Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

March 31, 2019

Entering the Gascoyne

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:20 am

Shark Bay and Gladstone Bay

I left Shark Bay and stopped off at Eagle Bluff on the way out. There were a few sharks and turtles in the water but it was impossible to photograph them because they were so far away. I stopped the night at the Overlander Roadhouse at the turnoff to Shark Bay and headed off to Gladstone Bay late in the morning.

 Lesser Sand Plover - maybe


Greater Sand Plover (charadrius leschenaultii)

I am not sure about this one. The white band that extends around the neck a bit too much has got me confused. Edit. Greater Sand Plover. thanks nigel for id help.

Lesser Sand Plover maybe


Greater Sand Plover (charadrius leschenaultii)

Here is another shot in flight and this makes it look like a Lesser Sand Plover. Edit. Greater Sand Plover.

Red-necked Stint - maybe


Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis)

I think this is a Red-necked Stint but not totally sure.

Crimson Chat


Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor)

I think this is a female Crimson Chat.

Hooded Robin


Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata westralensis)

This is the Western sub-species westralensis.

Red-capped Robin


Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii)

Western Gerygone


Western Gerygone (Gerygone fusca mungi)

This is the north-west sub-species mungi.

Australian Pipit


Australian Pipit (Anthus australis)

There were so many Australian Pipits on the beach and in the bushes. I have never seen so many.

Zebra Finch


Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

hoping for a Little Crow


Australian Raven or Little Crow

Maybe a Torresian Crow. ???

bat


bat

It was so hot this bat was snoozing on the side of a caravan.

Gladstone Bay bird list

Australian Pipit (Anthus australis)
Greater Sand Plover (charadrius leschenaultii)
Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis)
Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus)
Silver Gull
Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius)
Australian Pelican
Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra) ???? 9455
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor)
Magpie-lark
Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)
Western Gerygone (Gerygone fusca mungi)
Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens virescens)
Crested Pigeon
Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata westralensis)
Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii)
Welcome Swallow
Splendid Fairy-wren

March 28, 2019

Shark Bay Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:38 am

Shark Bay

I had one nice day without any wind and today the wind is howling again. It does not make it easy for birding and the birdies do not like it either. After the Murchison River, I went in to Shark Bay and stopped off at Hamelin Pool to look at the stromatolites. Plenty of Welcome Swallow and not much else. At the beaches before Denham there were a couple of shore birds but no great numbers.

Grey Plover


Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

Greater Sand Plover


Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaulti)

I think this is right. It is hard to id them properly. Edit: I am correct, thank you Liam for confirming my choice.

Greater Sand Plover


Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaulti)

Caspian Tern


Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)

fish


fish

Fish are really hard to photograph. doh!

Shark Bay bird list

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)
Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaulti)
Red-capped Plover (Charadrius rupicapillus)
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Galah
Welcome Swallow

Geraldton to Shark Bay

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 3:31 am

Into the Gascoyne

I took off from Geraldton and headed towards Port Gregory after a night at Elbenjo Farm Stay which was really good.

Port Gregory - Pink Lakes


Port Gregory – Pink Lakes

These pink lakes are caused by some type of organism or plant in the lake that they harvest for beta carotene.

Kalbarri Grandstand


Kalbarri Grandstand

Nature's Window


Nature’s Window

In the Kalbarri National Park.

Turning left from the North-west highway I headed west into Shark Bay. The first stop is the Hamelin Pool to have a look at the stromatolites.

Hamelin Pool


Hamelin Pool

Stromatolites


Stromatolites

The ground here is covered with microbial mats, communities of microscopic life forms. In certain conditions the communities trap particles and create stone. When this happens, microbial mats become microbialites. Sometimes microbialites form taller layered structures called stromatolites.

Little Lagoon


Little Lagoon

This is the creek that feeds into Little Lagoon.

March 27, 2019

Galena Bridge

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:38 am

Murchison River

After a few days at Kalbarri waiting for the wind to die down, I eventually got sick of it and heaed off. I got on to the North-west Coastal Highway and stopped at the Galena Bridge Rest Area on the side of the Murchison River. There were quite a lot of water-birds about on the river. Nothing new or exciting but a few nice surprises.

