Steve Happ Photography Travel and Wildlife

December 7, 2009

Belmont Lagoon Bird Photography

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — steve_happ @ 5:01 am

Belmont Lagoon Bird Photography

7th December, 2009.

I got up early this morning but I was still later than the sun. It was out before 6am. Does that mean I will have to get up even earlier? The fog was rolling in but got burnt off later on so I knew it was going to be hot today. As soon as I got out of the car there were birds all around me – Australian Wood Duck, hybrid ducks, Silver Gull and Common Myna. There were Spotted Turtle-doves, Crested Pigeons and Little Wattlebirds on the over head wires as well. And then an Eastern Koel starting screeching out on top of a telegraph pole before I even got on the track.

Further down the track, I spotted a whole heap of White-throated Needletails flying past. They have been seen a fair bit in our area lately. I think I saw approximately a hundred flying north. They feed in rising thermal currents and are commonly seen moving along with wind fronts. White-throated Neeletail are in Family: Apodidae and Order: Apodiformes.

White-throated Needletail
White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caucacutus)

A Brown Honeyeater sat up in a tree along the track just for me, so I had to take his photo.

Brown Honeyeater
Brown Honeyeater (Lichmera indistincta)

At the point where Belmont Lagoon flows into Cold Tea Creek there were two Bar-tailed Godwits, a Black-winged Stilt and about half a dozen Silver Gull. Later on I saw a Bar-tailed Godwit feeding in the creek, which I thought was very unusual. Later on I saw this Magpie-lark annoying this Laughing Kookaburra. The kookaburra was not too concerned at first but eventually got fed up with the Magpie-lark and flew off.

Kookaburra and Peewee
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) and Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

On the way back I spotted this very strange behaviour. A White-breasted Woodswallow was sitting on a branch flicking its tail from side to side and putting its wings out. There was another bird watching it. I am assuming it is some sort of displaying behaviour associated with a mating ritual, but I am still not sure.

White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus)

Edit: David Stowe has confirmed for me that this tail shaking is indeed a mating ritual.

Belmont Lagoon bird list 7/12/09

Common Myna
Australian Wood Duck
Silver Gull
Spotted Turtle-dove
Crested Pigeon
Little Wattlebird
Eastern Koel
Willy Wagtail
Welcome Swallow
Australian Magpie
White-throated Needletail
Super Fairy-wren
Little Pied Cormorant
Black-winged Stilt
Bar-tailed Godwit 2
White-breasted Godwit
Eastern Whipbird (H)
Laughing Kookaburra
Grey Butcherbird
Rufous Whistler
Grey Fantail
Black Swan
White-faced Heron
Chestnut Teal
Little Black Cormorant
Striated Heron
Red-browed Finch
White-browed Scrubwren
Royal Spoonbill
Little Egret
Great Egret
Masked Lapwing
Bar-shouldered Dove
Grey Shrike-thrush
Crested Tern

Recommended Resource

Field Guide to the Birds of Australia (Helm Field Guides)


  1. Nice WTNT shot. They are so hard to get a decent shot of.
    Interesting behaviour of the Woodswallows. I dont know whey they do that, but I imagine my wife would call that ‘shaking the booty’!

    Comment by myoung400 — December 7, 2009 @ 9:01 am

  2. Thanks Mark,
    David Stowe has confirmed that the Woodswallow behaviour is a mating display.
    I thought it might have been.
    Shakin your booty is pretty spot on i think.


    Comment by admin — December 7, 2009 @ 8:28 pm

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