sulawesi. Drive from Manado to Doluduo or Toraut for the eastern side of the park. For the western side go to Gorontalo then Pinogu.
Stay at guest houses at Doluduo or Toraut.
Birding sites: Tapakolintang, Toraut, Tambun, Kasinggolan.

Lore Lindu National Park
Lore Lindu is located in the center of Sulawesi, south of Palu and west of Tentena. Get permits at Palu.
Stay at homestay near the park. The park HQ are at Kamarora. Lodge at Wuasa.
Birding sites: Anaso, Danau Tambing, Napu Valley, track from Kamarora up to Gunung Nokilalaki, Lake Lindu, Gimpu to Bada Valley, Tentana to Bada Valley, Bodi-Bodi road, Wuasa.

Lompobattang Massive
This is near Malino which is a 3 hour drive from Makassar in the south.
Also try the area around Karaenta Forest.
At Makassar stay at Losmen Semeru.

Resources:

The National Parks and Other Wild Places of Indonesia (National Parks of the World)

A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Bali: The Greater Sunda Islands

Photographic Guide to Birds of Java, Sumatra and Bali

A Guide to the Birds of Wallacea: Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia

Nusa Tenggara Bird Watching

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:38 pm

Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia – Bird Watching

To go overland, you can get the ferry from Bali to Lombok at Padangbai. Labuhan Lombok is the harbour town to take the ferry to Sumbawa. The ferry stops at Alas. Then go overland to Sumbawa Besar. Make a detour for a surf to Hu’u Lakie Beach. Then go to Sape to get the ferry to Labuanbajo on Flores.

Gunung Rinjani National Park
Mount Rinjani is on Lombok, east of Bali. You can get here by ferry from Bali, or fly. Then go to either Bayan and Senaru in the north or Sapit in the south.
Stay at home stays at Senaru or Sapit. The best birding is near the village of Sapit and up to the hot springs on the walk to the summit of Gunung Rinjani.

Labuan Bajo
Labuan Bajo is on the western end of Flores island. You can take boat trips to Komodo from here.
Birding locations: Puarlolo Telkom station, Potanwanka Road. There is a homestay called Chez Feliz or Hotel Wisata.

Ruteng Nature Recreation Park
Ruteng is in western Flores. You can get there by plane from Bali or overland from Labuan Bajo. There are several hotels in Ruteng such as Hotel Rima. Good places for bird watching include: the trail up Gunung Ranaka, Lake Rana Mese, Gunung Golo Dukul.

Sumba
You can catch the ferry to Sumba from Aimere to Waingkapu. In Waingkapu stay at Hotel Lima Saudara or Hotel Elvin. Lewa – family Hary.
Bird watching locations: Yumbu, Watumbela forest, Lewa(km 69).

Timor
You can fly from Waingkapu(Sumba) to Kupang. Catch a bemo to Camplong. Bemo to Kapan, ojek to Fatumnasi.
At Camplong stay at Christian seminar, at Fatumnasi stay at Homestay Mateos Anin. At Kupang stay at Huswah Transit Hotel.
Birding locations: Bipolo, Camplong forest. Gunung Mutis.

Resources:

The National Parks and Other Wild Places of Indonesia (National Parks of the World)

A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Bali: The Greater Sunda Islands

Photographic Guide to Birds of Java, Sumatra and Bali

A Guide to the Birds of Wallacea: Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia

Birding in Maluku

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:34 pm

Birding in Maluku, Indonesia

Halmahera
You can get to Halmahera by catching a plane to Ternate, then catch a ferry to Sidangoli in the west of Halmahera. There are some home stays near Sidangoli or you can stay with local villagers. The Moluccan Megapode digs nest holes on black sand beaches such as Galea in the north of Halmahera.
Birding spots include: Kali Bati Putih trails – 10 kms from Sidangoli, Sidangoli mangroves, Labi-Labi, Tobelo, Foli.

Buru island
You can get to Namlea from Ambon by plane or take the ferry. There is another ferry from Ambon to Leksula in the south. There is a road connecting northern villages such as Sawa, Waeputih, Wasamparo and Airbuaya(Crocodile Waters!).
Birding locations: Around Bara village. Around Namlea city. Wamlana.

