Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 13, 2018

North by North West

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West Tasmania Tourist

In the very south-west of Tasmania is Strahan and Macquarie Harbour, a very important site in Australian history. At the entrance to the harbour is Macquarie Heads, commonly called Hell’s Gates because of the treacherous entrance and bar at the heads.

Macquarie Heads
Macquarie Heads

I travelled north to Zeehan and Rosebery and spent the night at Montezuma Falls where I saw this tree splitting this massive rock.

Split-rock Tree
Split-rock Tree

Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain – Belvoir Vale Lookout 930 meters

In the foothills of the rugged peaks of Cradle Mountain lies the Vale of Belvoir, an extensive natural grassland surrounded by rainforest. A lot of these grasslands are rare and endangered and provide habitat for threateneed plants and animals. Twenty thousand years ago glaciers covered most of the the Tasmanian highlands.

Rainforest at edge of Vale of Belvoir
Rainforest at edge of Vale of Belvoir

Hellyer Gorge
Hellyer Gorge

There was not gorge at Hellyer Gorge, just a steep valley at the side of the river. There was a very nice walk through the rainforest.

>Boat Harbour
Boat Harbour

Past Burnie going west up north, there is a nice camping spot o the beach.

Arthur River - The Edge of the World
Arthur River – The Edge of the World

In the deep North-west I came across this amazing spot. It truly is the wild west. So awesome.

December 12, 2018

North-west Tasmania

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:41 am

Northern Tasmania

After Queenstown, I headed west to the coast of Tasmania at Macquarie Heads and Strahan. Macquarie Harbour is a historic place with a treacherous entry to the harbour. This yacht was going out the entrance. I was amazed that such a little boat was going out into the Southern Ocean.

Hells Gates
Hells Gates

Going north I passed through Zeehan and Rosebery and stopped the night at Montezuma Falls. In the afternoon I scooted up to Cradle Mountain and at the lookout at 930 meters you could see the amazing Belvoir Vale, which is a vast highland grass/heath valley.

Belvoir Vale
Belvoir Vale, Cradle Mountain

Hellyer Gorge had a nice walk along the river with lots of noisy birds but not much variety.

Flame Robin
Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea)

Next stop was Boat Harbour, just west of Burnie on the north coast of Tasmania. I had one sunny day at the beach and now it is miserable again. 🙁

Superb Fairy-wren
Superb Fairy-wren

At Sisters Beach I took a walk along the beach front and spied this very noisy Grey Shrike-thrush.

Grey Shrike-thrush
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica strigata)

North Tasmania bird list

Masked Lapwing
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica strigata)
Grey Fantail
Superb Fairy-wren
Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea)
Green Rosella
European Goldfinch

December 9, 2018

Islands and Mountains

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 12:07 am

Tasmanian tourist photos

After Eaglehawk Neck, I stopped off at Sorell for supplies and headed north towards Oatlands in the Southern Midlands. I stayed at a nice camp just near the Lake Dulverton Conservation Area. There were lots of Black Swans and coots and waterbirds.

Lake Dulverton Conservation Area - Oatlands
Lake Dulverton Conservation Area – Oatlands

Also at Oatlands was this amazing old mill that was fully functional. They could grind flour and there were bags of flour in the mill. I wanted to do a tour to see it working but there was no-one about.

Callington Mill - Oatlands
Callington Mill – Oatlands

After the lovely weather in the Southern Midlands I heade uphill to Lake Sorell and Interlaken in the Central Highlands, but that night the weather turned windy and rainy, so I headed west back to the highway and down to Bothwell, Hamilton and stayed the night near Hobart at the scout camp.

Truganini Lookout and Rookery - The Neck
Truganini Lookout and Rookery – The Neck

I got on the ferry at Kettering to Bruny Island and turned off at Barnes Bay where there were a lot of nice birds and a good mooring inlet for yachts.

The Neck Camp Ground in the rain.
The Neck Camp Ground in the rain.

