Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

October 21, 2019

Beijing Birding 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:43 am

Olympic Forest Park and Botanical Gardens

On Sunday I went to Olympic Forest Park to the north of the city of Beijing. There were thousands of people there when I arrived. A fun run was going on with runners going hither and thither all lathered up and excited. I walked along the pond for a while and found a few deserted tracks.

Chinese Grosbeak (Eophona migratoria)

This morning I headed off early to the Botanical Gardens. Two subways later and I was there.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus)

Red-billed Starling (Sturnus sericeus)

Eurasian Blackbird and Red-billed Starling

Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus)

I think this id is right. There were a heap of bird photographers hanging around at the side of a creek and I did not know what they were doing. I came back later and they had all gone and maybe this was what they were waiting for. doh! Edit: Not a Guldenstadt Redstart! More likely Daurian Redstart like I originally thought.

Beijing Babbler (Rhopophilus pekinensis)

Also known as the Chinese Hill Babbler. Maybe this is one. I really have no idea. Plus it looks like a drowned rat, so it is really difficult to tell.

Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)

The Azure-winged Magpies were hanging around in a mob near the water, feeding on something in the grass and bushes. I also say a Red-billed Blue Magpie but he few off before I could get a photo!

Chinese Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis)

Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)

The Spotted Dove also goes by the scientific name of Spilopelia chinensis. I have no idea which one is correct. I am wondering if this is the same one we have in Australia. Edit: Yes it is. It was introduced around 1900.

Eurasian Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Beijing bird list

Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus)
Chinese Grosbeak (Eophona migratoria)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus)
Chinese Blackbird (Turdus mandarinus)
Red-billed Starling (Sturnus sericeus)
Beijing (Chinese Hill) Babbler (Rhopophilus pekinensis) – maybe
Chinese Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis)
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)
Red-billed Blue Magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha) seen only.
Little Grebe
Mallard
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) or (Spilopelia chinensis)

Beijing mammals

Eurasian Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

cn191021

October 19, 2019

The Hutong Clan

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 4:22 am

Beijing Tourist Photos

Two days ago I went to Yuanmingyuan Park to do some birding and there was some nice scenery around so I took a few photos. There were a few boats on the waterways and you could get a boat ride or hop on an electric cart.

Scenic waterways

And of course I had to get my photo taken with the cute figures. I have no idea what they are.

Cute figures

Yesterday I went to the hutongs, the old area of Beijing. It is mostly a tourist area, complete with rickshaw ride and boat rides, etc etc.

Hutong rickshaws.

Wedding photos

There was a nice couple getting their wedding photos done. Very nice.

The bell tower

This was a tower with a bell that got struck when the invading mongols came sweeping down from the hills.

Tower in the circle

Hutong lane

In the back streets of the old area of Beijing.

Beijing traffic

The usual city pile-up at sunset.

Night scene

Lit up at night, near Tiananmen Square.

Birds of Beijing 1

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:15 am

Beijing Birding 1

I arrived at Beijing Airport at 1am in the morning and had to wait around for the subways to start running at 6:30am. It was horrendous trying to sleep on a chair in the arrivals hall and when I got to my digs I crashed for the morning. The next morning I headed to the Summer Palace but the hordes were extraordinary so I backpedalled to the Yuanmingyuan Park which was less crowded and had a few birds, even though it was midday. It did not stop raining that morning until about 11am.

The next morning I got up early and headed for the Botanic Gardens, which took me two subway rides. It was well worth the effort because I saw a few new birds and the surroundings were really neat.

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)

The star of the show was this Mandarin Duck pair. The male of course is the brightly coloured one, but the female looks quite interesting too.

Chinese Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis)

Also known as the Light-vented Bulbul, this bird was the definite co-star of this shebang. I could spot it as a bulbul as seen as I saw it but had to confirm which one it was when I had some identifying literature.

Chinese blackbird

Chinese Blackbird (Turdus mandarinus)

Also known as the Eurasian Blackbird. The Chinese Blackbird is a member of the thrush family Turdidae. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the Common Blackbird.

Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)

Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)

Also known as Common Magpie. Both of these magpies are very common in the trees around the parks in the city.

Pallas’s Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus)

I think this is right but I could be way off. doh!