Manusela National Park
Manusela NP is on Seram island, the second largest island in the Maluku group. To get there, catch a plane to Ambon and then take the ferry to Wahai on the north coast or Hatumetan on the south coast. You can trek from either of these towns to the other. The latest information indicates that you can get there by taking a 2 hour speedboat ride from Tulehu village, east of Ambon, to Masohi, and then a 4 hour overland drive by car to reach the front gates of Manusela in North Seram. There are places to stay in the towns or with villagers in the park. At Masohi there are several losmen. At Wahai stay at Losmen Sinar Indah and at Tehoru stay at Losmen Susi.
Birding spots: Masihulan canopy platform. Kembali Bebas. Tiapiate Jungle Camp. Api Lima. Sawai village. The lowland forest east of Wahai.

Banda Islands
To get there catch plane to Ambon, then by plane or ferry to Banda Neira. There are several small hotels and home stays. The best bird watching is reputedly on Banda Besar for Maluku endemics and sea birds.

Kai Islands
Fly from Ambon to Langgar on Kai Kecil, stay at hotel in Tual.
Birding spots: Ohoililur Beach Resort, Kai Besar main road,

Tanimbar Islands
Fly from Ambon to the main island of Yamdena. Stay at Saumlaki. Bird along the only road.

Ambon
Stay at Abdulalie Hotel.

Resources:

The National Parks and Other Wild Places of Indonesia (National Parks of the World)

A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Bali: The Greater Sunda Islands

Photographic Guide to Birds of Java, Sumatra and Bali

A Guide to the Birds of Wallacea: Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia

Central Java Bird Watching

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:24 pm

Central Java Bird Watching Locations

Yogyakarta

Budget hotels are found in the Pasar Kembang district near the train station. Try Delta Homestay, Losmen Anda or Gandhi Losmen.

Parangtritis

Parangtritis is a beach on the southern Java coast. It is very popular on Sundays and holidays. To get there, take a bus from Yogya to Wonosari, then hire ojek or colt. Stay at Yenny Homestay or Widodo. For birding try around the beaches or inland a bit around the swimming pools or hot springs. To the east of Parangtritis are more isolated beaches such as Baron, Kukup and Krakal, not far from Kemadang.

Dieng Plateau

There are small losmen (Losmen Bu Djono) on the plateau itself or you can stay at Wonosobo at places like Nirwana. Try the lakes on the plateau for water birds. But, some say the birding is dismal here.

Gunung Merapi

Kaliurang is 25km north of yogyakarta. There is a forest park(Hutan Wisata Kaliurang) on the slopes of Mount Merapi.
Stay at Vogels Hostel or Hotel Satriafi.

Prambanan

See birds like the Coppersmith Barbet, Javan Kingfisher, Grey-capped Woodpecker and Olive-backed Tailorbird near the river for instance. Stay at Hotel Sari.

Borobudur

There are several losmen in the village of Borobudur. Lotus Guest House.

Tawangmangu

Tawangmanu is a hill resort at 1200m on the west slopes of Mount Sewu. Try the Grojogan Sewu Waterfall walk, or the hike to Candi Sukuh. You can rent a horse. Stay at Tejo Moyo or Wisma Yanti.

Cirebon

Stay at Asia Hotel or Cordova.

Semarang

Be sure to see the Moluccan Kestrel or Spotted Kestrel here. I have seen lots of photos of them from here. Make sure to go to Tanjung Emas to see the Pinisi schooners(drool). Stay at Losmen Purnama or Raden Patah Hotel.
Try the Taman Budaya Raden Saleh, Gunung Ungaran or around Batealit for birding.

Karimunjawa

A chain of 27 islands off Semarang. You can fly in or catch a ferry from Jepara. Check in Jepara or Semarang at KSDA to see if you need a permit to visit (because it is a Marine National Park).
There are reported to be about 40 kinds of birds like Ducula aenea, Haliaeetus leucogaster , Pycnonotus goiavier, Psittacula alexandri, Eretmochelys imbricata, Chelonia mydas.
There are a number of homestays at Karimunjawa village such as Wisma Wisata.

