Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 8, 2018

Yellow-throated Honeyeater

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:51 am

Lake St Clair National Park

I deleted all my photos from last night this morning. I was in a rush to photograph this Yellow-throated Honeyeater and formatted my chip without remembering I still had photos from yesterday. doh! The main photo that I deleted was of a Fan-tailed Cuckoo, but I have photos of them, so whew! This morning I think I saw a Pink Robin but it was too quick to get a photo. double doh!

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)

Finally I got some decent photos of this elusive Tasmanian endemic. I wonder why they call them Yellow-throated Honeyeater ???

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)

So good I had to post two photos.

Olive Whistler
Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea apatetes)

Another good score – the Tasmanian sub-species of the Olive Whistler.

Grey Fantail
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)

And another Tasmanian race albiscapa.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

I like the background here of sawn wood.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

I think this one is a juvenile because he is so dark.

Lake St Clair bird list

Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)
Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea apatetes)

December 7, 2018

Lake Saint Clair National Park

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:07 am

Lake St Clair National Park

I arrived at Derwent Bridge before 9am so I went to the Information Centre for Lake St Clair National Park. I wanted to find out about the boat rides across the lake. But – gah! – $70 return. What a ripoff. I just went for a walk along the tracks which turned out to be quite good with a new Tasmanian endemic honeyeater.

Strong-billed Honeyeater
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)

The Strong-billed Honeyeater has a stout pointed bill and a rather flat forehead.

Strong-billed Honeyeater
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)

A juvenile on top with yellow bill and some colour around back of neck.

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)

Super bad photo of this Tasmanian endemic honeyeater. I still have not got a decent shot of one. doh!

Tasmanian Thornbill
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

Green Rosella - male
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)

This is a really nice shot of a male with lots of yellow.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

I got some good shots of some of the endemics today.

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)

Wow, really bizarre shot of this Black Currawong’s massive tongue grabbing onto an insect.

Echidna
Echidna

Lake St Clair bird list

Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

Echidna

Tungatinah Lagoon

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:24 am

Highland Lakes

Leaving Mount Field, I trekked down the hill to the Derwent River and had lunch at Hamilton where I charged up all my batteries and dried all my mattresses and blankets. The sun was shining for a change and it was actually quite hot. I should have got some supplies at Ouse, because there is nothing here at Derwent Bridge. Just high-priced tourist crap. I found a camp at the Tungatinah Lagoon. It was ok but nothing special. There were about three other lakes and lagoons which looked much nicer.

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)

In the afternoon I went for a walk along the lagoon and into the bush for a bit. Not much around.

Green Rosella
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)

There were just a couple of Green Rosellas feeding on the grass near the lagoon embankment. They flew up into the trees when I surprised them and myself.

Yellow Wattlebird
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)

And everywhere I go there are Yellow Wattlebirds. Next to the ocean, up in the high mountains, I have seen them.

And there we have it. Half the colours of the rainbow : Black Currawong, Green Rosella and Yellow Wattlebird. doh!

Tungatinah Lagoon bird list

Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)
Welcome Swallow

December 5, 2018

Left of Field

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:55 pm

Mount Field National Park – Tasmania

After Bruny Island, I went back to the Tasmanian mainland and headed west to Mount Field where I stayed at the wonderful Left of Field Camp Ground. Adrian, the owner, took us on a walk in the afternoon to see the platypuses (platypi ?) in the creek. The creek was flowing strongly and near the bridge we were surprised to find this platypus in a bit puddle near the bridge. He was covered in mud and scooping up something out of the puddle.

Platypus  bcu
Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

I cropped this one massively to get a good look at his eyes and head. He is covered in mud. Later he jumped into the creek and washed it all off.

Platypus
Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

We crossed the bridge and went for a circuit around the sewerage treatment ponds. One of the kids saw a snake and Adrian Reckoned it might have been a tiger snake.

Ants in disturbed nest
Ants in disturbed nest

I think these are jumping jack ants, and it looks like a larva or is it larvae?

Brown Falcon
Brown Falcon (Falco berigora)

Plus a bonus photo of a Brown Falcon I got when I was leaving Bruny Island.

December 4, 2018

Bruny Island

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:05 am

Bruny Island – Tasmania

When I got to Hobart and drove straight through to the south and stayed at the Kingston Scout Camp for the night. What an excellent camp – they had hot showers, a kitchen camp – all for ten bucks a night. A bargain! In the morning I went for a walk around the archery range. There was not much around. The highlight would have been some Tasmanian Native-hen chicks.

