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 »

feat-0471

Tyto Wetlands Ticks

Ingham, Queensland.

No time to write much. I took way too many photos at Tyto Wetlands. 7 ticks today so I will just post them and do the rest of them another time. The library is shutting in half an hour. doh!

Helemeted Friarbird
Helemeted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides)

Blue-winged Kookaburra
Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii)

Yellow Honeyeater
Yellow Honeyeater (Lichenostomus flavus)

White-gaped Honeyeater
White-gaped Honeyeater (Lichenostomus unicolor)

Crimson Finch
Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton)

White-browed Robin
White-browed Robin (Poecilodryas superciliosa)

Great Bowerbird
Great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis)

drongo

Charters Towers to Townsville

Queensland Birding.

There has been a big shift in bush from the dry center of Queensland to the coast. The birds have changed markedly. I am now getting the coastal birds. Spangled Drongo, ibis, Noisy Miner, etc. First stop was at Macrossan Park, where there was flowing water in the river. First time I have seen that for a long time. I even saw some Brush Turkey.

Water Striders
A whole mess of water striders

I continued on to the Reid River, where there was a flurry of bird activity as soon as the sun made its appearance and even before. Inland birds seem to get out of bird later. Probably because it is so cold.

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

This Australian Bustard flew over the river. I was a bit surprised to see him.

Australian Bustard
Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

There was very little water at the Townsville Common. Only a smidgen at one of the hides. The other hides were looking out over dirt. There were lots of Common Myna in the city center.

Bar-shouldered Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis)

North Queensland birds list.

Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus)
Red-tailed Black-cockatoo
White-breasted Woodswallow
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Rainbow Bee-eater
Straw-necked Ibis
Australian White Ibis
Brush Turkey
Little Pied Cormorant
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Great Egret
Black-winged Stilt
Whistling Kite
Black Kite
White-faced Heron
Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis)
Australian Bustard
Brolga
Peaceful Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove
Masked Lapwing
Black-fronted Dotterel
Magpie-lark
Common Myna

feat-9831

Campaspe River

Queensland Birding.

The Campaspe River is between Hughenden and Charters Towers. I think it marks a significant line in flora and fauna. There were pandanus palms and ti trees in the dry river bed and the birds have changed quite a lot. There were the sightings of Apostlebirds, Blue-faced Honeyeaters, Kookaburras, currawongs and rosellas.

A7D-9835
Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea)

This is my first sighting of the Pale Headed Rosella which is a sub-species (race) of Eastern Rosella. This bird here is probably a hybrid of palliceps and adscitus races.

A7D-9819
Pale Headed Rosella (Platycerus eximius palliceps/adscitus)

This Pied Currawong was hanging around my breakfast waiting to steal anything that was not nailed down and eat it. I am wise to their tricks.

A7D-9842
Pied Currawong (Streptera graculina)

I am not quite sure but I think I have gone into the range for the Noisy Miner. But I did not get a conclusive sighting.

Campaspe River bird list

Apostlebird
Laughing Kookaburra
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Pied Butcherbird
Crested Pigeon
Eastern Rosella
Pied Currawong

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Cloncurry to Hughenden

North-west Queensland Birding

Heading out from Cloncurry, I jolted to a halt as I saw some Australian Bustards on the side of the road. I had not seen them on the ground yet, only in the air.

A7D-9727
Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

I saw a few Rainbow Bee-eaters, Diamond Dove, Black Kites at Eastern Creek. This Black Kite had a white patch on the chest. I had never noticed that before.

A7D-9771
Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

At Richmond there was a very nice man-made lake with a few ducks in it. Lots of White-breasted Woodswallows flitting about. And a couple of Restless Flycatchers. I saw my first Apostlebirds for a long time. They were not in the center.

A7D-9775
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

There were Hardheads, Pacific Black Ducks and Australasian Grebe on the lake. Nothing else.

