Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 29, 2018

Bordertown to Pinnaroo

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:27 pm

The South Mallee

The last afternoon at Bordertown, I went out to Poocher Swamp to have a look but it was all dried up. Nothing there except a few Brown Treecreepers and some White-plumed Honeyeaters. After that I headed north towards the Ngarkat Conservation Park where I camped for the night. I tried a few spots but found nothing at all. Very disappointing. It had been raining so it was overcast and wet so that may have had something to do with it.

Singing Honeyeater
Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens)

I kept on until I got to Pinnaroo, where I went for a walk around the wetlands. It is a fantastic little spot, well maintained and with a lot of waterbirds as well as bush birds.

Peaceful Dove
Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida)

Red Wattlebird
Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)

Weebill
Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris)

Striated Pardalote
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus substriatus)

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

It is unusual to see them swimming. They are usually foraging on the ground or in wet ground. A lot of them were scrounging around near the wheat silos.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)

South Mallee bird list

Brown Treecreeper
Australian Raven
Australian Magpie
Willie Wagtail
Grey Shrike-thrush
Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens)
Galah
Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)
Black-tailed Native-hen (Tribonyx ventralis)
Eurasian Coot
Pacific Black Duck
Grey Teal
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)
Masked Lapwing
Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula ornata)
New Holland Honeyeater
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus substriatus)
Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida)
Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris)
Common Starling
Little Pied Cormorant
House Sparrow
Black-fronted Dotterel

December 27, 2018

Little Desert Kiata Camp

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:41 am

Kiata Campground and Sanctuary Picnic Area

After egg and bacon rolls for lunch, I took off for the Kiata Campground, which is further east in the Little Desert National Park. The sun was so hot I spent the afternoon snoozing on a mattress chucked on the ground in the shade of the car. Luckily now there are some clouds but it is still stinking hot.

Striated Pardalote
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus)

In the morning after coffee and muesli, I did the campground walk. Not much around, just Brown-headed and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters and a few Galahs.

Weebill
Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris)

Then I moved on down the road to the Sanctuary Picnic Area and took the Keith Hately Nature Walk.

Grey Shrike-thrush - immature or juvenile.
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica )

This is a juvenile or immature Grey Shrike-thrush.

White-fronted Honeyeater
White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons)

I still have not got a good photo of a White-fronted Honeyeater. Still waiting.

White-eared Honeyeater
White-eared Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis leucotis)

Yellow Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana)

Little Desert National Park bird list

Brown-headed Honeyeater
White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons)
White-eared Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis leucotis)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater
Superb Fairy-wren
Galah
Brown Treecreeper
Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris)
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus)
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica )
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana)
Australian Magpie

December 26, 2018

Western Wimmera Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:27 am

Little Desert National Park – The Wimmera

From Natimuk, I drove through the Little Desert National Park to Nhill and spent the day there sorting out my photos and uploading my blog at Nhill Lake. All the locals were driving past and some were swimming in the tiny lake. Later some speedboats came and dudes skied around the lake. The lake had the usual suspects of birds – Long-billed Corellas, Dusky Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Pacific Black Duck and the lonely Black-fronted Dotterel. I even got sunburnt because I stayed out in the lake talking to a local farmer about crops and grain etc.

Long-billed Corella
Long-billed Corella ( Cacatua tenuirostris)

That night I camped at Winiam at the cricket oval and before sunrise drove to the Stringybark Nature Walk at Little Desert National Park. By about 9am the birds had settled down and had gone away. The heat was getting a bit intense by then anyway.

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater (Glyciphila melanops)

Brown-headed Honeyeater
Brown-headed Honeyeater (Melithreptrus brevirostris)

White-eared Honeyeater
White-eared Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis leucotis)

Weebill
Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris)

Scarlet Robin
Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang)- male

White-browed Babbler
White-browed Babbler (Pomatostamus superciliosus)

Little Desert National Park bird list

Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris)
Pacific Black Duck
Eurasian Coot
Dusky Moorhen
Black-fronted Dotterel
White-plumed Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater
White-eared Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis leucotis)
Brown-headed Honeyeater (Melithreptrus brevirostris)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater (Glyciphila melanops)
Noisy Miner
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus substriatus)
Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris)
Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang)
White-browed Babbler (Pomatostamus superciliosus)

December 25, 2018

Wimmera Birds One

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:30 am

Western Wimmera – Victoria

I took off from Horsham after uploading my photos at the tourist information center, then headed west towards Natimuk. I found a nice camping spot at Duffholme Cabins and settled in for a couple of nights. In the morning I went for a walk around the paddock.