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)

I think this is a Brambling but I am not too good with these sort of birdies.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

I have seen these before quite often in India so not a great deal of excitement about this one.

Eurasian Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Beijing Bird list

Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)
Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) or Common Magpie
Chinese Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) aka Light-vented Bulbul
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchus)
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Euarasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)
Chinese Blackbird (Turdus mandarinus) aka Eurasian Blackbird
The Chinese Blackbird is a member of the thrush family Turdidae. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the Common Blackbird.
Feral Pigeon

Beijing Mammals

Eurasian Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

September 23, 2019

NSW up the coast

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 1:10 am

Mid-north Coast Surfing

I am going back up the coast of New South Wales. Finally I found some decent surf just south of Forster at Seven Mile Beach, which is in Booti Booti National Park.

7 Mile Beach


7 Mile Beach

There was not much until I got to Look At Me Now Headland, the back beach to Emerald Beach just north of Coffs Harbour.

Right barrel


Right barrel

Off the lip


Off the lip

Cutting back


Cutting back

Humpback Whale


Humpback Whale

I think this is a young whale and they are coming back from breeding up north. But not sure.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo with joey in pouch


Eastern Grey Kangaroo with joey in pouch

August 29, 2019

Macksville to Taree

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:25 am

Mid-North Coast Birding.

I wanted to have a look at the surf at Scott’s Head, just out of Macksville. There was a bit of swell running so I thought there might be something there if the point had accumulated some more sand. When I was walking up to the point, I saw some people looking up into the trees and I pulled out the camera and took some photos of a snoozing Tawny Frogmouth.

Tawny Frogmouth


Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

There was a bit of swell but there was no sand out at the point. It has been like that for years now. I remember surfing for hundreds of meters down the beach with lots of sand. 🙁

Scotts Head surfing


Surfing the point

After Scott’s Head, I headed south along the coast and stayed at Ryan’s Cut Picnic Area in Hat Head National Park for the night. Then continued on to Crescent Head which was no good at all – small waves with an onshore wind chopping everything up. I then went via Port Macquarie and Laurieton then stopped again at Saltwater National Park , east of Taree. I have been here a few times and it has always been productive.

White-headed Pigeon


White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

Regent Bowerbird   - male


Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus) – male

Regent Bowerbird - female


Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus) – female

Mid-north Coast bird list

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera)
Lewin’s Honeyeater
White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)
Australian Brush-Turkey (Alectura lathami)
Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)
Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis)
Willie Wagtail
Eastern Yellow Robin
Superb Fairy-wren
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Australian Pied Oystercatcher
White-browed Scrubwren
Spangled Drongo
Pied Butcherbird
White-faced Heron
Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)

nsw190829

August 21, 2019

Hortons Creek

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:28 am

Nymboida Area

Heading down south from Kyogle, I spent the weekend near Casino, then headed to Grafton , then inland towards Nymboida. Just before Nymboida, I found a camp spot next to a creek and in the morning carried on to Horton’s Creek, where I went for a walk along the creek bed. There was no water in the creek, just lots of big stones. I found a waterhole where the Bell Miners were coming to have a drink.

Bell Miner


Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)

Bell Miner


Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)

Spotted Pardalote - female


Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus punctatus)

This Spotted Pardalote , sub-species punctatus), is a female with yellow spots on the crown and without a yellow throat.

Hortons Creek bird list

Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)
Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)
Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)
White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis )
Red-tailed Black-cockatoo
Lewin’s Honeyeater
White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus)
Red-browed Finch
Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus punctatus)
Superb Fairy-wren
Laughing Kookaburra

nsw190821

August 7, 2019

Sheepstation Creek Campground

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:13 am

Border Ranges National Park

After some time in Kyogle I headed up the hill to the Border Ranges National Park. I think it is on the edge of the caldera that is the old volcano of Mount Warning. I stopped at Sheepstation Creek Campground and in the afternoon went for a walk along the track. In the morning there were so many Satin Bowerbirds around the camp ground.

Satin Bowerbird - male


Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)- male

Satin Bowerbird


Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

I am not sure if this is a female or a juvenile Satin Bowerbird.

Eastern Whipbird - adult


Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)

I was lucky to get a couple of photos of this adult Eastern Whipbird. They hardly ever come out into the open but skulk around the forest floor, scratching around the leaf litter.