A7D-9790
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)

North-west Queensland bird list

Australian Bustard
Brolga
Rainbow Bee-eater
Diamond Dove
Pacific Black Duck
Australasian Grebe
Pied Butcherbird
Straw-necked Ibis
White-breasted Woodswallow
Willy Wagtail
Black Kite
Whistling Kite
Apostlebird

Cloncurry

Chinaman Creek Dam birding

Cloncurry Birding.

Chinaman Creek Dam is just outside of Cloncurry in North-western Queensland. It was a little disappointing with nowhere near the variety of birds that were at Corella Dam. There were a few weird things happening there though, which amused me. And egret in a tree?

Great Egret
Great Egret up a tree!

And a White-necked Heron. What is going on here? Why are all these big herons doing up in the trees? Too weird.

White-necked Heron
White-necked Heron

Well here is a normal bird up in a tree, where it is supposed to be.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae)

And a very very young White-plumed Honeyeater. You can just see his white stripe on another photo.

White-plumed Honeyeater
White-plumed Honeyeater

And I got a lucky shot of this Brown Honeyeater in the air.

Brown Honeyeater
Brown Honeyeater

So let us return to normal once again for a cute shot of a Rainbow Bee-eater. Nothing weird about this one.

Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)

Cloncurry bird list

Australasian Grebe
Masked Lapwing
White-necked Heron
Great Egret
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
White-plumed Honeyeater
Brown Honeyeater
White-breasted Woodswallow
White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor)
Rainbow Bee-eater
Black Kite
Whistling Kite
Magpie-lark
Restless Flycatcher
Willy Wagtail
Australian Pelican
Variegated Fairy-wren
Eurasian Coot
Hardhead
Darter
Black-winged Stilt
Peaceful Dove

corella dam.

Clem Walton Park

Clem Walton Park and Corella Dam

So, Day two at Corella Dam starts with what we first thought was a brown snake. Then a lady looked it up on the google machine. But I had a good look at “A Field Guide to Reptiles of Queensland”, by Steve Wilson and I reckon it is an Olive Python, mainly because of the range. They are usually associated with rocky areas near watercourses and feed on mammals as large as rock wallabies.

Olive Python
Olive Python (Liasis olivaceus)

This shot was very interesting because it shows the Grey-headed Honeyeater having a feed on the lurps which infest eucalyptus trees.

Grey-headed Honeyeater
Grey-headed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus keartlandi)

Later on I went over to the Clem Walton Park, which is the other side of the Corella Dam. These squabblers are always around making a racket.

Grey-crowned Babbler
Grey-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis)

These Budgerigars seem to have more of a yellow head, where the budgies in the Northern Territory seem to have less with more black stripes. I will have to check back and see. Yep. Definitely more yellow in Queensland Budgerigars.

Budgerigar
Budgerigar

And another race of Australian Ringneck. Race macgillivrayi, Cloncurry Parrot. That is 3 of the races I have photographed so far. Only 1 to go but that is in Western Australia. doh!

Australian Ringneck race macgillivrayi
Australian Ringneck (Barnadius zonarius macgillivrayi), Cloncurry Parrot.

Striated Pardalote. Still not sure what race these ones are.

Striated Pardalote
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus)

There were so many Spotted Bowerbirds around the creek at Clem Walton Park. I even found one pairs nest.

Spotted Bowerbird
Spotted Bowerbird

I think this is a rock wallaby. Not sure at all.

rock wallaby maybe
Maybe a rock wallaby

And back at Corella Dam, I saw another Crimson Chat. Still more babies.

Crimson Chat
Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor)

Whistling Kite

Corella Dam and Clem Walton Park

Corella Dam

Corella Dam is between Mount Isa and Cloncurry. It is one of the top birding sites in the country I reckon. There is a large variety of interesting birds. It is also a nice place to camp for a few days or longer. Some of the birds I was not sure about the identification but here goes. I think this is a White-winged Triller.

White-winged Triller
White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor)

This has to be a very young Crimson Chat. I only saw ones like these with touches of red and red rumps but no full colour adults.