Unfortunately that afternoon the rain set in so it was not a pleasant place. Luckily there was a little shelter for the campers to cook some dinner.

ferry from Bruny Island
ferry from Bruny Island

I was sick of the horrible weather so I bailed out on Bruny Island, drove through Hobart and camped at Mount Field for two nights. Then I set off again for the west, camping at Tungatinah Lagoon

Tungatinah Lagoon
Tungatinah Lagoon

I did the tourist thing at the lookout of the Taralleah Hydro-electric power station.

Taralleah Hydro-electric power station
Taralleah Hydro-electric power station

Lake st clair NP
Lake st clair

This was a tree cut down along the Watersmeet track at Lake St Clair. Probably for safety reasons.

Do not feed wild animals
Do not feed wild animals

December 8, 2018

Yellow-throated Honeyeater

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:51 am

Lake St Clair National Park

I deleted all my photos from last night this morning. I was in a rush to photograph this Yellow-throated Honeyeater and formatted my chip without remembering I still had photos from yesterday. doh! The main photo that I deleted was of a Fan-tailed Cuckoo, but I have photos of them, so whew! This morning I think I saw a Pink Robin but it was too quick to get a photo. double doh!

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)

Finally I got some decent photos of this elusive Tasmanian endemic. I wonder why they call them Yellow-throated Honeyeater ???

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)

So good I had to post two photos.

Olive Whistler
Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea apatetes)

Another good score – the Tasmanian sub-species of the Olive Whistler.

Grey Fantail
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)

And another Tasmanian race albiscapa.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

I like the background here of sawn wood.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

I think this one is a juvenile because he is so dark.

Lake St Clair bird list

Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)
Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea apatetes)

December 7, 2018

Lake Saint Clair National Park

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:07 am

Lake St Clair National Park

I arrived at Derwent Bridge before 9am so I went to the Information Centre for Lake St Clair National Park. I wanted to find out about the boat rides across the lake. But – gah! – $70 return. What a ripoff. I just went for a walk along the tracks which turned out to be quite good with a new Tasmanian endemic honeyeater.

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

The Strong-billed Honeyeater has a stout pointed bill and a rather flat forehead.

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

A juvenile on top with yellow bill and some colour around back of neck.

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)

Super bad photo of this Tasmanian endemic honeyeater. I still have not got a decent shot of one. doh!

Tasmanian Thornbill
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

Green Rosella - male
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)

This is a really nice shot of a male with lots of yellow.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

I got some good shots of some of the endemics today.

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)

Wow, really bizarre shot of this Black Currawong’s massive tongue grabbing onto an insect.

Echidna
Echidna

Lake St Clair bird list

Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

Echidna

Tungatinah Lagoon

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:24 am

Highland Lakes

Leaving Mount Field, I trekked down the hill to the Derwent River and had lunch at Hamilton where I charged up all my batteries and dried all my mattresses and blankets. The sun was shining for a change and it was actually quite hot. I should have got some supplies at Ouse, because there is nothing here at Derwent Bridge. Just high-priced tourist crap. I found a camp at the Tungatinah Lagoon. It was ok but nothing special. There were about three other lakes and lagoons which looked much nicer.

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)

In the afternoon I went for a walk along the lagoon and into the bush for a bit. Not much around.

Green Rosella
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)

There were just a couple of Green Rosellas feeding on the grass near the lagoon embankment. They flew up into the trees when I surprised them and myself.

Yellow Wattlebird
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)

And everywhere I go there are Yellow Wattlebirds. Next to the ocean, up in the high mountains, I have seen them.

And there we have it. Half the colours of the rainbow : Black Currawong, Green Rosella and Yellow Wattlebird. doh!

