wedge-tailed eagle

Raptors

Order: Falconiformes. Family: Accipitridae – hawks, eagles, buzzards, harriers, kites and Old World vultures Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans) Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) Brahminy More »

hyottoko mask

Japanese Cultural Night #2

Saturday Night Live. Last night I went out to the second Japanese Cultural Night at the Ski-jo up the road(Furano, Hokkaido, Japan). The last one was a few weeks ago so I More »

ski furano

Furano Skiing 3

Skiing at the Furano Zone. I woke up this morning an looked out the window and there was about ten centimeters of fresh snow on the cars. Which was a very good More »

kobe

On to Hokkaido

Arrived in Furano. I am so tired. My eyelids are drooping and my shoulders feel like the weight of the world is upon them. My head feels heavy and I am almost More »

oasis hummingbird

Best Bird of the Year 2010

Best Bird of 2010 I saw a post on 10,000 birds about the best bird of 2010 so I was curious as to what defines the “best” bird of the year. I More »

Pacific Gull

2010 Birding Photography Retrospective

2010 Looking Back Well here we go again. Another year bites the dust. I can remember doing my Overview of 2009 just like it was yesterday. The new year of 2010 started More »

la hoya skiing

South America Overview

South America I flew into Buenos Aries from Sydney after a horrendous 14 hour flight. It took me a few days to readjust my body clock. Meanwhile I was really enjoying going More »

Snowy Egret

More Chicama Surf, Birds

More Surfing and Birds at Chicama, Peru. This morning after my surf at Chicama, I saw an Egret down on the rocks below the hostel. I had seen a couple of them More »

American Oystercatcher

El Chaco, Paracas NP

El Chaco Birding. El chaco is the town and port at the entrance to Paracas Nature Reserve in Southern Peru. This morning after I arrived here, I went for a walk along More »

Andean Lapwing

Bird of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Copacabana and Isla del Sol, Bolivia. The Puna Teal is found on the Andean altiplano. Its Chilean name is Pato puna. They have a black cap that extends to below the eyes. More »

Singing Honeyeater

Australian Arid Lands Botanic Park

Port Augusta Birding.

“Grab your hat and a bottle of water and head off on one of our scenic Garden Walks.” The Arid Lands Botanic Garden is a couple of kilometers north of Port Augusta at the head of Spencer Gulf in South Australia. It really is a remarkable park and well worth a visit if you are heading this way.

Ooldea Mallee
Ooldea Mallee (Eucalyptus youngiana)

This morning these Zebra Finch were just in front of the visitors centre enjoying the early sun. The males have the orange cheek and the females do without.

Zebra Finch
Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

I was stoked to get a photo of the Chirruping Wedgebill. It is a tick for me and is endemic to this area.

Chirruping Wedgebill
Chirruping Wedgebill (Psophodes cristatus)

And another tick with this one. He is having a feast on the Book Leaf Mallee (Eucalyptus Kruseana). They have a distinctive red dot just behind the eye.

White-fronted Honeyeater
White-fronted Honeyeater (Phylidonyris albifrons)

This little snake crawled across the track right in front of me. I have no idea if it is venomous or not but I suspect it might be.

snake - ID needed
snake

Port Augusta bird list

Red Wattlebird
Singing Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater
White-fronted Honeyeater (Phylidonyris albifrons)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater
Zebra Finch
White-browed Babbler
Welcome Swallow
Australian Magpie
Magpie-lark
Crested Pigeon
Chirruping Wedgebill (Psophodes cristatus)

Yellow-rumped Thornbill

Gulf Country Birds

Port Pirie to Port Augusta.

I left the fabulous library at Port Pirie and drove north a few kilometers and stayed the night at Nukunu Rest Area.

St Vincents Gulf
St Vincent’s Gulf

Nukunu Rest Area

There was some good bush along the highway and I seen some Singing Honeyeater (Lichenostomus virescens), Crested Pigeons and a mob of White-browed Babblers.

Singing Honeyeater
Singing Honeyeater (Lichenostomus virescens)

The moon was still up in the morning, nice and clear.

moon
The moon.

Mambray Creek.

Mambray Creek is 50 kilometers south of Port Augusta. I stopped at the rest area and walked along the road going to the gulf opposite the turn-off to Mount Remarkable National Park , which is 5k up the hill.

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

This photo above shows why this bird got its name.

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

And here is the Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater in full song. A very nice singer indeed.