Jepara

Stay at Menno Jaya. Get ferry to Karimunjawa.

North Coast

Try towns like Pati (Merdeka Hotel), Rembang (Losmen Perdana), Tegal (Hotel Semeru), Pekalongan (Hotel Damai).

Cilacap

Catch the boat to Pangandaran from here. Have a look at Teluk Penyu (Turtle Bay) for bird watching, about a 15 minute walk to east of town. Also you could get a ferry from Sleko pier to Nusa Kambangan, a nature reserve off the coast. Stay at Losmen Tiga or Losmen Sultana Adhi. The ferry to Kalipucang/Pangandaran goes from the Sleko Jetty on the western side of town.

Resources:

The National Parks and Other Wild Places of Indonesia (National Parks of the World)

A Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Bali: The Greater Sunda Islands

Photographic Guide to Birds of Java, Sumatra and Bali

Indonesia Handbook, 3rd (Footprint – Travel Guides)

December 7, 2009

Belmont Lagoon Bird Photography

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 5:01 am

Belmont Lagoon Bird Photography

7th December, 2009.

I got up early this morning but I was still later than the sun. It was out before 6am. Does that mean I will have to get up even earlier? The fog was rolling in but got burnt off later on so I knew it was going to be hot today. As soon as I got out of the car there were birds all around me – Australian Wood Duck, hybrid ducks, Silver Gull and Common Myna. There were Spotted Turtle-doves, Crested Pigeons and Little Wattlebirds on the over head wires as well. And then an Eastern Koel starting screeching out on top of a telegraph pole before I even got on the track.

Further down the track, I spotted a whole heap of White-throated Needletails flying past. They have been seen a fair bit in our area lately. I think I saw approximately a hundred flying north. They feed in rising thermal currents and are commonly seen moving along with wind fronts. White-throated Neeletail are in Family: Apodidae and Order: Apodiformes.

White-throated Needletail
White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caucacutus)

A Brown Honeyeater sat up in a tree along the track just for me, so I had to take his photo.

Brown Honeyeater
Brown Honeyeater (Lichmera indistincta)

At the point where Belmont Lagoon flows into Cold Tea Creek there were two Bar-tailed Godwits, a Black-winged Stilt and about half a dozen Silver Gull. Later on I saw a Bar-tailed Godwit feeding in the creek, which I thought was very unusual. Later on I saw this Magpie-lark annoying this Laughing Kookaburra. The kookaburra was not too concerned at first but eventually got fed up with the Magpie-lark and flew off.

Kookaburra and Peewee
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) and Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

On the way back I spotted this very strange behaviour. A White-breasted Woodswallow was sitting on a branch flicking its tail from side to side and putting its wings out. There was another bird watching it. I am assuming it is some sort of displaying behaviour associated with a mating ritual, but I am still not sure.


White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus)

Edit: David Stowe has confirmed for me that this tail shaking is indeed a mating ritual.

Belmont Lagoon bird list 7/12/09

Common Myna
Australian Wood Duck
Silver Gull
Spotted Turtle-dove
Crested Pigeon
Little Wattlebird
Eastern Koel
Willy Wagtail
Magpie-lark
Welcome Swallow
Australian Magpie
White-throated Needletail
Super Fairy-wren
Little Pied Cormorant
Black-winged Stilt
Bar-tailed Godwit 2
White-breasted Godwit
Eastern Whipbird (H)
Laughing Kookaburra
Grey Butcherbird
Silvereye
Rufous Whistler
Grey Fantail
Black Swan
White-faced Heron
Chestnut Teal
Little Black Cormorant
Striated Heron
Red-browed Finch
White-browed Scrubwren
Royal Spoonbill
Little Egret
Great Egret
Masked Lapwing
Bar-shouldered Dove
Grey Shrike-thrush
Crested Tern

Recommended Resource

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia (Helm Field Guides)

December 3, 2009

Glenrock SCA Birding 091203

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 1:48 am

Glenrock SCA Birding

Glenrock State Conservation Area, Newcastle. 3rd December 2009.

