Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

October 30, 2018

Tiger Bay Wetlands Part Two

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Tiger Bay Wetlands – Warren

I got up at 6am, had breakfast and drove down to the Tiger Bay Wetlands at Warren. There was nothing new for me but I got some decent shots of birds that I have been wanting to get something of.

Rufous Songlark
Rufous Songlark (Megalurus mathewsi)

Cockatiel
Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus)

This is the first time I have seen Cockatiels out west this time. I was wondering where they had been. I have not seen any Budgerigars either. Where are they?

White-headed Stilt
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus Leucophalus)

First time I have photographed them since their taxonomic change. It is hard to keep a track of all the changes – all the splitting and lumping.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

Double-barred Finch
Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii)

Warren bird list

Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus)
Superb Fairy-wren
Grey Teal
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii)
Australian Pelican
Rufous Songlark (Megalurus mathewsi)
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus Leucophalus)
Red-rumped Parrot
Feral Pigeon
Eastern Rosella
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)
Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus)
Welcome Swallow
Australian Swamphen
Spotted Bowerbird
Little Friarbird
Australian Magpie
Australian Raven
Apostlebird
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Little Corella
Galah
Laughing Kookaburra
Darter

Tiger Bay Wetlands – Warren

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:37 am

Tiger Bay Wetlands – Warren

In the afternoon, I go to the Tiger Bay Wetlands which is on the outskirts of Warren. It is made up of the town’s reclaimed sewerage waste and has grown into an excellent wildlife sanctuary. I started off along the western side of the highway and met up with a couple of guys, both named Dave, from Canberra and Melbourne. It was nice to walk along with some company for a change as I am always trudging along on my own most of the time. I quite enjoy being by myself but a bit of company is a nice change.

White-winged Fairy-wren
White-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus leucopterus)

I had been looking for the White-winged Fairy-wren at the Macquarie Marshes but had failed to see any. I was stoked to spot one on the fence as I was walking along the track. I managed to get some average shots but a lot of my photos were out of focus.

Latham's Snipe
Latham’s Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii)

David from Canberra yelled out “Latham’s Snipe” and I tried to get some photos of it in flight but it was too quick. I did manage to get some crappy photos of it when it land on the shore at the other side of the sewerage pond.

Baillon's Crake
Baillon’s Crake (Porzana pusilla)

When I first took these photos of this Baillon’s Crake, I thought it was an Australian Spotted Crake but on examination of the photo, it was indeed a Baillon’s Crake because of the stripy arse. Australian Spotted Crake has an inverted white V on the bum. Best ID hint ever.

Black Falcon
Black Falcon (Falco subniger)

This is a really crappy photo. Record shot only.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

Apostlebird
Apostlebird

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

Grey Teal
Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)

Warren bird list

Latham’s Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii)
White-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus leucopterus)
Baillon’s Crake (Porzana pusilla)
Black Falcon (Falco subniger)
Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)
Pacific Black Duck
Australian Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus australis)
Apostlebird
Dusky Moorhen
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus Leucophalus)
Galah
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)
Australian White Ibis
Australasian Grebe
Rufous Songlark
Red-rumped Parrot
Red-kneed Dotterel
Black-fronted Dusky
Spotted Bowerbird
Australian Raven
Welcome Swallow
Great Cormorant
Australian Pelican
Darter
Pied Butcherbird
Mallee Ringneck

Gibsons Way – Macquarie Marshes

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Macquarie Marshes – Gibson’s Way

In the afternoon I go for a drive along Gibson’s Way. I stop at the bridge over the Macquarie River to look for finches. There are none. I meet the farmer who says that they have a Whistling Kite nest on his property so I head on over there. There is a wonderful bit of bush along the river on his property with fairy-wrens and friarbirds singing away merrily.

Nankeen Kestrel
Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides)

Peaceful Dove
Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida)

Whistling Kite chick
Whistling Kite chick

The Whistling Kite nest has a very young chick in it.

Swamp Harrier
Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans)

I get to the Monkeygar Swamp and the water is over the road. I do not cross because I do not know if my car will make it. I would hate for it to stop in the middle. You never know, it might have made it but I did not want to risk it. There are water birds everywhere. Huge flocks of ducks, spoonbills etc. Even a few Black Swans.