Yellow-throated Miner
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)

There were heaps of Yellow-throated Miners hawking in the big old gum trees.

Tree Martin
Tree Martin (Hirundo nigricans)

And a bunch of Tree Martins hawking around.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)

There was a wide variety of birds along this short stretch of road. The old hollowed out gum trees might have had something to do with it.

Blue-winged Parrot
Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostoma)

Last but not least, the magnificent Blue-winged Parrot. I think this is the first time I have seen one of these. tick tick.

South Australia Bird List

Singing Honeyeater (Lichenostomus virescens)
Crested Pigeon
White-browed Babbler
Black-shouldered Kite
Whistling Kite
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
House Sparrow
Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostoma)
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)
Tree Martin (Hirundo nigricans)
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)
Australian Ringneck, race barnardi
Peaceful Dove

singing honeyeater

Random South Australia Birding Sites

Clare Valley, Barker Inlet, Port Gawler and Parham.

This is a long trek from the central north to Adelaide and back north again along St Vincent’s Gulf. And with a side-trip to Melbourne which is undocumented and therefore did not happen.

Clare Valley.

I stopped overnight at Spring Gully Conservation Park, high over the Clare Valley.

Spring Gully CP
Spring Gully Conservation Park bush

There was very little bird life there except for Red Wattlebirds and Weebills.

Weebill
Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris)

Barker Inlet Wetlands.

Barker Inlet is just near Port Adelaide. Not much on the ponds but a few birds in the trees alongside. There are some massive salt fields along in this area all they way through the area of this blog post. That reminds me, I need to buy some salt.

Port Adelaide Salt Mine
piles of salt.

Port Gawler Conservation Park

A few miles north, I went for a stroll through the saltbush. There was a solitary Common Greenshank, a pair of Black-winged Stilt and a Red-kneed Dotterel in the ponds.

Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

Luckily I managed to get a shot of him in flight.

Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

Parham

And further north there is a great camp spot right near the water, but unfortunately there were not a great deal of birds around. These Pacific Gulls are seen mainly in the south. Note the immature ones in the background.

Pacific Gull
Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus)

And there was a noisy mob of White-browed Babblers gathering nesting material along the beach.

White-browed Babbler
White-browed Babbler (Pomatosomus superciliosus)

South Australia bird list

Red Wattlebird
Weebill
Spotted Turtle-dove
Crested Pigeon
Black Swan
Welcome Swallow
Silver Gull
Pacific Gull
Common Starling
New Holland Honeyeater
Pacific Black Duck
Little Black Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
Australian Pelican
Black-winged Stilt
White-eared Honeyeater
Singing HOneyeater
Black-shouldered Kite
Masked Lapwing
Common Greenshank
Red-kneed Dotterel
White-browed Babbler

south australia

Trerowrin and Mount Bryan

South Australian Birding.

Coming South-west from Yunta along the Barrier Highway from Broken Hill I stopped at the historic little village of Trerowrin and found a pair of Australian Ringnecks in the tree in the middle of town. They were Mallee Ringnecks, and not the Port Lincoln race zonarius, so I guess I am not into their area yet.

Australian Ringneck
Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius barnardi)

I then went along this dirt road to Mokota Conservation Park which turned out to be a tussock grass area which had a few kangaroos/wallabies on the paddock. I was expecting a bit of bush, but it is all natural, so they reckon.

Mokota Conservation Park
Mokota Conservation Park.

Kangaroos or Wallabies ?
A mob of kangaroos – or are they wallabies?

I then went to Mount Bryan and went for a walk along the old train line. There were hordes of Galahs. But not much else.

Galahs
Galahs. lots of them.

There was a Black-shouldered Kite on an aerial. I was hoping for a Letter-winged Kite but it had the black patch behind the eye, which is pretty much how you tell them apart as far as I can tell.

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

South Australia bird list

Red Wattlebird
Galah
Common Starling
Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius barnardi)
Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris)
White-plumed Honeyeater
Welcome Swallow

yunta

Yunta Birds

South Australia Birds.

I crossed over the border to South Australia yesterday. It is dry out here in the bush. No waterholes anywhere in the scrub. There are not many birds around.

Emu
Emu (Dromalus novaehollandiae).

There have been a few emus along the roads, but as soon as I stop to take their photos, they run away.

Wedge-tailed Eagle
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax).

I stopped in the scrub just before Yunta and camped the night. Late in the afternoon, I took a look around and spotted a few birds but not many. This wedgie was circling in the distance but did not get very close.

