Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

October 21, 2018

Borah Creek Reserve 181020

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:15 am

Borah Creek Reserve Part One

I left Manilla in the afternoon and drove north-west towards Barraba. After about 25 kilometers I turned left onto the Tarpoly Road. It is dirt all the way to Borah Creek Reserve. When I got there, I was surprised how much everything had grown. I hardly recognised the place. There was much more greenery and a lot of underbrush had shot up.

Cicadabird - male
Cicadabird (Coracina tenuirostris) male

I was surprised to see this Cicadabird. I do not think I have photographed one before. I had the ISO set on the wrong setting and when I realised my mistake he had hopped onto another tree. Luckily I have rescued some sort of #recordshot.

Little Lorikeet
Little Lorikeet (Glossopsitta pusilla)

Once again, this Little Lorikeet surprised me, but I had the good sense to have my exposure set about right. I am not sure if I have seen these before. I must check.

Buff-rumped Thornbill
Buff-rumped Thornbill ·(Acanthiza reguloides)

I am not sure. They are so similar. It could even be an Inland Thornbill. I have to wait for the experts to ID this one. Too hard for me. Edit: I was way off. It was a Buff-rumped Thornbill, eye colour rules out the ones I guessed.

Turquoise Parrot
Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella)

Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)

White-throated Treecreeper
White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea)

 Brown Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus)

Restless Flycatcher
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

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

Borah Creek Bird List

Cicadabird (Coracina tenuirostris)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella)
Eastern Rosella
Crimson Rosella
Little Lorikeet (Glossopsitta pusilla)
Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna)
Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)
Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus)
White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea)
Sacred Kingfisher
Dollarbird
Buff-rumped Thornbill ·(Acanthiza reguloides)
Noisy Friarbird
Little Friarbird
Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Caligavis chrysops)
White-plumed Honeyeater
White-faced Heron
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)
Rainbow Bee-eater
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Nankeen Night-heron
Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)
Grey Fantail
Willie Wagtail

October 19, 2018

Manilla 181019

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:54 am

Manilla River Side

About mid-day I took off from the rest area at Attunga and stopped off just before Manilla to process and upload photos via my phone. Then I headed into Manilla to charge up my electrical storage devices and had lunch. After scouring the op shop, I went down to the riverside north of the town.

Little Friarbird
Little Friarbird (Philemon citreogularis)

During the night there was a massive thunderstorm. Luckily I found shelter under an awning on a soccer field for the night. It poured for ages. It is almost a monsoon season here – a thunderstorm every evening.

Little Corella
Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

There were so many corellas flying about screeching their flamin heads off. I think this one is a Little Corella but the next one has got me thinking it might be a Long-billed Corella because of the pink on the throat. Edit: Thanks to Tam, they are both Little Corellas. “The long billed has a much darker pink”

Little Corella
Little Corella

In the morning I headed to the river near the bridge where it joins with the Manilla River.

White-winged Chough
White-winged Chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos)

I love how the White-winged Choughs and the Apostlebirds are so sociable. They hang around in groups chattering away and fighting.

Apostlebird
Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea)

There were a bunch of them high up in the trees. They are usually on the ground.

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

Magpie-lark
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)

A female Magpie-lark sitting on some eggs in a mud nest.

Manilla bird list

Little Friarbird (Philemon citreogularis)
Common Starling
Common Myna
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula pencillata)
Willie Wagtail
Pied Currawong
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)
Willie Wagtail
Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus)
Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca)
Australian Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus australis)
Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus)
Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)
Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos)
Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae)
White-winged Chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos)
White-faced Heron
Pacific Black Duck
Dusky Moorhen
Australian Wood Duck
Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea)

October 18, 2018

Attunga Bird Watching

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:29 am

Attunga Rest Area

After leaving Woolomin, I headed to Tamworth to do my internet at the library and did some shopping at the op shops and the supermarket. I finally got a table and a chair. And a folding shovel. Yesterday afternoon I was headed to Manilla but decided to stay overnight at the Attunga Rest Area. There were so many honeyeater that I thought it might be worthwhile in the morning.

Noisy Friarbird
Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus)

As soon as the sun was up, I got the camera out and started walking around. The Noisy Friarbirds were going berserk in the flowering gum trees. Too much sugar!