Glenrock SCA is just south of the centre of Newcastle. We are very lucky to have such a nice patch of bush right in our backyard. There are patches of rainforest and normal eucalypt bush. A creek goes through it with a few waterfalls for scenery purposes. The tracks are used by bush walkers, birders and mountain bike riders. In fact, I was nearly run over by several of them this morning. One was even wearing lycra(ugh).

I parked near where the Fernleigh Track crosses the road to Dudley and walked along the track towards the creek. A Laughing Kookaburra was the first bird to greet me for the morning, followed by a raucous call of many Bell Miners who were busy cultivating their lerps and creating die-back in the trees. A few White-browed Scrubwren flittered through the branches, of course. A few Chestnut Teal congregated around the creek, and the Sulphur-crested Cockatoos made their usual cackling heard.

Across the bridge and heading towards the ocean, I heard quite a few Eastern Whipbirds and even managed to catch a fleeting glimpse of one. This cute little female Superb Fairy-wren posed daintily for me.

Superb Fairy-wren
female Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus Cyaneus)

I walked a bit further and managed to see a Grey Goshawk that flew up out of the bushes and parked himself in a low tree. The problem was, he was just a bit too far away to get a decent shot. Oh well, there is always another day. A few Brown Thornbills started appearing as well as a Red-browed Finch, Grey Fantail, Willy Wagtail and an Eastern Rosella.

At least at the end of the walk, I got this good view of some guys having a good time surfing at the point. The water looks nice, doesn’t it. Anyone for a swim?

Glenrock surfing

Glenrock SCA bird list 3/12/09

Laughing Kookaburra
Bell Miner
Australian Raven
White-browed Scrubwren
Lewin’s Honeyeater
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Chestnut Teal
Australian Magpie
Eastern Whipbird
Superb Fairy-wren
Brown Thornbill
Red-browed Finch
Grey Goshawk
Grey Fantail
Willy Wagtail
Eastern Rosella

Recommended Resource

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia (Helm Field Guides)

December 2, 2009

Urban Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 3:57 am

Urban Birding

Wickham Park, Newcastle. 2nd December, 2009.

Well its been a mad mad world this week, so I got up really early this morning, had breakfast, cuppa, and stepped out the door. The trouble was, it was raining. hmm. Why did I not notice such a thing? So I went back inside, ate my breakfast and did some stuff. Eventually the rain stopped so I took off to the local park, hoping to get some good shots of the Channel-billed Cuckoos that have been waking me up every morning before dawn.

There were a few Common Mynas in the Fig trees in the park and the magpies were singing their morning songs. I did see a Channel-billed Cuckoo but missed a photo of him. I walked across the oval to the eastern end of the park and found a male Superb Fairy-wren on the edges in the rubbish bush.

Superb Fairy-wren
male Superb Fairy-wren

A rather bedraggled looking Silvereye was skulking in the scrub as well.

Silvereye
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)

I was quite surprised to find an Australasian Figbird on the wires near the train track. I have not seen them in the inner city before. A Red Wattlebird or two were looking for a feed near the main oval whilst I was heading towards the community garden.

The Noisy Miners seem to hang around the garden and the Common Mynas hang around the outside oval. They might have separate territories and not intrude into the others. The Crested Pigeons seem to like to hang out around the Bocca field.

Crested Pigeon
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphates lophotes)

There were about 4 young Grey Butcherbirds who were chasing each other around and playing mock fighting. They were also hunting the rats that were in the compost bin. It was fascinating watching them sit above the rats, listening and watching for them to come out. This little rat poked his head out and luckily for him, was not eaten.

Rat
Rat, I think

Wickham Park bird list 2/12/09

Australian Raven
Rock Dove
Australian Magpie
Common Myna
Channel-billed Cuckoo
Spotted Turtle-dove
Welcome Swallow
Superb Fairy-wren
Silvereye
Australasian Figbird
Red Wattlebird
Crested Pigeon
Noisy Miner
Grey Butcherbird
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

Recommended Resource

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia (Helm Field Guides)

« Newer Posts

Powered by WordPress