Weebill ???
Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris) ???

I think this is a Weebill but I am not too sure. The beak is much too chunky to be a thornbill I reckon.

outback flowers
Desert bloom

A dry country plant glistening in the sunset light.

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

These Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters are everywhere out there. Very common.

outback sunrise
Outback sunrise.

In the morning I had to do a panorama of the sunrise. It is a standard shot.

Yunta bird list

Emu (Dromalus novaehollandiae)
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)
Weebill (Smicornis brevirostris) ???
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
Noisy Miner

Black kite

From Cobar to Broken Hill

Outback Birding

I set out from Cobar and stopped about 100 kilometers on the way to Wilcannia at the Lilyvale Rest Area. I did not have much hope of seeing much so I went for a walk before sunset and was suprised to see quite a few birds.

Lilyvale Rest Area.

This Common Bronzewing is in typical country for this bird.

Common Bronzewing
Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)

I finally got to see the pink crest on the top of this and a few other Spotted Bowerbirds. I was beginning to doubt myself. I keep thinking of them as Spotted Catbirds. Possibly because they are related to catbirds.

Spotted Bowerbird
Spotted Bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata).

And I was quite surprised to see this Hooded Robin. There were a few young ones about as well.

Hooded Robin
Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata)

Baden Park

The next stop was Baden Park and it was similar country – dry and harsh. I did see some Yellow-rumped Thornbill along the road as well as a few Noisy Miner.

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

I am not sure what this is. It could be a thornbill or it could be some kind of robin. I really have no idea. Cute, but. Edit: Thanks to Tim Dolby for the ID.

ID needed please
Red-capped Robin

This is pretty right as you can plainly see the white eye and chestnut rump of this Chestnut-rumped Thorbill.

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill
Chestnut-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza uropygialis)

Wilcannia.

Wilcannia is on the Darling River and has declined a lot over the years. I saw quite a few Black Kite and Whistling Kite soaring over the town and river. And I think I have never got a photo of a Red-tailed Black-cockatoo before. I just cannot remember. It is a female.

Red-tailed Black-cockatoo
female Red-tailed Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii)

Spring Hill

I walked up this dry creek at Spring Hill, about 130 kilometers east of Broken Hill. A few honeyeaters were around as well as some thornbills. More than I expected. I found a kangaroo digging into the dry creek bed near a reef and about half a meter down it had found water.

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

And some more Singing Honeyeaters.

Singing Honeyeater
Singing Honeyeater (Lichenostomus virescens)

Outback bird list

Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata)
Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)
Singing Honeyeater (Lichenostomus virescens)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
Spotted Bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata)
Chestnut-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza uropygialis)
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)
Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
Whistling Kite
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Red-tailed Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii)
Australian Pelican
White Ibis
White-necked Heron

cobAR

Cobar Birding

Outback New South Wales.

Cobar is a small mining town in the middle of nowhere on the way to Broken Hill. For all that it seems quite a nice place. There were heaps of birds here. First stop was the Tourist info office where I got the town map and headed off on a walk along Centenary of Federation Walk. Across the road I happened upon a family of Zebra Finch. I have a vague idea that they are race castanotis but I am not sure at all.

baby Zebra Finch
baby Zebra Finch (Taenopygia guttata)

This nosy Blue-faced Honeyeater had a good sticky-beak at me as I went past.

Blue-faced Honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis).

I thought this Striped Honeyeater was an inland thornbill at first until I got it up on the computer and had a good look at it.

Striped Honeyeater
Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata)

I thought these were Fork-tailed Swift before I had a good look at the book. They were hanging around the footy field watching some guy kick goals.

White-backed Swallow
White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosternus)

After lunch I went for a drive to check out the gold mine. It was big.

new cobar gold mine
New Cobar Gold Mine.

Late in the afternoon I trundled off to the new tank and wandered along the pitiful remnants of water. Here is a Whistling Kite in its nest.

Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus).

There were a few waders along the edges of the pond.

White-necked Heron
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica).

Lots of Spotted Bowerbirds around. I thought these might have been juvenile blackbirds at first and I did not see any of them with a pink crest on top of the head. I have no idea why.

Spotted Bowerbird
Spotted Bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata)

And the Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters were quite common as well.