Royal Spoonbill
Royal Spoonbill

Australian Shelduck
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)

A Black Swan, Australian Shelduck and Pacific Black Duck.

White-necked Heron and Yellow-billed Spoonbill
White-necked Heron and Yellow-billed Spoonbill

The next morning I pack up camp, take some more photos of the Spotted Bowerbirds bower, forget the grill for my gas cooker and take off for Warren along the Warren-Carinda Road. There are lots of raptors feeding on the road-kills, dead kangaroos hit by cars during the night. It is not a good idea to drive at night in the bush in Australia. Run into a kangaroo or wombat and your car could get totalled.

spotted bowerbird bower
Spotted Bowerbird bower

Showing all the bones at the entrance. Very enticing.

Macquarie Marshes bird list

Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides)
Peaceful Dove
Masked Woodswallow
Welcome Swallow
Little Friarbird
Red-rumped Parrot
Blue Bonnet
Eastern Yellow Robin
Whistling Kite and nest
Superb Fairy-wren
Royal Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Australian White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Grey Teal
Pacific Black Duck
White-necked Heron
Great Egret
Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans)
Australian Pelican
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
Little Black Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
White-breasted Woodswallow
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Black Kite
Common Starling
Black-fronted Dotterel

Willie Retreat 181027

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Macquarie Marshes – Willie Retreat am

The next morning I am up and at em, Atom Ant. There are martins all over the place, more woodswallows and I get some photos of the Spotted Bowerbird that has its bower right in the camping spot. He has moved it in the past few years.

Spotted Bowerbird
Spotted Bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata)

A Spotted Bowerbird showing his pinky-purple nachal crest.

Spotted Bowerbird bower
Spotted Bowerbird bower

The entry was decorated with a big line of bones. Plus there were a few assorted scavenged items like red pegs, bottle caps, etc.

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

A Wedge-tailed Eagle being harassed by an Australian Raven.

Diamond Dove
Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata)

You can see the spots on the wings that gives the Diamond Dove its name.

Tree Martin
Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)

The Tree Martin has got just a touch of rufous on the forehead.

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)

A diagnostic shot to show the rufous face. Compare it to the Tree Martin above.

Fairy Martin nests
Fairy Martin nests

A little Fairy Martin peeks its head out of its nest under the eaves of a bungalow at the camp.

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

A thirsty Yellow-throated Miner taking a drink out of the tap. very smart.

Zebra Finch
Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

A male Zebra Finch on the left with a couple of females.

Macquarie Marshes bird list

Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)
Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel)
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)
Spotted Bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata)
Sacred Kingfisher
Masked Woodswallow (Artamus personatus)
White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus)
Emu
Zebra Finch
Peaceful Dove
Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata)
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)
Willie Wagtail
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)
Australian Raven

October 29, 2018

Willie Retreat 181026b

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:38 pm

Macquarie Marshes – Willie Retreat pm

I got to Willie Retreat and set up my camp under some trees. I found an old table and I was set. In the afternoon I went for a walk around the bush. There is always something roosting on the electricity wires around the camp. There are a mini wetlands which is mostly dry but there are heaps of woodswallows drinking and roosting. The kangaroos are lurking in the background, sitting up and curiously watching.

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

White-wing Triller maybe
White-winged Triller – female

Zebra Finch - male
Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

Masked Woodswallow
Masked Woodswallow (Artamus personatus)

White-browed Woodswallow
White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus)

Australian Ringneck race barnardi
Australian Ringneck or Mallee Ringneck (Barnadius zonarius barnardi)

Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)

Emu chick
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

This is an Emu chick. She was still with her mum hanging around the camp site.

Tree Martin
Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)

Just a little spot of rufous on the forehead, blackish head, white front and rump.

Fairy Martin
Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel)

Rufous head, white front, white rump.

