Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

February 28, 2010

Barwon Heads Bird Photography

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:13 am

Barwon Heads

Barwon Heads is west of Melbourne, just past Geelong, going towards the coast. The Barwon River runs into the ocean here, and you can get a few birds on the estuary. In the afternoon, I went for a wander along the sand flats at the estuary. I had seen a wader and went back to get my camera. I thought it might have been a Terek Sandpiper but it wasn’t, it was just a plain old Common Greenshank. This one is a non-breeding bird, because of the grey streaks on the crown.

Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

Here is a Common Greenshank in flight. Notice the white V shape on the back and the long legs that are trailing behind the tail.

Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank in flight

Luckily there were a few other birds as well. The ever-present Silver Gulls, Masked Lapwing, White-faced Heron, Australian White Ibis and a couple of random Little Pied Cormorant. A few bush birds made an appearance in the trees along the river – Superb Fairy-wren, magpies and a White-browed Scrubwren. When I was having my lunch I was visited by a rat who seemed to live beside the river in the grass. He came up to me as bold as can be and just walked straight past me. A young one crawled into a garbage bin further away. Later on I am going to do the river walk on the other side of the river. It follows the river a fair way, so hopefully I might see something or other. At least it will be a nice walk and I will get some exercise. So, see you then!


Later that day, at 6pm I went upriver instead of going over the other side. I saw some terns fishing so I went looking to get some shots of them. I did manage to get some shots and they turned out to be Crested Tern. This one was doing some weird stuff, turning upside down whilst in flight. Or he turned his head upside down. I have no idea what he was trying to do.

Crested Tern
Crested Tern (Sterna bergii)

This Crested Tern managed to get a nice little fishie and got himself backlit against the setting sun. I think this photo works but I am not entirely sure. What do you reckon?

Crested Tern
Crested Tern

I just kept walking a few more kilometers until I got to a fishing pontoon where it was the start of Lake Connewarre. I did manage to see some Pacific Gulls, pelicans, starlings and a Spotted Turtle Dove and not much else except lots of Silver Gulls. The lone Common Greenshank turned up again.

The next morning I went over to the other side of the river on the Barwon Heads side and walked along the track up-river. A few hundred meters up the track, a sign proclaimed that it was now Lake Connewarre or Reedy Lake. There was very little along this track except ravens, Superb Fairy-wrens, a pair of Eastern Rosella and a bunch of Red Wattlebirds.

Later on that morning after a coffee, I went up to the Bluff, hoping to see some pelagic birds. Instead I spotted some little waders down on the beach, so I went to investigate. They turned out to be a mixed mob of Red-capped Plovers and Double-banded Plovers. I thought I had seen a gannet but it turned out to be a Pacific Gull. The only other thing of note was a Nankeen Kestrel hovering over the cliff top.

Barwon Heads bird list

Silver Gull
Masked Lapwing
White-faced Heron
Australian White Ibis
Little Pied Cormorant
Pied Cormorant
Black Swan
Chestnut Teal
Common Greenshank
Crested Tern
Pacific Gull
Australian Pelican
Red-capped Plover
Double-banded Plover
Superb Fairy-wren
Australian Raven
Australian Magpie
White-browed Scrubwren
Common Starling
Spotted Turtle-dove
Eastern Rosella
Red Wattlebird
Nankeen Kestrel

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