Crimson Chat i think
Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor)

I cannot stop taking photos of Whistling Kites. They always just sit right in front of you and do the most gorgeous poses.

Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus)

This is a tick for me and a very young bird.

Grey-headed Honeyeater
Grey-headed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus keartlandi)

I surprised this Australian Bustard out in the bush and it luckily then flew over me, allowing me to take some photos of it.

Australian Bustard
Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

These fellows just love the camera.

Restless Flycatcher
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

Here is a Glossy Ibis with an Australasian Grebe.

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

I think this is a Brown Goshawk. But it could also be a Collared Sparrowhawk.

Brown Goshawk ??
Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus).

Corella Dam and Clem Walton Park bird list

Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor)
Crested Pigeon
Diamond Dove
Peaceful Dove
Common Bronzewing, female
White-plumed Honeyeater
Singing Honeyeater
Grey-headed Honeyeater
Black Kite
Whistling Kite
Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus)
Black-winged Stilt
Masked Lapwing
Black-fronted Dotterel
Brolga
Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)
Great Egret
White-faced Heron
Little Pied Cormorant
Darter
Glossy Ibis
Australasian Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Australian Pelican
Eurasian Coot
Caspian Tern
Australian Wood Duck
Silver Gull
White-winged Triller
Variegated Fairy-wren
Restless Flycatcher
Pied Butcherbird
Magpie-lark
Willy Wagtail
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Weebill
Spotted Bowerbird
White-breasted Woodswallow
Zebra Finch
Grey-crowned Babbler
Striated Pardalote
Galah
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Cloncurry Parrot
Budgerigar

Reptiles

Olive Python (Liasis olivaceus)

Cane Toad

Lake Moondarra Birding

Mount Isa, Queensland.

Yesterday I hit the big smoke of Mount Isa and pigged out on Maccas, pizza and junk food. I got all my internet done at the library and this morning I headed off very early for Lake Moondarra, about 15 kilometers from town. To start off, here is a cluster of White-breasted Woodswallows. They love getting close and cuddling up. I can’t say I blame them. It was chilly this morning with the wind.

White-breasted Woodswallows
White-breasted Woodswallow

This was very weird. Two Great Egrets were having a fight. I have never seen this before. I do not know if they are fighting, courting or what. It was very strange.

2 egrets fighting
Great Egrets Battle

This ugly critter was on the road. I did not know what it was. But I think it is a hideous Cane Toad. Ugh.

Cane Toad, i think.
Cane Toad (Bufo marinis)

This is a tick and a bird I have been watching out for, for weeks. (Is that correct grammar, looks very clunky?).

Grey-fronted Honeyeater
Grey-fronted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus plumulus)

And another tick with the Pictorella Mannikin. Not the best photo, but it is a record shot.

Pictorella Mannikin
Pictorella Mannikin (Heteromunia pectoralis)

This is a Striated Pardalote but what race? I cannot tell if it is melanocephalus or uropygialis race. They are very similar. I am going with uropygialis only because of the distribution map.

Striated Pardalote, but what race.
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus)

Again, another strange bird. This looks more like a Little Green Bee-eater than a Rainbow Bee-eater to me but we do not have the Greens. It must be an immature or female. I just do not know.

Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)

Mount Isa bird list

Pictorella Mannikin (Heteromunia pectoralis)
Zebra Finch
Restless Flycatcher
Rainbow Bee-eater
Whistling Kite
Black Kite
Nankeen Kestrel
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Galah
Grey-crowned Babbler
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
White-breasted Woodswallow
Weebill
Masked Lapwing
Black-fronted Dotterel
Australasian Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Australian Pelican
Pied Cormorant
Great Egret
Magpie-lark
Yellow-throated Miner
White-plumed Honeyeater
Grey-fronted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus plumulus)
Budgerigar
Striated Pardalote

Cane Toad (Bufo marinis)

Restless Flycatcher

Camooweal Billabong

Queensland Birding 1

Camooweal Billabong is just over the border in Queensland coming from the Northern Territory. Just before the small town, there is a billabong that is quite extensive. Lots of Brolga were browsing there, as well as some Hardhead and Pacific Black Duck.