Macquarie Marshes bird list

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)
White-winged Triller
Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo (Chalcites basalis)
Magpie-lark
Masked Woodswallow (Artamus personatus)
White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus)
Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel)
Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)
Welcome Swallow
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
Brown Treecreeper
Galah
Australian Ringneck or Mallee Ringneck (Barnadius zonarius barnardi)
Red-rumped Parrot
Red-winged Parrot
Jacky Winter
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)
Crested Pigeon
White-plumed Honeyeater
Little Friarbird

Warren-Carinda Road

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:53 am

Macquarie Marshes Day Two Afternoon

Bells Bridge is about ten kilometers from Carinda along the Warren-Carinda Road. It goes over the Macquarie River. In the afternoon about 5pm I went for a look and then went back to Carinda for the night. I had a burger and chips at the pub before settling down for the night at the RV site, the local football oval. I had sheep for company. They keep the grass well under control.

Striped Honeyeater
Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata)

First thing I saw at the Bells Bridge was a Striped Honeyeater. They are distinctive, having a short pointed bill and a stripey head.

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina papuensis)

Fairy Martin
Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel)

There were hundreds of Fairy Martins emerging from under the bridge, so I went and had a look. There were nests scattered everywhere. Fairy Martins commonly nest under bridges and house eaves. They build their nests shaped like a bottle with mud and spit.

Fairy Martin nests
Fairy Martin nests

Pale-headed Rosella
Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus)

I was quite surprised to see this Pale-headed Rosella. I think it might be at the southern edge of its range. He was just sitting quietly by the river and let me take his photo.

Brown Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus)

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

After coming back to Bells Bridge in the morning I headed along the Warren-Carinda Road, stopping here and there along the road when I saw anything interesting. At one point I stopped near some swampy country and found some Red-winged Parrots feeding on a tree.

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

The male has got a very large area of red wing.

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

Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenus)

There were lots of Whistling Kites soaring over the road looking for dead kangaroos.

Grey-crowned Babbler
Grey-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis)

When I got to Willie Retreat there were some Grey-crowned Babblers right where I was going to camp, so I had to get out the camera and take their photos.

Carinda bird list

Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata)
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina papuensis)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Fairy Martin nests
Rufous Songlark
White-plumed Honeyeater
Brown Treecreeper
Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus)
Black-fronted Dotterel
White-faced Heron
Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenus)
Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus)
Spotted Bowerbird
White-winged Triller
Eastern Yellow Robin
Black Kite
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Pacific Black Duck
Welcome Swallow
Grey-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis)

Big Terrigal Creek pm

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Macquarie Marshes Day Two

Big Terrigal Creek, am.
I camped under a big tree in a paddock that night. In the morning I woke up, had breakfast and wandered around the wetlands in the paddock. I also had a look around the observation platform on the road.

Australian Spotted Crake
Australian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea)

The most notable features of the Australian Spotted Crake are the White stripes down the flanks, the stripy looking back, the red patch at top of the bill, and the white inverted V flicking tail.

Black-tailed Native-hen
Black-tailed Native-hen (Tribonyx ventralis)

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

Blue Bonnet
Blue Bonnet (Northiella haematogaster)

Mallee Ringneck
Mallee Ringneck (Barnadius zonarius barnardi)

The Mallee Ringneck, more properly called Australian Ringneck, race barnardi is a multi-coloured bird with a broad red frontal band and lemon-yellow hind-collar. They have an irregular orange band across a turquoise-green abdomen.

Tree Martin
Tree Martin(Petrochelidon nigricans)

Fa.iry Martin
Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel)

Black-fronted Dotterel
Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)

Whiskered Tern
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)

Emu
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

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

Macquarie Marshes bird list

Black-tailed Native-hen (Tribonyx ventralis)
Australian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea)
White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor)
Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel)
Tree Martin(Petrochelidon nigricans)
Australian Reed-warbler
Superb Fairy-wren
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
Australian Ringneck or Mallee Ringneck (Barnadius zonarius barnardi)
Blue Bonnet (Northiella haematogaster)
Red-rumped Parrot
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Masked Lapwing
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Grey-crowned Babbler
Crested Pigeon
Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)
Australian Wood Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Brown Treecreeper
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)
Australian White Ibis
Southern Whiteface
Little Friarbird
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)

Big Terrigal Creek pm

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:53 am

Macquarie Marshes Day one

From Coonamble I drove to Gulargambone where I had lunch surrounded by honeyeaters in the park. Then I headed to Quambone where I hoped to get petrol, but you needed a special card to get petrol from the machine. doh! So I just headed to Sandy Camp and directly along Gibsons Way to the observation platform at Big Terrigal Creek.

