Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

June 10, 2009

Galgabba 090609

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:31 am

Bird Photography at Galgabba Point, 9th June, 2009.

On the way home from Canberra, I stopped in at Galgabba Point, at Swansea, on Lake Macquarie. I wandered down the the track and there was a Scarlet Honeyeater, all primed up in his prettiest red, posing and primping away for the camera.

Scarlet Honeyeater
Scarlet Honeyeater(Myzomela sanguinolenta)

There were a whole bunch of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters flittering around in the trees as well. The weather was horrid with cloudy overcast skies that made the light very nasty indeed. I think I was on ISO1600 most of the time. There were also a number of Lewin’s Honeyeaters in the undergrowth as well.

This white-cheeked Honeyeater was carrying on like a prima donna, jumping up and down and flying in and out with a mouth full of insects.

White-cheeked Honeyeater
White-cheeked Honeyeater(Phylidonyris nigra)

I kept walking down the track, past the Bell Miner colony. The Noisy Friarbirds and the Scaly-breasted Lorikeets were squabbling and chasing each other around. Out at the lake there were a huge amount of black swans and a few pelicans. As I got to the end of the point, I disturbed the immature female White-bellied Sea-eagle that I had seen a few weeks ago. I was not watching and me monkey mind was going round and round thinking rubbish. I need to pay more attention and keep my eyes open.

Galgabba Point Bird Species List, 9/6/09

Scarlet Honeyeater
White-cheeked Honeyeater
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Lewin’s HOneyeater
Noisy Friarbird
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Eastern Spinebill
Bell Miner
Black Swan
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Australian Pelican

May 18, 2009

Galgabba Point Bird Photography 090517

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 1:08 am

Bird Photography at Galgabba Point, 17th May, 2009

And the headline for today is :

More Honeyeaters than you can Point a stick at.

This morning there were heaps of honeyeaters around. “Heaps” is a technical birdwatching term. It means “lots”. Many of the trees are blooming at the moment so the nectar-feeding birds are in abundance. You have your standard honeyeaters, as well as the Noisy Friarbirds, and the Lorikeets such as Rainbow Lorikeets, Musk Lorikeets, and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets.

Now that I have the grabber out of the way, on to the details of this bird photography expedition. I want to say thanks to Captain Jack for organising this little adventure. It was a survey to see if we could see any Swift Parrots or Regent Honeyeaters. These are rarely seen birds and this was part of a wider national survey to find out how many of these threatened bird species are around.

Galgabba Point is at Swansea, on the eastern shores of Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle, NSW. The local landcare group/s have done a wonderful job in looking after the bush in this area, so many congratulations to all these hard-working terrific people. *Cheers* The first bird photo out of the box is the Noisy Friarbird, a regular contributor to these posts in the past week. In all actuality, I think I only saw one of these birds today, so they weren’t that apparent on this outing.

Noisy Friarbird
Noisy Friarbird(Philemon corniculatus)

Next item on the agenda is the Mistletoebird, and here one is feeding on the mistletoe. They eat the berries and also eat the fruit of other plants. They also feed on nectar, spiders and insects. As do most birds. The Mistletoebirds defecate the sticky seeds relatively quickly, which stick on the leaves of the plants, germinating later on. This behaviour is of mutual benefit to both the mistletoe and the Mistletoebird. The plant gets efficient dispersal of the seeds, and the Mistletoebird guarantees a continuing food supply.

Mistletoebird
Mistletoebird(Dicaeum hirundinaceum)

The next bird is a new bird for me, the Scarlet Honeyeater. The Scarlet Honeyeater is an extremely attractive bird and stands out like a sore thumb. They are found along the east coast of Australia, as well as Indonesia and New Caledonia. There habitat is open forests and woodlands with an open understorey, sometimes in the vicinity of wetlands or rainforest edges. They move around with the flowering of their food plants.

Scarlet Honeyeater
Scarlet Honeyeater(Myzolema sanguinolenta)

Here is a photo of a heap of honeyeaters sitting in a tree. They seem to fly around in big batches and then disperse. There are White-naped Honeyeaters in there as well as the more common Yellow-faced Honeyeaters.

Honeyeaters
White-naped Honeyeaters(Melithreptus lunatus) and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters(Lichenostomus chrysops)

There were quite a few Bell Miners around at one spot, and they were flying around quite aggressivly trying to fend off the other honeyeaters and defend their territory. You could see quite clearly the dieback in the trees where they had their colony. Here are a couple of immature Bell Miners who were huddled up together.

Bell Miners
Bell Miner(Manorina melanophrys)

And last but not least, the Lewin’s Honeyeater. They are found in both rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests and feed mainly on fruits, but also eat insects and nectar.

Lewin's Honeyeater
Lewin’s Honeyeater(Meliphaga lewinii)

Bird Species List, Galgabba Point, 17/5/09

Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Spangled Drongo
White-cheeked Honeyeater
Silvereye
Scarlet Honeyeater
White-naped Honeyeater
Lewin’s Honeyeater
Olive-backed Oriole
Noisy Friarbird
Superb Fairy-wren
Mistletoebird
Lewin’s Honeyeater
Bell Miner
Eastern Yellow Robin
Great Egret
Australian Raven
Brown Goshawk
Grey Goshawk

Sources:
Trevor’s Birding
ANBG.gov.au
Birdinbackyards.net

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