Tungatinah Lagoon bird list

Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)
Welcome Swallow

December 5, 2018

Left of Field

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:55 pm

Mount Field National Park – Tasmania

After Bruny Island, I went back to the Tasmanian mainland and headed west to Mount Field where I stayed at the wonderful Left of Field Camp Ground. Adrian, the owner, took us on a walk in the afternoon to see the platypuses (platypi ?) in the creek. The creek was flowing strongly and near the bridge we were surprised to find this platypus in a bit puddle near the bridge. He was covered in mud and scooping up something out of the puddle.

Platypus  bcu
Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

I cropped this one massively to get a good look at his eyes and head. He is covered in mud. Later he jumped into the creek and washed it all off.

Platypus
Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

We crossed the bridge and went for a circuit around the sewerage treatment ponds. One of the kids saw a snake and Adrian Reckoned it might have been a tiger snake.

Ants in disturbed nest
Ants in disturbed nest

I think these are jumping jack ants, and it looks like a larva or is it larvae?

Brown Falcon
Brown Falcon (Falco berigora)

Plus a bonus photo of a Brown Falcon I got when I was leaving Bruny Island.

December 4, 2018

Bruny Island

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:05 am

Bruny Island – Tasmania

When I got to Hobart and drove straight through to the south and stayed at the Kingston Scout Camp for the night. What an excellent camp – they had hot showers, a kitchen camp – all for ten bucks a night. A bargain! In the morning I went for a walk around the archery range. There was not much around. The highlight would have been some Tasmanian Native-hen chicks.

Tasmanian Native-hen chick
Tasmanian Native-hen chicks

After breakfast I drove south to Kettering and was the last car on the ferry to Bruny Island. It was reasonably cheap – about $35 return. I had a horde of tourists behind me so I turned left at the first opportunity to get off the main road. I ended up in Barnes Bay, a nice little cove on the north of the island. It was quite prolific with birds around all the native trees and shrubs that the locals had planted.

Dusky Woodswallow
Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)

Green Rosella
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)

I finally got a decent shot of a Green Rosella. Yay! Can do better, but.

Striated Pardalote
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus striatus)

This is the only shot I got of this Striated Pardalote, sub-species striatus.

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

As far as I know there are three types of Thornbills in Tasmania – Tasmanian, Brown and these Yellow-rumped Thornbills, sub-species leachi.

New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae canescens)

These New Holland Honeyeaters had me going for a while. I thought they were something new – doh! These are the local Tasmanian race but I cannot read it in the book so I have to look on the internet. Just looked and it is race canescens.

It was a shame that it started to rain – again! So I continued south and stopped off at the lookout and rookery for the fairy penguins. At the Neck, I found the camping ground and settled in for the afternoon.

Short-tailed Shearwater
Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris)

Last night I went to see the Fairy Penguins coming home. But it started to get dark and it was raining so I gave it a big miss. I did get some very dark photos of shearwaters. I think this is the right species – maybe ? Edit: yep. Just got confirmation from Nikolas. I guessed right. 🙂

Bruny Island Bird list

Tasmanian Native-hen
Superb Fairy-wren
Brown Thornbill
Dusky Woodswallow
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa leachi)
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae canescens)
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)
Yellow Wattlebird
Common Blackbird
Masked Lapwing
Australian Wood Duck
House Sparrow
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus striatus)
European Goldfinch
Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang leggii)
Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris)

December 2, 2018

Lake Sorell birds

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:09 am

Central Highlands of Tasmania

I took off from Oatlands in the Southern Midlands and went west along a dirt track for 27 kilometers until I hit Lake Sorell. A little further on I found a camping area and decided to stay for the night. The wind was howling about a million knots and it was not very pleasant. But the sun was out.

Yellow Wattlebird
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa )

I was quite surprised to see the Yellow Wattlebirds up so high. The altitude up here was about 700 meters. The bush was pretty nearly alpine country.

Yellow Wattlebird  - chicks
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa ) – chicks

I did not know what these were until the adult Yellow Wattlebird came to have a check-up on them.

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa )

Pretty normal for a currawong to be up in high alpine country and they hang around your camp like they do in the Snowy Mountains.

Lake Sorell bird list

Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa )
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa )

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