Little Friarbird
Little Friarbird (Philemon citreogularis)

The Little Friarbird is a small friarbird without a casque (lump on the bill) with mostly blue facial skin. Juveniles and immature Little Friarbirds have a yellow throat.

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

For the Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater the pink bill with dark tip and pink bare skin from gape to below the eye is diagnostic. They are very common in inland areas.

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

This Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater looked like a drowned rat. He must have just had a bath.

White-plumed Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula pencillata)

The White-plumed Honeyeater is very common inland. I am posting a photo before I get totally sick of them because they are so common.

female Black Honeyeater
female Black Honeyeater (Sugamel nigrum)

I cannot work this one out. Maybe it is a female Black Honeyeater (Sugamel nigrum)? I will wait for the experts’ opinion. Edit: Yes it is. Thanks Liam from Aussie ID group on facebook.

Attunga Rest Area bird list

Black Honeyeater (Sugamel nigrum)
Crested Pigeon
Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus)
Little Friarbird (Philemon citreogularis)
Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna)
Common Starling
Common Myna
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula pencillata)
Willie Wagtail
Pied Currawong
Magpie-lark

October 17, 2018

Woolomin 181017

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:29 am

Woolomin Recreation Reserve

I left Swamp Creek Reserve and drove to Nundle, filled up my water and went to the library to process and upload my photos.

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

After completing my photographic duties, I jumped in the van and drove to Chaffey Dam where I had a hot shower. I was going to stay the night but it is too desolate and exposed there for my liking. I decided to carry on and camp at Woolomin Recreation Reserve for the night.

Brown Thornbill
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla)

In the afternoon, I walked around the reserve. There are lots of old trees with big holes in them.

White-throated Treecreeper
White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea)

Crossing the bridge, I carried on up the road and turned left along West Bank Road for a couple of hundred meters. Then turned around and went back.

Red-browed Finch
Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis)

In the morning I spotted a few Dollarbirds, crossed the bridge and went right along Back Woolomin Road. There were a lot more trees this way, so I saw a few more birds along this road.

Dollarbird
Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

Pied Currawong
Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina)

Musk Lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna)

Wooloomin Recreation Reserve bird list

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)
Pacific Black Duck
Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)
Australian Pelican
Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)
Rufous Whistler (Pacycephala rufiventris)
Satin Bowerbird
Red Wattlebird
White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis)
Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina)
Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus)
Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis)
Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii)
Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsialtria australis)
Laughing Kookaburra
Superb Fairy-wren
Noisy Miner
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Galah
Eastern Rosella
Musk Lorikeet
White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula pencillata)
Straw-necked Ibis
White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea)
Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla)

October 16, 2018

Nundle 181016

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:23 am

Nundle, Upper Hunter

I headed out early from Wallabadah, hitting the cafe and getting a coffee and egg and bacon roll. yumm. Going west, I turn right after a few kilometers on the way to Nundle. Just before town I stopped and took some photos at the Nundle Bridge which goes over the Peel River.

Dollarbird
Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

After a wander around the river, I went to the library and sorted out all my photos and blog, then went and had dinner by the river. Then I went into town and got some petrol and found the camp along the river. In the late afternoon I went for a walk around the old gold diggings.

Yellow Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana)

Eastern Spinebill
Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris)

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

Red Wattlebird
Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)

I was up early in the morning but the sun was still behind the hills. I walked along the road for a while, then turned back and went into the diggings again.

Rufous Whistler
Rufous Whistler (Pacycephala rufiventris)

Silvereye
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)

Crimson Rosella
Crimson Rosella (Platycerus elegans)

Red-bellied Black Snake
Red-bellied Black Snake

I nearly walked onto this Red-bellied Black Snake as it was sunning itself by the creek. It was a big one, nearly two meters long I reckon. A gold fossicker got attacked by a massive brown snake the other day, so there are lots of snakes around. I will have to watch where I walk and keep my eyes on the ground as well as on the trees above.