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

More brolgas. There were dozens of Brolga in the billabong at all stages throughout the day. They were a bit hard to get close to and would fly off honking if you got too near them. They have a really hideous honk.

Brolga
Brolga (Grus rubicunda)

They were flying around a lot, so it was pretty easy to get a shot of them in flight. But shooting into the sun is not a good idea. doh!

Brolga
Brolga (Grus rubicunda)

This is a juvenile Restless Flycatcher because it has got some reddish colouring on his chest. He was very proudly showing off the bug he caught for his lunch.

Restless Flycatcher
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

I was very excited to get some photos of the Varied Lorikeet. They are spectacularly coloured with the male having a very pretty pink chest. This was a tick for me. Woot!

Varied Lorikeet
Varied Lorikeet (Psitteuteles versicolor)

Camooweal Billabong bird list

Varied Lorikeet (Psitteuteles versicolor)
Brolga (Grus rubicunda)
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta) , juvenile
White-breasted Woodswallow
Pacific Black Duck
Hardhead
White-necked Heron
Great Egret
Masked Lapwing
Black-winged Stilt
Australian Pelican
Royal Spoonbill
Black-fronted Dotterel
Black Kite
Whistling Kite
Magpie-lark
Little Corella
Crested Pigeon
Rainbow Bee-eater

baby kite

Avon Downs

Last Northern Territory Birding.

I am just near the Queensland border and I have saved the best for last. Avon Downs has got to be one of the top spots in Australia for birding. I think I saw it in the Top 100 book come to think of it. I did not realise until I got down to the river edge and just kept finding bird after bird. The solitary Diamond Doves I had been seeing were growing in numbers and were consisting of quite large flocks now.

Diamond Dove
Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata)

A pair of Black-faced Woodswallows huddled together on a tree. I have been seeing them since Port Augusta in South Australia.

Black-faced Woodswallows
Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus)

Now they were joined by their cousin the White-breasted Woodswallow.

White-breasted Woodswallow
White-breasted Woodswallow

Lots and lots of Whistling Kites.

Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite

This one was a surprise, the Red-backed Kingfisher. Last time I saw these were at Cunamulla years ago.

Red-backed Kingfisher
Red-backed Kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygia)

There have been no Sulphur-crested Cockatoos since the coast of New South Wales. They have been replaced in the outback by the Little Corella, who are just as raucous.

Little Corella
Little Corella

First time spotting the Brolga up north this trip. Previously seen north of Brisbane in wet swampy fields near Bribie Island.

Brolga
Brolga (Grus rubicunda).

The north is not complete without a Black Kite or a million.

Black Kite
Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

I never expecting to see one of these. A Flock Bronzewing. Where is the flock? It was by itself. But it is a tick!

male Flock Bronzewing
male Flock Bronzewing (Phaps histrionica)

And it was good to meet my old mate again, the ole Rainbow Bee-eater. Still as beautiful as ever.

Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)

I was very surprised by the Nankeen Night Herons as they flew out of some trees by the river.

Nankeen Night Heron
Nankeen Night Heron (Nyctorix caledonicus)

This little baby kite was holding onto a branch next to its nest. I think it crawled along the branch but got stuck and could not fly. I am not sure if it is a Whistling or Black Kite.

baby kite
baby kite

Avon Downs bird list

Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata)
Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida)
Flock Bronzewing (Phaps histrionica) , male
Crested Pigeon
Budgerigar
Cockatiel
Zebra Finch
Red-backed Kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygia)
Black-faced Woodswallow
White-breasted Woodswallow
Whistling Kite
Black Kite
Hardhead
Pacific Black Duck
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica)
White-faced Heron (Ardea novaehollandiae)
Great Egret
Nankeen Night Heron (Nyctorix caledonicus)
Brolga(Grus rubicunda)
Black-fronted Dotterel
Little Corella
Galah
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Magpie-lark
White-plumed Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Miner
Rainbow Bee-eater