White-eared Honeyeater
White-eared Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis leucotis)

White-fronted Honeyeater
White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons)

Blue-winged or Elegant Parrot
Blue-winged or Elegant Parrot

I am leaning towards Elegant Parrot. I need some help with this id.

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

Buff-rumped Thornbill - maybe
Buff-rumped Thornbill ??

Yellow-rumped Thornbill - maybe
Yellow-rumped Thornbill ??

Yellow-rumped Thornbill - maybe
Yellow-rumped Thornbill ??

Western Gerygone maybe
Yellow-rumped Thornbill

Totally not sure about this one.

Brown Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper

raptor not sure which
Whistling Kite

Wimmera bird list

New Holland Honeyeater (Phyllidonyris novaehollandiae novaehollandiae)
Yellow-rumped Thornbill ( ) ??? or Buff-rumped Thornbill 2294
Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus)
Silvereye
White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons)
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Eastern Rosella
Brown Treecreeper
House Sparrow
Crested Pigeon
Whistling Kite
European Goldfinch
White-plumed Honeyeater
Superb Fairy-wren
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae)
Blue-winged or Elegant Parrot ??
Crimson Rosella
White-eared Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis leucotis)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Australian Magpie

December 23, 2018

The Stawell Gifts

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:09 am

Lake Lonsdale – Stawell

From Ararat I headed west along the Western Highway to Stawell, which does not have much going for it except the Stawell Gift. I kept going to Lake Lonsdale and found a camping spot near the water and without any other people. I think I saw 2 cars in 2 days. Nice and relaxing. The lake was full of Eurasian Coot. There must have been at least a billion of them. The soil around the lake is very sandy.

White-fronted Chat
White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons)

Brown Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper

Well I got this one totally wrong. Lucky the experts set me straight.

Hoary-headed Grebe
Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)

This is an adult non-breeding Hoary-headed Grebe.

Noisy Miner
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)

I was hoping this was a Black-eared Miner, but no. 🙁 I have to go to Gluepot Reserve in South Australia.

Stawell bird list

White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons)
Brown Treecreeper
Eurasian Coot
Silver Gull
Crimson Rosella
Red-rumped Parrot
Rainbow Bee-eater
Masked Lapwing
Great Cormorant
Magpie-lark
Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)
Red Wattlebird
White-plumed Honeyeater
Eastern Rosella
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)

Ararat Western Victoria Birds

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:00 am

Green Hill Lake – Ararat

I took off from Skipton yesterday and spent the night at Lake Bolac. The wind was howling and there was some rain, so it was very nasty. The next morning I hightailed it to Ararat and spent most of the day at the library. The wind was still nasty and yucky. In the morning the wind had died down so I went for a walk around Green Hill Lake where I camped for the night.

Freckled Duck
Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa)

First time I have seen one of these. I have been looking for one for years.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)

I think this is a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. I will ask the experts. Edit: the experts said yes.

Brown-headed Honeyeater
Brown-headed Honeyeater (Melithreptus brevirostris)

Last seen in the far west of New South Wales, I think.

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

Yellow Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana modesta)

Long-billed Corella
Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris)

There were big mobs of Long-billed Corella in the paddocks.

Australian Magpie
Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen tyrannica)

This is the southern race, tyrannica, also known as the White-backed Magpie for obvious reasons.

White-headed Stilt
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus)

Hardhead - male
male Hardhead (Aythya australis)

The white eye gives away the male Hardhead.

Ararat bird list

Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa)
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)
Brown-headed Honeyeater (Melithreptus brevirostris)
Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus)
Silver Gull
Black Swan
Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)
Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)
Hardhead (Aythya australis)
Pacific Black Duck
Australian Wood Duck
Eurasian Coot
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus)
Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen tyrannica)
Red Wattlebird
Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris)
Crimson Rosella
White-plumed Honeyeater
Superb Fairy-wren
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana modesta)

December 21, 2018

Worms for lunch

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:30 am

Skipton Lake Walk

I headed west from Melbourne, did some shopping in Ballarat and continued on until I got to Smythesdale, where I camped the night at the local camp ground. Very nice. In the morning the weather turned a bit yukky and I stopped off at Skipton at lunch time. I went for a walk around the lake at the local park.

Long-billed Corella
Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris)

There are lots of Long-billed Corella in Central Victoria.

Common Blackbird
Common Blackbird

Everything else I seemed to photograph had worms in their bills. It was wet and raining so that may have something to do with the quantity of worms.

Willie Wagtail
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

More worms.

Magpie-lark
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)

And there were a pair of Magpie-larks bringing worms back to their mud nest.

Skipton bird list

Common Blackbird
Pacific Black Duck
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa)
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)
Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris)

December 20, 2018

Tasmanian Endemics

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:08 am

Birds of Tasmania

I have finally sorted out all my birds from Tasmania. I got a few of the endemics but not all of them.