Nundle bird list

Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)
Australian Magpie
Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)
Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus)
Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Caligavis chrysops)
Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
Gray Fantail
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)
Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus)
Little Egret
Australian Wood Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Eastern Rosella
Crimson Rosella (Platycerus elegans)
Galah
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana)
Nankeen Night-heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)
Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo
Rufous Whistler (Pacycephala rufiventris)
Pied Butcherbird
White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)
Australian Raven
Magpie-lark

October 14, 2018

Upper Hunter October 2018

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:30 am

Quirindi and Wallabadah

The next day and I am off west heading towards Murrurrundi. I stop off for a coffee and an egg and bacon roll. When Vinnie’s opens I buy a book – a thick one. It was cheap – One Dollar. I realised that there was a library at Quirindi, so I chuck a left at Wallabadah and manage to process the photos from the Burning Mountain. But the wifi is as slow as a wet weekend. I have lunch by the creek and take a photo of a Dusky Moorhen. Then I head back to Wallabadah.

Dusky Moorhen
Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa)

In the afternoon I go for a wander along the creek. There are a few birds but not much.

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

I identified this one mainly by the inside of the mouth which is orange, revealed when singing. They differ from grassbirds by unstreaked underparts (underpants?) and boisterous song. Nominate race australis is east coast. Race gouldi is west coast.

Australian Wood Duck
Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata)

The male is at the front and the female is behind.

Musk Lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna)

The next morning, I get up late and head to the graveyard. There are some rabbits and wallabies jumping around and a few rosellas and their ilk.

wallaby
Wallaby

I just liked the look of this shot.

Addendum: Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus) has had a change of taxonomy since I left Australia, so it has to be added to my list. I must take a proper photo to reflect the changes. I should go back and change all my references to Purple Swamphen in the past but I aint gonna. Too much fiddling around. So everything before this date is out of date. doh! Except for the overseas swamphens, which should be up to date. doh!

Wallabadah bird list

Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa)
Superb Fairy-wren
Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina)
Australian Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus australis)
Red Wattlebird
Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis)
Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata)
Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)
Crimson Rosella (Platycerus elegans)
Eastern Rosella (Platycerus eximius)
Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna)
Crested Pigeon
Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus)

Burning Mountain October 2018

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 9:15 am

Upper Hunter Valley

Only a week back in Australia and already I am heading west. I bought a new van, fitted it out with bed and got some cooking gear and I am mobile again.

my new ride
My camping spot

Noisy Friarbirds
Noisy Friarbirds

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

Laughing Kookaburra
Laughing Kookaburra

Pied Butcherbird
Pied Butcherbird

This morning I had breakfast with some people from Sydney, packed up and headed up the valley to Murrurundi. After a delicious coffee and a visit to the local Op Shop, I was on my way again. I made it to Wallabadah and decided to hit the library at Quirindi, where I am processing these photos and hopefully upload them all before it shuts at mid-day.

A water hole
A water hole

Burning Mountain bird list

Australian Magpie
Australian Raven
Pied Butcherbird
Noisy Friarbird
Noisy Miner
Galah
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Laughing Kookaburra
Black-shouldered Kite

October 5, 2018

Chile to Australia

Filed under: General,South America — Tags: — admin @ 10:47 am

Valparaiso to Newcastle

It was time to go home. I caught a local bus from my hostel on the hill to the terminal at Valparaiso centro.

Valparaiso Bus Terminal
Valparaiso Bus Terminal.

I had some lunch and then caught the bus at 1pm to Pajaritos terminal. At Pajaritos I bumbled around getting a uber taxi to my airbnb room.

My Room in Santiago
My Room in Santiago

This was my airbnb room in Santiago near the airport. I had crashed a teenage girl’s room with posters of anime and korean boy bands. Hideous. There was even a purple unicorn. Yewww. And five scottish terriers.

My breakfast in Chile
My breakfast in Chile

This is your standard breakfast I used to have in Argentina. Two media lunas and a cup of coffee. I got a colectivo taxi from my airbnb room and had breakfast at Pajaritos terminal, where I caught the bus to the airport.

On the way to the airport
On the way to the airport

This is the freeway on the way to Santiago Airport.

Flying over the ice flows
Flying over the ice flows

This is the view from the airplane flying to Melbourne. We flew over the edge of Antarctica and the ocean was covered in icebergs.

My plane to Newcastle
My plane to Newcastle

I stayed in Melbourne at a hotel near the airport and in the morning got a plane to Newcastle.

Flying into Newcastle Airport
Flying into Newcastle Airport

Here I am flying over Stockton Beach coming down to Williamtown airport. At the airport I got the bus to Newcastle and then another one to Swansea. Home again.

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