Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

May 2, 2013

Crescent Head

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:55 am

Birds and Surfing.

I spent all yesterday in Kempsey getting a few things from the shops and getting all my internet stuff done at the library. I headed out early to Crescent Head, which is about twenty kilometers east of Kempsey. The waves were tiny so I took the camera for a walk and saw a few interesting birds.

Sooty Oystercatcher
Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosis)

There are two sub-species of Sooty Oystercatcher. The nominate subspecies is in most of coastal Australia and opthalmicus is found along the northern coast. They prefer rocky coastlines and feed on mussels, limpets, chitons and sometimes sea urchins. They open them by pecking strongly with their powerful bills.

Eastern Reef Egret, grey morph
Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra) – Grey morph

Some people seem to have trouble distinguishing the grey morph from the White-faced Heron but there is a superficial similarity but they are easy to spot the difference. The grey morph Eastern Reef Egret has darker plumage and no white on the face. They are strictly saltwater birds and are usually found on rock shelfs and rocky shores along the ocean and estuaries.

Crescent Head
Crescent Head surfing

Here is the set-up. The surf was tiny, not even a foot. But still there were nearly a dozen guys out trying to flummox around in the waves.

Crescent Heads Bird List

Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosis)
Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra) – Grey morph
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Osprey
Silver Gull
Noisy Miner
Pied Butcherbird
Australasian Gannet
Crested Tern
Crested Pigeon
Spotted Turtle-dove

Sources:
“Shorebirds of Australia” by Geering, Agnew and Harding.
“Herons, Egrets and Bitterns” by Neil McKilligan.

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