Hooded Robin
Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata)

I wandered up and down the road looking for birds. There were not a lot of water birds around. But I did see quite a few bush birds in the trees along the road.

Rufous SongLark
Rufous SongLark (Megalurus mathewsi)

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

You can see the yellow throat on this Yellow-throated Miner as well as the yellow patch behind the eye seems brighter than the Noisy Miner.

Peaceful Dove
Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida)

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)

There were a lot of Fairy Martin and Tree Martin around so this solitary Welcome Swallow was a good contrast. Their wings are longer and there is more rufous on the breast than the Fairy Martin.

Australian Reed-Warbler
Australian Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus australis )

Black-tailed  Native-Hen
Black-tailed Native-Hen (Tribonyx ventralis)

Pallid Cuckoo
Pallid Cuckoo (Cacomantis pallidus)

White-breasted Woodswallow on nest
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorhynchus)

This White-breasted Woodswallow was on a mud nest. First time I have seen their nest.

Macquarie Marshes bird list

Pallid Cuckoo (Cacomantis pallidus)
Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata)
White-plumed Honeyeater
Whistling Kite
Jacky Winter
Magpie-lark
Australian Raven
Sacred Kingfisher
Mallee Ringneck (Barnadius zonarius barnardi)
Little Friarbird
Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel)
Tree Martin(Petrochelidon nigricans)
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)
White-necked Heron
White-faced Heron
Common Starling
Black-tailed Native-Hen (Tribonyx ventralis)
Australian Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus australis )
Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida)
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)
Australian Pelican
Grey Shrike-thrush
Rufous SongLark (Megalurus mathewsi)
Darter
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorhynchus)
White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor)

October 23, 2018

Warrumbungles National Park 181022

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The Warrumbungles

From Coonabarabran I took the road to the Warrumbungles National Park. There is a really nice camping area there so I stayed the night. I even had a hot shower – sheer luxury. In the afternoon I went for a walk along the track to the Information Centre.

Warrumbungles
A hill

Red-rumped Parrot
Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus)

This is the male. The female was with him. They are usually in pairs and the female is lots duller than the male.

White-plumed Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater

Jacky Winter
Jacky Winter (Microeca fascinans)

Noisy Friarbird
Noisy Friarbird

Dusky Woodswallow
Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)

You can tell the Dusky Woodswallow by the white edge on the wings.

White-winged Chough
White-winged Chough

This White-winged Chough was making a nuisance of himself by hopping onto my rear-view window to have a look at himself. After a while, it got stale and I shooed him off.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

On the way to Gulargambone, I screeched to a halt when I saw this Glossy Ibis in a puddle of water on the side of the road.

Warrumbungles bird list

Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus)
Sacred Kingfisher
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae)
Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)
Laughing Kookaburra
Jacky Winter (Microeca fascinans)
Noisy Friarbird
Little Friarbird
White-plumed Honeyeater
Eastern Yellow Robin
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

October 22, 2018

Central West NSW 2018

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Gunnedah to Coonabarabran

I am now in the Central West of New South Wales. I left Gunnedah yesterday afternoon and stopped at a rest area half-way between Gunnedah and Coonabarabran. I had a good night’s rest and then took off first thing in the morning and stopped at Oxley’s Crossing for breakfast. After a coffee and muesli, I wandered off into the bush. But nothing much there. A few Galahs, Musk Lorikeet, Noisy Friarbirds and Crested Pigeons. Pretty lame really.

Musk Lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna)

I made it to Coonabarabran and went to Nandi Park. There were a few birds in the park but not much again.

Blue-faced Honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater

The Blue-faced Honeyeaters were hanging around the picnic tables, scrounging up the scraps and fighting with the Noisy Miners.

Grey Shrike-thrush
Grey Shrike-thrush (Collurincla harmonica)

Central West NSW bird list

Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna)
Noisy Friarbird
Crested Pigeon
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Noisy Miner
Australian Wood Duck
Red-browed Finch
Dollarbird
Sacred Kingfisher
Grey Shrike-thrush (Collurincla harmonica)

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