Nankeen Night-heron


Nankeen Night-heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)

Black-tailed Native-hen


Black-tailed Native-hen (Tribonyx ventralis)

Pink-eared Duck


Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)

Glossy Ibis


Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

Yellow-billed Spoonbill


Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

Wood Sandpiper


Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

I think this is correct. not totally sure.

 Mulga Parrot


Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius) – male

Peaceful Dove


Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida)

Murchison River bird list

Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus)
Grey Teal
Pacific Black Duck
Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)
Australian Wood Duck
Common Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus)
Black Swan
white-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica)
Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
Black-tailed Native-hen (Tribonyx ventralis)
Nankeen Night-heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)
Great Egret
Australasian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae)
Little Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Australian Pelican
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
Australian White Ibis
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)
Port Lincoln Parrot
Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius)
Magpie-lark
Australian Raven
Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida)

March 24, 2019

Northampton Shire

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:39 am

Elbenjo Farmstay and Port Gregory

I left Geraldton at last and headed north past Northampton, then went towards the coast and stayed at a farmstay before Port Gregory called Elbenjo. There were a couple of walks. I did the east walk in the afternoon and the west walk in the morning.

White-fronted Honeyeater


White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons)

Australian Pipit


Australian Pipit (Anthus australis)

I dropped in at Port Gregory on the way to Kalbarri to see the Pink Lakes and spotted a few birds on the lake.

Banded Stilt - non-breeding adults


Banded Stilt (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus)

There were thousands of adult non-breeding Banded Stilts but none in breeding plumage.

Red-necked Avocet


Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)

Mid West bird list

Singing Honeyeater
White-fronted Honeyeater (Purnella albifrons)
Australian Pipit (Anthus australis)
Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides)
Banded Stilt (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus) adult non-breeding
Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)
Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius)

March 20, 2019

Fig Tree Crossing and Sunset Beach

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:27 am

Fig Tree Crossing

I have been in Geraldton for a few days getting my teeth and car fixed up. I camped up the Chapman Valley at Fig Tree Crossing. There are some beautiful eucalypts blossoming with amazing yellow flowers.

Western Gerygone


Western Gerygone (Gerygone fusca)

I thought this Western Gerygone was something like a GST but doh! Anyhow, this is my best shot so far of a Western Gerygone, so woot!

Silvereye in the blossoms


Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis chloronotus)

A Silvereye amongst the beautiful blossoms.

Butterflies


Butterflies

After that I headed to the coast and had some time at Sunset Beach. Ha what a name. Despite the wanky name there were a few birds around the car park. But nothing in the river.

Laughing Dove


Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis)

I have not seen a Laughing Dove since India, where they are numerous.

Singing Honeyeater


Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens virescens)

Geraldton bird list

Western Gerygone (Gerygone fusca)
Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis)
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis chloronotus)
Brown Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula pencillata carteri)
Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens virescens)
White-cheeked Honeyeater
Tree Martin
Australian Pelican
Pacific Black Duck

March 19, 2019

On the way to Perenjori

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 7:05 am

Central West Tourist

After Northam area I stopped at Badgingarra and did the Vern Westbrook Walk just outside of town.

spiky plant


spiky plant

At Cervantes I went and had a look at the stromatolites at Lake Thetis. Stromatolites are a living community. Bacteria in the top layers of sediment release oxygen to form sand bubbles on the surface, a crenulate mat.

Stromatolites


Stromatolites

Caterpillar Army


Caterpillar Army

I found a few caterpillar trails along the track around the lake.

Banksia


Banksia

At Lake Indoon I found these banksias that looked like ice creams.

So many corellas


So many corellas

At Three Spings there were hundreds of Western Corella and they invaded the football field.

three springs talc mine


three springs talc mine

On the road to Perenjori.

March 18, 2019

Perenjori to Mullewa

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

Mid-west Birding

After Three Springs, I kept heading north and camped up the road from Morawa. In the late afternoon I managed to get some good shots of some Mulga Parrots feeding on some dumped wheat.

Mulga Parrot  - male adult


Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius) male adult

The next stop was at Gutha Hall at an abandoned village. There were heaps of woodswallows but I am having trouble identifying exactly what they were.

Dusky or Black-faced Woodswallows


Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus cinereus)

Yellow-throated Miner


Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula wayensis)

Galah - female


Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla roseicapilla)

This is a female with a pinkish eye.

