Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

July 24, 2009

Blue Gum Hills 090724

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 1:18 pm

Bird Photography at Blue Gum Hills, Minmi, 24th July, 2009.

This morning I took off to Blue Gum Hills Regional Park at Minmi, west of Newcastle. The weather was partly sunny and partly cloudy and the temperature was about 15 degrees Celsius. The wind was coming from the South West at about 15 knots. First up I spotted a male Satin Bowerbird up in a tree and he was breaking off some twigs. Then he flew off down into some bushes. The spot he flew into was a spot I had suspected was something going on in. Well I snuck into the undergrowth and the male had already flown off. And then I found his bower. It was a beautiful arch with about a dozen blue pegs scattered outside as decorations. What a good forager he is. He is sure to impress some lady Satin Bowerbird for sure. Here is a photo. Not a very good one because I could not get a good view with my big lens. Hopefully I will get a better photo with a wider lens some other time.

Satin Bowerbird bower
Satin Bowerbird bower

After that, I carried on over the bridge into the garden and spotted a Red-browed Finch chomping on some grass seeds. Again, its not a great photo but it is worth showing because of the behaviour.

Red-browed Finch
Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis)

There were no further Bowerbirds but the Silvereyes were feeding on the Tobacco Bush fruit. As far as I can tell, there were two races – lateralis and westernensis. Zosterops lateralis lateralis and Zosterops lateralis westernensis. The lateralis is the race that migrates from Tasmania to New South Wales in winter. The westernensis is the local race.

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis lateralis)

This photo is of a pair of Silvereyes eating the Tobacco Bush fruit. You can’t really see the diagnostic markings on this photo so well. But the lateralis race has a rufous flank and whitish under the throat, whereas the local westernensis race has lemon coloured under the throat and a lighter flank. Some books call the local race familiaris but I don’t know about that. Its all a bit confused at the moment, depending which book you look at.


I went around the park another time, but nothing much was happening. The ranger said that a Cicadabird had been seen last week so I kept my eye out for one but did not see any.

Blue Gum Hills Bird Species List, 24/7/09

Australian Magpie
Satin Bowerbird
Silvereye – race lateralis and westernensis
Noisy Miner
Crested Pigeon
Laughing Kookaburra
Grey Fantail

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