Tasmanian Native-hen chick
Tasmanian Native-hen chicks

After breakfast I drove south to Kettering and was the last car on the ferry to Bruny Island. It was reasonably cheap – about $35 return. I had a horde of tourists behind me so I turned left at the first opportunity to get off the main road. I ended up in Barnes Bay, a nice little cove on the north of the island. It was quite prolific with birds around all the native trees and shrubs that the locals had planted.

Dusky Woodswallow
Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)

Green Rosella
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)

I finally got a decent shot of a Green Rosella. Yay! Can do better, but.

Striated Pardalote
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus striatus)

This is the only shot I got of this Striated Pardalote, sub-species striatus.

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

As far as I know there are three types of Thornbills in Tasmania – Tasmanian, Brown and these Yellow-rumped Thornbills, sub-species leachi.

New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae canescens)

These New Holland Honeyeaters had me going for a while. I thought they were something new – doh! These are the local Tasmanian race but I cannot read it in the book so I have to look on the internet. Just looked and it is race canescens.

It was a shame that it started to rain – again! So I continued south and stopped off at the lookout and rookery for the fairy penguins. At the Neck, I found the camping ground and settled in for the afternoon.

Short-tailed Shearwater
Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris)

Last night I went to see the Fairy Penguins coming home. But it started to get dark and it was raining so I gave it a big miss. I did get some very dark photos of shearwaters. I think this is the right species – maybe ? Edit: yep. Just got confirmation from Nikolas. I guessed right. 🙂

Bruny Island Bird list

Tasmanian Native-hen
Superb Fairy-wren
Brown Thornbill
Dusky Woodswallow
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa leachi)
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae canescens)
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)
Yellow Wattlebird
Common Blackbird
Masked Lapwing
Australian Wood Duck
House Sparrow
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus striatus)
European Goldfinch
Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang leggii)
Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris)

December 2, 2018

Lake Sorell birds

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:09 am

Central Highlands of Tasmania

I took off from Oatlands in the Southern Midlands and went west along a dirt track for 27 kilometers until I hit Lake Sorell. A little further on I found a camping area and decided to stay for the night. The wind was howling about a million knots and it was not very pleasant. But the sun was out.

Yellow Wattlebird
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa )

I was quite surprised to see the Yellow Wattlebirds up so high. The altitude up here was about 700 meters. The bush was pretty nearly alpine country.

Yellow Wattlebird  - chicks
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa ) – chicks

I did not know what these were until the adult Yellow Wattlebird came to have a check-up on them.

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa )

Pretty normal for a currawong to be up in high alpine country and they hang around your camp like they do in the Snowy Mountains.

Lake Sorell bird list

Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa )
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa )

November 30, 2018

Lake Dulverton Tasmania

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:49 pm

Southern Midlands – Tasmania

I spent a day at the Tasman Peninsula and took this photo near Eaglehawk Neck. Note the massive yellow bill and black swept back crest on top of the head.

Crested Tern
Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)

I spent the night near Sorell and headed up the highway past the Craigbourne Dam where I photographed this White-bellied Sea-eagle. I have not seen many raptors in Tasmania. Why, I have no idea.

White-bellied Sea-eagle
White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster )

I spent the night at Oatlands and took some photos around Lake Dulverton, just on the edge of town.

Musk Duck - male
Musk Duck ( Biziura lobata)

This is a male Musk Duck with the big flap of skin under the chin. Very easy to identify.

Black Swan  - chick
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) – chick

There were quite a few Black Swan cygnets on the pond and on the grass.

Black Swan - on nest
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) on nest

This Black Swan was sitting on the nest made out of reeds in the middle of the lake.

Flame Robin  - male
Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicia) – male

A pair of Flame Robin were posing at the picnic shed.

Flame Robin   - female
Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicia) – female

Hardhead  - female
Hardhead (Aythya australis) – female

European Goldfinch
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

The European Goldfinch is an introduced species.

Hoary-headed Grebe
Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)

Southern Midlands bird list

Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)
White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster )
Musk Duck ( Biziura lobata)
Eurasian Coot
Pacific Black Duck
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
Hardhead (Aythya australis)
Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)
Masked Lapwing
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Blackbird
Common Starling
Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo
White-faced Heron
Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicia)

November 28, 2018

Triabunna Tasmania

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:31 am

Triabunna and Maria Island

When I got to Triabunna, I went for a drive along the coast a bit south and found a flowering gum full of Musk Lorikeets feeding.