Port Lincoln Parrot


Port Lincoln Parrot – Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius zonarius)

Port Lincoln Parrot


Port Lincoln Parrot – Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius zonarius)

Central West bird list

Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius) male adult
Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus cinereus)
Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens virescens)
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula wayensis)
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus substriata)
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa chrysorrhoa)
Australian Raven
Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla roseicapilla)

Indoon to 3 Springs

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:29 am

North Midlands Birding

From Jurien Bay, I ventured on to Green Head, then headed back inland to Lake Indoon. The lake is full of toxic algae and meningocal disease. And it stinks. There were quite a few waterbirds enjoying the stench, mainly White-headed Stilts and Red-capped Plovers.

Port Lincoln Parrot


Port Lincoln Parrot – Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius zonarius)

At a certain point as you go north you get full bred Port Lincoln Parrots, without a hint or red above the bill. The 28 Parrots seem to be confined to the very south west of West Australia but the intergrades are stretching from the Stirling Range nearly to Augusta.

Pied Butcherbird


Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis picatus)

I have only just starting seeing the western race picatus as I go north.

Wood Sandpiper maybe


Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

At Eneabba there was a massive flock of Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo. Maybe up to a hundred birds making the most horrendous racket with their squwarking.

Carnaby's Black-cockatoo


Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

Carnaby's Black-cockatoo


Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

Similarly there was a massive flock of Western Corella at Three Springs maybe more than a hundred making a similar racket. And alighting on the football field.

Western Corella


Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator derbyi)

Western Corella


Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator derbyi)

Northern Midlands bird list

White-headed Stilt (Himantopus Leucophalus)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)
Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus)
Australian Magpie
Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis picatus)
Australian Raven
Magpie-lark
Port Lincoln Parrot – Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius zonarius)
Willie Wagtail
Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena carteri)
Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)
Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator derbyi)

March 11, 2019

The Road to Cervantes

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:58 am

Mid West Birds

I stopped off at Dandaragan for a night and there were heaps of Western Corella around the camp grounds.

Western Corella


Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator derbyi)

At Badgingarra Skate Park I bumped into about fifty Carnaby’s Black-cockatoos. The noise was deafening.

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo


Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

This is either a juvenile or a female.

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo


Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

Female on the left with the dark skin around the eye. Male on the right with pink skin around the eye.

White-cheeked Honeyeater


White-cheeked Honeyeater (Phylidonyris niger gouldii)

The western gouldii sub-species has a narrower white cheek and a black band separating cheek from the breast. I then toddled off to Phoebe’s Reserve and did the Vern Westbrook Walk but did not see many birds but came across this reptile, the likes of which I have never seen before.

snake or legless lizard


Burton’s Legless Lizard

Burton’s legless lizard (Lialis burtonis). Differences between legless lizards and snakes, are that legless lizards lack venom glands, cannot constrict prey, they have a fleshy tongue rather than a forked tongue, they have visible ear holes and they have remnant hind limbs. Thanks peter for the ID.

The next night I camped at the Drummond Reserve in Badgingarra National Park.

Rufous Whistler - male


Rufous Whistler (Pacycephala rufiventris rufiventris)

Galah - female


Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla roseicapilla) – female

The female western sub-species has a pink iris and the male has a dark brown iris.

Galah  - male


Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla roseicapilla) – male

Weebill


Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris occidentalis)

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater


Tawny-crowned Honeyeater (Glyciphila melanops)

When I got to Cervantes I dropped in at Lake Thetis to see the stromatolites and spotted this Australian Pipit.

Australian Pipit


Australian Pipit (Anthus australis bilbali)

This is the western race bilbali which is pretty similar to the rest of them.

Mid West bird list

Australian Pipit (Anthus australis bilbali)
Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)
Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator derbyi)
Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla roseicapilla) pink iris female or dark brown iris is male
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Australian Magpie
Australian Raven
Brown Honeyeater (Lichmera indistincta indistincta)
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater (Glyciphila melanops)
White-cheeked Honeyeater (Phylidonyris niger gouldii)
Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris occidentalis)
Rufous Whistler (Pacycephala rufiventris rufiventris)
Australian Shelduck

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