Crested Shrike-tit


Crested Shrike-tit (Fulcunculus frontatus)

White-browed Scrubwren


White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis )

Bell Miner


Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)

This was unusual seeing a Bell Miner on the ground. This one was digging away in the ground, possibly looking for worms or something.

Variegated Fairy-wren


Variegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti)

Eastern Yellow Robin


Eastern Yellow Robin ( Eopsaltria australis)

These are very common on the edges of rainforest areas.

Border Ranges National Park bird list

Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)
Eastern Yellow Robin ( Eopsaltria australis)
Crimson Rosella
Australian King Parrot
Bell Miner
Lewin’s Honeyeater
Pied Currawong
Satin Bowerbird
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla)
Crested Shrike-tit (Fulcunculus frontatus)
Grey Shrike-thrush
Brush Turkey
Grey Fantail
Willy Wagtail
Pied Butcherbird
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo
Laughing Kookaburra
White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis )
Variegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti)

nsw190807

August 3, 2019

Around Maleny

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 12:07 am

Soouthern Queensland

Nearly out of Queensland. Heading south. Ravensbourne’s rainforest has seen many changes. Aboriginal people camped and gathered food here long before timber-getters arrived to log the forests.

Ravensbourne National Park


Ravensbourne National Park

Then on past Lake Somerset to The Blackall Range. Just near Maleny you can see over the Glasshouse Mountains near to the coast.

McCarthey's Lookout


McCarthey’s Lookout

Just before Kenilworth there is a nice patch of rainforest with big strangler figs.

Fig Tree Walk


Fig Tree Walk

High up in the mountains, there is the town of Mapleton with the nearby Mapleton National Park.

Mapleton National Park


Mapleton National Park

On the northern side of Lake Baroom there is a dam and spillway. This morning the fog was closed in.

Lake Baroom spillway


Lake Baroom

Heading up into the hills again, I stopped at the Andrew Drynan Park just before the Border Ranges and New South Wales.

Border Ranges National Park


Border Ranges National Park.

nsw190803p

July 31, 2019

Border Ranges National Park

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 1:46 am

Border Ranges

I left Rathdowney and headed up the Lions Road towards the border of New South Wales and Queensland. The Border Ranges National Park is a mountainous caldera lying along the border, hence the name, doh! Just before I got to the border I stopped at the Andrew Drynan Park for the night. It is just above the Running Creek on the side of a hill.

Eastern Rosella


Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius elecica)

Pale Headed Rosella


Pale Headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus palliceps)

Brown Cuckoo-Dove


Brown Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia phasianella)

Noisy Miner


Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)

Crossing the border I stopped at the Border Loop Lookout, where the sound of the Bell Miners rang out over the valleys.

Bell Miner


Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)

The Bell Miner is closely related to the Noisy Miner.

Bell Miner


Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)

White-naped Honeyeater


White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus)

Eastern Yellow Robin


Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis)

Australian King Parrot


Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis)

Grey Shrike-thrush


Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica harmonica)

This is sub-species harmonica with the white lores.

Border Ranges bird list

Pale Headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus palliceps)
Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius elecica)
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)
Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)
Galah
Nankeen Kestrel
Grey Butcherbird
Brown Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia phasianella)
Lewin’s Honeyeater
Little Friarbird
White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus)
Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis)
Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis)
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica harmonica)
Welcome Swallow
Eastern Whipbird

qld190731

July 23, 2019

Circuit to Maleny

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:47 pm

Blackall Ranges

After Kenilworth, I turned right at the road towards the Obi Obi Creek, where I camped for the night. There were not many birds around but it was a nice peaceful camp by the creek. The next day I kept going to Mapleton Lilyponds, where I went for a walk around the pond. A few Dusky Moorhen and that was about it.

Eastern Yellow Robin


Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis)

Just up the road is Mapleton National Park, where this little beauty posed for me. Looking for attention as per usual.

Restless Flycatcher


Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

The next day I headed out of Mapleton towards the northern end of Lake Baroon. The morning was very foggy but I was lucky to get some shots of these Restless Flycatchers.

Restless Flycatcher


Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

Blackall Ranges bird list

Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus)
Laughing Kookaburra
Dusky Moorhen
Grey Fantail
Eastern Whipbird
Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis)
Welcome Swallow
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

qld190724

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