Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

March 25, 2010

Dubbo Birding 3

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:01 am

Devil’s Bend

Some people call it Devil’s Bend and some call it Devil’s Hole. Anyway, it is at the end of Brisbane Street in Dubbo, just about where it meets the Newell Highway heading to Gilgandra. I parked the van up the top near the picnic area and walked down the track. There were cars flying in and out kicking up heaps of dust. I was not impressed to say the least. When I got down to the river bank there were some 4WD’s pulling out some hoons car that had gone over the edge. It was quite a ridiculous scene. There were heaps of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos flying around screeching their heads off as well, and hoons in utes roaring around chucking wheelies. It was like a scene from Dante’s “Inferno” – extremely bizarre.

Luckily I managed to keep a cool head and take some photos of a White-breasted Woodswallow and a Willy Wagtail sharing a barbed wire fence. Later on they had an altercation and I think the Willy Wagtail chased the woodswallow away.

White-breasted Woodswallow and Willy Wagtail
White-breasted Woodswallow and Willy Wagtail

There were about three Little Corellas on top of a tree and a family of Pacific Black Ducks floated past on the stinky weedy river.

Pacific Black Duck & babies
Pacific Black Duck

Talbragar River Reserve

I went back to Talbragar River Reserve this morning hoping to see a whole bunch of exciting new birds. I saw one I had not seen for a while, a Little Friarbird. Plus I managed to spot a Wedge-tailed Eagle sitting on top of a dead tree way off in a paddock. It was a shame I could not get any closer, he was a very dark one.

Wedge-tailed Eagle
Wedge-tailed Eagle

The Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike were flying around playing chasies like they were combat fighters. I have never seen such superb flying. I guess they were young ones at play. On the way back I spotted this massive spider chomping down on a fly.

spider
Spider with fly

Devils Bend Bird list

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Magpie-lark
Red-rumped Parrot
Willy Wagtail
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Eastern Rosella
Peaceful Dove
White-breasted Woodswallow
Australian Wood Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Common Starling
Crested Pigeon
Little Corella
White-plumed Honeyeater

Talbragar River Reserve bird list

Eastern Rosella
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Galah
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Crested Pigeon
Willy Wagtail
Apostlebird
Peaceful Dove
Australian Raven
Pacific Black Duck
Australian Wood Duck
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Australian Magpie
Superb Fairy-wren
White-plumed Honeyeater
Noisy Friarbird
Little Friarbird

March 24, 2010

Dubbo Birding 2

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:07 am

Three Bridges Riverbank Walk

To do the 3 Bridges Riverbank Walk in Dubbo, park behind the information centre and walk across the river and follow the track on the other side and come back on the third bridge. Its quite a good walk with lots of River Red Gums and pine trees along the river and the track. There were lots of feral pigeons flying around the railway bridge. They seem to love bridges for some reason. Maybe because they nest under them. There were not a lot of water birds on the river, just a few Australian Wood Ducks and some Purple Swamphens. Around the second bridge I saw what I thought were some Noisy Miners, but on closer inspection they turned out to be Yellow-throated Miners. You do not usually find them on the coast, they like the drier inland country.

Yellow-throated Miner
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)

Further along I came quite close to a mob of Red-rumped Parrots who were feeding on the grass by the river. I was about two meters away from them before they realized there was a very close human nearby. It was too dark at this stage to get a photo, so they missed out this time. All in all, its a good walk and probably best in the early morning. There was a wide variety of bird life, but watch out for the joggers and dog walkers!

Goonoo SCA

The Goonoo State Conservation Area is out along the Mendooran Road. Take the Newell Highway north towards Gilgandra and turn off at Brocklehurst. It is supposedly home to the Mallee Fowl, but this is the only sign of it that I saw.

mallee Fowl
Mallee Fowl

In the morning I woke up to a chorus of Magpie-larks and a curious young Grey Butcherbird. Then there was the noisy Galahs wheeling overhead. When I went for a walk in the scrub, all I spotted were some Noisy Friarbirds. The country is mainly dry with that pines and ironbark combination that is popular with outback dry habitats. I walked up the road a bit and followed a dry creek bed a few hundred meters. There were some Eastern Rosellas, Yellow-throated Miners, Common Bronzewing and a mob of white-winged Choughs.

fungus
Some fungus coming up out of the rock-hard road

Riverbank walk bird list
Rock Dove
Welcome Swallow
Peaceful Dove
Crested Pigeon
Magpie-lark
Common Starling
Superb Fairy-wren
Red-rumped Parrot
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Laughing Kookaburra
Australian Magpie
Eastern Rosella
Australian Raven
Australian White Ibis
Willy Wagtail
Yellow-throated Miner
Galah
Purple Swamphen
White-faced Heron

Goonoo SCA bird list

Grey Butcherbird
Magpie-lark
Willy Wagtail
Galah
Noisy Friarbird
Eastern Rosella
Australian Magpie
Common Bronzewing
Yellow-throated Miner
Australian Raven
White-winged Chough
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

March 23, 2010

Dubbo Bird Photography 1

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:38 am

Talbragar River Reserve

I had about a week in Newcastle then set off yesterday afternoon heading west. I made it to Cassilis Park Rest Area where I camped for the night. Its about 45 kilometres west of Merriwa. In the morning I carried on towards Dubbo and stopped off at the Talbragar River Reserve, which is a few kilometers along the Old Mendooran Road, off the Golden Highway. Beni State Conservation is at the corner of the highway if you want to go there as well. You can get a Bird Routes of the Dubbo District pamphlet from the Tourist Information Centre in Dubbo if you like or download it from the Dubbo Field Naturalists website .

It was pretty late in the morning for me, nearly eleven o’clock, but I decided to get out the camera and have a look anyway. There were a few of your standard birds like Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Galahs, Willy Wagtails and magpies, as well as a few Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes. I was hearing this whingy call from the other side of the river, so I went over there. I was thinking it was either Apostlebirds or bowerbirds. I did not think of the other bird that have this kind of call – the babblers. It ened up being Apostlebirds, although there were a couple of White-browed Babblers who were hanging out with the Apostlebirds, seemingly arguing and looking for the same kind of food on the ground. This Apostlebird had what looks like a grasshopper on the wire fence.

Apostlebird
Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea)

I also saw a pair of Peaceful Doves who were calling quite plaintively. A Sacred Kingfisher was on a branch over the river waiting for a feed, and there were a few Striped Honeyeaters feeding on the gum trees. This one was trying to get at some kind of leaf curling insect or bug.

Striped Honeyeater
Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata)

Talbragar River Reserve bird list

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Galah
Willy Wagtail
Australian Magpie
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Crested Pigeon
White-plumed Honyeater
Superb Fairy-wren
Australian Wood Duck
Peaceful Dove
Sacred Kingfisher
Apostlebird
Eastern Rosella
Striped Honeyeater
White-browed Babbler

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