Tasmanian Endemics

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)

Black Currawongs are pretty common all over Tasmania. This one was at Tungatinah Lagoon in the Central Highlands.

Forest Raven
Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus)

The only way I could ID this was that they are the only crows in Tasmania. doh!

Green Rosella - male
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)

Relatively common all over Tasmania. This one was at Lake St Clair.

Tasmanian Native-hen
Tasmanian Native-hen (Tribonyx mortierii)

Very common all through Tasmania.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

On the ground in deep forest or rainforest scrub.

Tasmanian Thornbill
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

At first they are very hard to distinguish between the Brown Thornbills who have a whitish edges of primaries.

Yellow Wattlebird
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)

Pretty common all over Tasmania. They have a very raucous cry, so they are easy to find.

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis flavicollis)

Strong-billed Honeyeater
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)

My Tasmanian Bird List. November – December 2018

Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus)
Australian Magpie, race tyrannica
Australian Pelican
Australian Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
Australian Wood Duck
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
Black-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae novaehollandiae)
Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostoma)
Brown Falcon (Falco berigora)
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla diemenensis)
Brush Bronzewing (Phaps chalcaptera)
Cape Barren Goose (Cereopis novaehollandiae novaehollandiae)
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
Common Blackbird
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)
Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)
Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris dubius)
Eurasian Coot
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicia)
Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus)
Great Cormorant
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus cinereus)
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica strigata)
Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)
Hardhead (Aythya australis)
Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)
House Sparrow
Laughing Kookaburra
Little Black Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera tasmanica)
Masked Lapwing
Musk Duck ( Biziura lobata)
Musk Lorikeet
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae canescens)
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala leachi)
Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea apatetes)
Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus pacificus)
Pacific Black Duck
Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus)
Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang leggii)
Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris)
Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae)
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis lateralis)
Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus)
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus striatus)
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)
Superb Fairy-wren
Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans)
Tasmanian Native-hen (Tribonyx mortierii)
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)
Welcome Swallow
White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster )
White-faced Heron
White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons)
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa leachi)
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus xanthanotus)
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis flavicollis)
welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxema)

Tasmanian Animals

Echidna
Flinders Island Wombat
Forester Kangaroo
Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
Tasmanian Pademelon (Thylogale billardierii)

December 18, 2018

Northwest Tasmania Tourist

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 6:45 am

The Tarkine Tourist

After the Arthur River, I drove up the road to the Couta Rocks. It is a wild area. There are a few fishermen’s shacks by the bay with a lobster boat moored in the protected waters.

Couta Rocks
Couta Rocks

The country in the north-west is a lot of grasslands and heath.

North-west country panorama
North-west country panorama

I drove inland through the Tarkine and camped at Julius River. There is a rainforest walk as well as a walk along the river.

Unusual Bottle  Brush
Unusual Bottle Brush

At the Sumac Lookout I spotted a whole bunch of Foxgloves along the road.
“Digitalis is a genus of about 20 species of herbaceous perennials, shrubs, and biennials commonly called foxgloves. This genus was traditionally placed in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae, but recent phylogenetic research has placed it in the much enlarged family Plantaginaceae.”

foxglove
Foxglove

The Kannunah Bridge has a good view over the river.

Kannunah Bridge
Kannunah Bridge

Heading north, I stopped off at Smithton, then north along the top of Tasmania, past Burnie and waited for the ferry to Melbourne at Devonport. And now it is back to the mainland!

The Tarkine

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:18 am

Last Day in Tasmania

This is it, the last day in Tasmania. camped the night before at Julius River in the Tarkine. They had a great rainforest walk and a nice river walk but not much birds.

Eastern Spinebill
Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris dubius)

The only interesting bird was a Tasmanian sub-species of the Eastern Spinebill.

Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster
Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster (Astacopsis gouldi)

Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster (Astacopsis gouldi) is the largest freshwater invertebrate in the world. It is only found in the rivers of Northern Tasmania. I found this one crossing the road in the pouring rain at Edith Creek heading towards Smithton. I stopped to pick it up but it got angry at me and was going to bite me so I just kicked him off the road so he would not get run over. The people at the shop said that it was only a little one. doh! And, fun fact, there is a $10,000 fine for taking one.

Common Starling
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

At Smithton Foreshore I went for a walk and took some photos. I liked this one of a Common Starling with a worm. ha ha.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus xanthanotus)

Just before I left This mob of Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo were munching on these banksia cones. yummy.

North Tasmania bird list

Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris dubius)
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)
Australian Pied Oystercatcher
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus xanthanotus)
Masked Lapwing
Little Wattlebird

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