Musk Lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet ( Glossopsitta concinna didimus )

And some Little Wattlebirds.

Little Wattlebird
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera tasmanica )

Then I came back to Triabunna and went for a walk along the Maclaines Estuary near Dead Man’s Island.

Noisy Miner
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala leachi)

This morning I had breakfast near the beach at Orford and saw some Noisy Miners, local race leachi. As well as some southern race Australian Magpies, race tyrannica if I remember correctly. (Nearly right).

Scarlet Robin
Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang leggii)

I was not sure if I was going to Maria Island on the boat but I decided that I would. I am glad I did because I got a couple of decent shots but it rained most of the time and it was miserable. I got soaked. 🙁

Cape Barren Goose
Cape Barren Goose ( Cereopsis novaehollandiae)

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa )

The Black Currawong is a Tasmanian endemic. I have been looking for it for a week.

Flinders Island Wombat
Flinders Island Wombat (Vombatus ursinus ursinus)

This is the Flinders Island sub-species of the Common Wombat. They are much lighter and blonder.

Triabunna and Maria Island bird list

Musk Lorikeet
Little Wattlebird
Little Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Chestnut Teal
White-faced Heron
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala leachi)
Australian Magpie, race tyrannicus ??
Australian Pied Oystercatcher
Tasmanian Native-hen
Silvereye
Scarlet Robin
Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus)
Cape Barren Goose
Black Currawong

Flinders Island Wombat
Tasmanian Pademelon
Forester Kangaroo

November 27, 2018

Friendly Beaches

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:17 am

Freycinet National Park

After a couple of rain-soaked days at Bicheno, I moved south to Freycinet National Park. First stop was the Friendly Beaches camp ground. In the morning I wandered around with the camera. There were not a great deal of birds around but I was fortunate enough to get some photos of Tasmanian Thornbills.

Tasmanian Thornbill
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

This is definitely a Tasmanian Thornbill with the rufous edges to the primaries. I have been searching for them for a week now. Finally I found them.

Tasmanian Thornbill
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

And another shot just to make sure.

Forest Raven
Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus)

I have been seeing lots of Forest Ravens around but never had the camera to take some photos. Finally I got some average photos. The light is pretty atrocious.

Forest Raven
Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus)

Silvereye
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis lateralis)

And the ever-present Silvereye.

red-necked wallaby
red-necked wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus)

Also known as the Bennett’s wallaby.

red-necked wallaby  - joey
red-necked wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus)

Here is a joey drinking some of mum’s milk. “A female bears one offspring at a time; the young stay in the pouch for about 280 days, after which females and their offspring stay together for only a month.” (wiki)

Freycinet National Park bird list

Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)
Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus)
Superb Fairy-wren
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis lateralis)
Silver Gull
Australian Pied Oystercatcher

November 25, 2018

Scamander to Bicheno

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:46 am

East Coast of Tasmania

It is hard for me to remember what has been going on. After morning in St Helens I headed south to Scamander hoping to see some surf there at the river-mouth but the ocenan was raging with onshore winds and squally weather.

Red-capped Plover
Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus)

At Falmouth beach I found a bunch of Red-capped Plovers near the outlet for the lagoon. It seems there are a lot of lagoons on the east coast of Tasmania.

Pacific Gull
Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus pacificus)

This is a big close up of a Pacific Gull just to show you the diagnostic bill, which is massive and has 2 red tips on top and bottom of the bill.

Australian Pied Oystercatcher
Australian Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)

There are so many Australian Pied Oystercatchers around. It is too easy to get a photo of one. After that I dropped in at 4 mile creek, where there were a few waves being ridden.

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

At Lagoons Beach Coastal Reserve I managed to get a photo of the Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, which would be the shorter billed Tasmanian sub-species.

Dusky Woodswallow
Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)

These Dusky Woodswallows were huddled up together for a bit of warmth. I did not blame them. It was freezing.

Black-faced Cormorant
Black-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens)

At Bicheno I went around to the Governor Island Marine Reserve and found a bunch of Black-faced Cormorants on a rock in the sea.

Crested Tern
Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)

These Crested Terns were on the adjacent rock.

South-east Coast Tasmania bird list

Black-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens)
Pacific Gull
Australian Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)
Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus)
welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxema)
Australian Pelican
Great Cormorant
Australian Shelduck
Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae novaehollandiae)
Superb Fairy-wren
Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)

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