Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

May 28, 2009

Belmont Lagoon Bird Photos 090528

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 2:59 am

Bird Photography at Belmont Lagoon, 28th May, 2009.

This morning I went to Belmont Lagoon, which is just near Lake Macquarie, and feeds into it from Cold Tea Creek at Belmont South. Heading up along the creek, I saw a little egret trying to sit on the top of this casuarina tree and not being very successful, because it just bent, of course. Then I was hearing this cheep cheep sound and spied an Azure Kingfisher through the trees. I took a very blurry and dark photo and tried to get closer, even walking in the lagoon in my gum boots, but did not see him again. I would really love to get a decent photo of an Azure Kingfisher. One day, for sure.

But I did get a decent shot of a Spangled Drongo perched on a telegraph wire. There have been a few around lately.

Spangled Drongo
Spangled Drongo(Dicrurus bracteatus)

There were a few other birds on the way down the creek such as Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, a shag on a stick, Superb Fairy-wrens, and a few White-cheeked HOneyeaters, as well as mobs of the usual Yellow-faced Honeyeaters. Then I spied a pair of Little Wattlebirds playing around, arguing and singing to each other. It was quite humorous.

Little Wattlebird
Little Wattlebird(Anthochaera chrysoptera)

And here is one having a good old singalong.

Little Wattlebird

I went to the right at the end of the track, looking for some Southern Emu-wren, but no success. I came back and then went left towards the peninsula that juts into Belmont Lagoon. There were heaps of Red-browed Finch with a lot of Juveniles amongst them. A Black-shouldered Kite flew past and then I spotted this White-faced Heron having a meal of a lizard.

White-faced Heron
White-faced Heron(Egretta novaehollandiae)

Bird Species List, Belmont Lagoon, 28/5/09

Little Egret
Azure Kingfisher
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Superb Fairy-wren
Little Pied Cormorant
Spangled Drongo
White-cheeked Honeyeater
White-faced Heron
Little Wattlebird
Yellow-faced HOneyeater
Grey Butcherbird
Red-browed Finch
Black-shouldered Kite
Australian White Ibis
Australian Wood Duck

May 18, 2009

Little Pelican Bird Photography 090517

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:31 am

Bird Photography at Little Pelican, 17th May, 2009

I can’t think of a snappy headline, so I will just make one up that is totally stupid.

I am Cuckoo about Honeyeaters!

Even more honeyeaters and a bonus Cuckoo just for being you. Later on, after the morning spent birdwatching at Galgabba Point(see previous post), we went to Little Pelican, which is over the Swansea Bridge, going North. I had never been to Little Pelican before. Here are the directions if you ever want to go there. Cross the swansea bridge, going north. There is a turnoff just after the Motel and before the Camping Ground. Just follow this road a few hundred meters and park any where you like. Follow the roads and just wander around the tracks there. Its very close to the Swansea Channel.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Fan-tailed Cuckoo(Cacomantis flabelliformis)

The Fan-tailed Cuckoo is distributed throughout much of Australia, as well as New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Zealand, and their favoured habitat is open forests and woodlands. They feed on hairy caterpillars, as well as other insects and larvae. They belong to Order: Cuculiformes and Family: Cuculidae. The distinctive features of the Fan-tailed Cuckoo is the tail which is dark grey with prominent white markings, and the breast which has a rufous shading.

Brown Honeyeater
Brown Honeyeater(Lichmera indistincta)

This was a first for me. We seem to be right on the edges of its distribution in Lake Macquarie. The Brown Honeyeater is also found in Indonesia and New Guinea. They also seem to prefer mangrove edges near the water and this one was certainly hanging out on the mangroves next to the channel.

Bird Species List, Little Pelican, 17/5/09

Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Yellow-faced HOneyeater
White-naped Honeyeater
Brown Honeyeater

May 16, 2009

Green Point Bird Photography 090515

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:09 am

Bird Photography at Green Point, 15th May, 2009

I am supposed to use eye-catching headlines and opening paragraphs, so here goes.

“Bad Day Turns Out Sorta OK”

Today started out really crap but ended up not too bad. How is that for a grabber? Still pretty lame? Yeah, I reckon so too. So lets just carry on with the story. This morning I was headed for Cams Wharf again, but the wind was starting to howl so I decided to go to Green Point on the shores of Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle, NSW. I was hoping that it might be a bit more protected from the wind there. It was sort of kind of. That was when I went into the under growth or understory of the rainforest remnants, but more on that later on.

White-faced Heron
White-faced Heron(Egretta novaehollandiae)

This White-faced Heron has a fish in his bill, see? It looks like a tiny little bream or something like that. A pretty good catch for sure. There have been a lot of juvenile White-faced Herons around lately, I wonder why that is so? Maybe they are growing up from being born in the Spring. I dont know. I will find out, i think.

Anyway, I went around the perimeter of the lake until I got to Green Point proper, then headed inland and followed a few tracks. I found this large track which led to suburbia, but it wasn’t near where I parked the car in Valentine, so I struck back towards the lake along this rugged creek valley track with remnant rainforest bits and found a Bell Miner colony(see previous post for the story and photos). I finally hit the lake and then followed it back towards Valentine. On a bridge over a little creek which flows into the lake I came upon a Golden Whistler and a mob of Brown Thornbills and Brown Gerygone. Thanks to Grant for the identification.

Golden Whistler
Golden Whistler(Pachycephala pectoralis)

That was about it for the birds in the bush, so I followed the lake back towards my car. About ten steps before I got to my car, with the camera turned off, I spotted a pair of White-bellied Sea-eagles soaring towards me. I turned the camera back on hurriedly and took a few shots. They were both adults with fully developed plumage, and they were magnificent. They carried on across the lake towards Awaba.

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

Well that was it I thought. I am out of here. But no, there was no end to this story. I saw a Nankeen Kestrel fly past and land on a telegraph pole down the street. I walked down the street and took some photos. I got a few strange looks as I did so. ha ha.. 🙂

Nankeen Kestrel
Nankeen Kestrel(Falco cenchroides)

I finally got into the car and drove off. Birds always seem to appear when you have packed everything away and are just about to leave. And there you have it. A crap day that turned out semi-ok. What do you reckon?

Bird Species List, Green Point, 15/5/09

Rainbow Lorikeet
White-faced Heron
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Superb Fairy-wren
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Bell Miner
Brown Thornbill
Brown Gerygone
Golden Whistler
White-bellied sea-eagle
Nankeen Kestrel
Australian Magpie
Noisy Miner

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