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

Cobar Bird List

Spotted Bowerbird
White-plumed Honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Zebra Finch (Taenopygia guttata)
Double-barred Finch
Black Kite
Whistling Kite
Apostlebird
White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosternus)
White-breasted Woodswallow
Australian Magpie
House Sparrow
Crested Pigeon
Galah
Willy Wagtail
Pacific Black Duck
Australian Wood Duck
Eurasian Coot
White-necked Heron
White-faced Heron
Great Egret
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Black-fronted Dotterel
Black-winged Stilt
Peaceful Dove
Red-winged Parrot
Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus)
Pied Cormorant

Noisy Miner

Outback NSW birding

From Narromine to Cobar.

I am now in Cobar. At Narromine there was a huge flock of Little Corella by the river.

Little Corella
Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

At Nyngan, the most interesting thing was the helicopter in the park. It was a gift from the government because the town was evacuated from flooding in 1990 by helicopter. I think this one is an Iriquois.

Iriquois helicopter
Helicopter.

I stopped at Hermidale Rest Area and walked along the train line for a while. There were lots of Noisy Miners and a mob of Grey-crowned Babblers.

Outback nsw
Outback New South Wales.

spider
Spider.

Florida Rest Area is on the Barrier Highway, 80 kilometers from Nyngan and 50 kilometers from Cobar. On the border between the shires of Bogan and Cobar.

Noisy Miner
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)

There are lots of Noisy Miner, some Red-winged Parrots, mainly female or juvenile. I did happen to see one adult male. The birds were drinking out of a plastic bowl near a water tank.

Red-winged Parrot
Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus).

Outback NSW bird list

Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)
Grey-crowned Babbler
Apostlebird
Australian Ringneck
Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus)
Noisy Miner
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Pied Butcherbird

Narromine

Narromine Birding

Central West NSW.

It has poured raining here in Narromine this morning. You would not believe it! The streets were almost flooding. Last night I was going to camp at Mac’s Reserve, about four kilometers out of town on the banks of the Macquarie River. It was a horrible place, all dry and dusty and a place for rednecks to go and get drunk and burn out cars.

Burnt out car
Burnt out car.

Instead I camped at the rest area out of town. It was OK. It had a table and toilets. I have done about 450 kilometers so far from Newcastle. I plan to do about 500 kilometers per week. This is a standard view of most inland towns in Australia – big wide streets and wheat silos.

Narromine nsw
Standard country town view.

Whilst eating breakfast, I caught sight of this Black-shouldered Kite over the other side of the railway tracks. I never get bored taking photos of these beautiful raptors.

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

I went for a walk along the river in town at the Rotary Park. A few birds here and there but not much.

Red-rumped Parrots
Red-rumped Parrots (Psephotus haematonotus)

A few Welcome Swallows were circling over the football oval. And I spotted a Black Kite in the distance.

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow ( Hirundo neoxena)

Some good camping sites west from Newcastle are:

1. Jerry Plains rest area – just before the village. It has a big field with plenty of room for caravans and turning, barbecue, tables and toilets.

2. Cassilis Park rest area – 5 k west of Cassilis. A nice bush area off the road with plenty of space, toilets, and tables.

Narromine Bird List

Pacific Black Duck
Crested Pigeon
Australian Magpie
Magpie-lark
Australian Raven
Common Starling
Red-shouldered Parrot
Red-rumped Parrot
Eastern Rosella
Welcome Swallow
Black Kite
Black-shouldered Kite
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Galah

pigeon

Cassilis Birding

Great Dividing Range.

On top of the Great Dividing Range at around 700 meters. Woohoo! This is my favourite camping spot going west. It is called Cassilis Park rest area and is about 5 kilometers past the village of Cassilis on the Golden Highway.

Olive-backed Oriole
Olive-backed Oriole (Oriolus sagittatus)

I was a bit surprised to see these here. I do not know why.

Kookaburra
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Treecreeper
White-throated Treecreeper ( Cormobates leucophaea)

Probably a female White-throated Treecreeper but have to look in the book yet. Edit: Yes it is. (from birdsinbackyard.net) “The White-throated Treecreeper is dark brown, with a distinctive white throat and chest, and white streaks on its flanks, edged with black. The wings have a red bar that is visible in flight and the undertail is barred. The female has an orange mark on the sides of the face. Like other treecreepers, spends most of its time foraging in trees and has a short, spiralling flight.”

Butcherbird
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)

Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana)

I do not have my book on me at the moment, so I will properly identify this later. My internet time in the library is limited. doh! I need my book. doh! Edit: hopefully this is right but with limited time to properly check.

spider
Spider

Dragonfly
Dragonfly