Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

April 30, 2013

Port Macquarie Eco-cruise

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:39 am

Limeburner’s Creek National Park.

I did the tourist thing this morning in Port Macquarie and went for an Eco-tour up the Hastings River and into the Limeburner’s Creek National Park. It was a two hour cruise and it only cost me fifteen bucks. What a bargain! I actually really enjoyed it. I saw three different raptors and heaps of cormorants.

Osprey
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

I am putting this shot in to show the brown mottling across the chest of this bird. The captain of the boat said it was a young male, but I am not sure. The female Osprey is larger than the male and this is fairly typical for raptors. This gives the breeding couple more range of prey. The female can go after the larger prey while the male gets the smaller stuff.

Osprey nest
Osprey nest

We saw two Osprey nests. The other one had fallen down after a branch broke that was supporting the nest and the pair had to rebuild. Osprey numbers are increasing along the Australian coast. I think there are more this year than just a couple of years ago when I last went up the coast.

Pied Cormorant
Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius)

This one has the blue eye-ring and the yellow in front of the eye. That and the pants are the main identifying features. And of course, he is drying his wings out.

Little Black Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)

I have seen more Little Black Cormorant in this estuary than at other places along the coast. They congregate in larger flocks than other cormorants.

Darter
Darter (Anhinga melanogaster)

This one is ready to take off.

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

This one is a very young White-bellied Sea-eagle, possibly first year. I thought this was a female because of the large size. When immature, they are brown with lighter markings. They are very different to mature birds.

Limeburners Creek NP
Limeburner’s Creek

A look at the creek with the mangroves along most of the it.

Port Macquarie Birds list

Little Egret
Great Egret
White-faced Heron
Australian Pelican
Silver Gull
Osprey
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Brahminy Kite
Pied Cormorant
Oriental Darter
Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)
Crested Tern
Black Swan

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