Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

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

March 31, 2009

Bird Photography Dudley Bluff 090330

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:23 am

Bird Photography at Dudley Bluff, 30th March, 2009

Today I went to the Dudley Bluff, or is it the headland? I am not sure. It was a fine sunny day so I took a trek along the bluff into the heath country. Oh yeah, I took my flash and flash mount and monopod. What a mistake! I think I would prefer to go into the bush with just the camera and having it hand held. It is heaps better and lighter and more manouverable through the bushes.

Anyway, back to the birds. A pair of White-cheeked Honeyeaters(Phylidonyris nigra) were perching on a bush near the track. They stayed there for a fair while but I just could not get over some of the bushes in the way.

White-cheeked Honeyeater

The out of focus foreground bushes in this one are a bit of a distraction, but oh well.

White-cheeked Honeyeater

Then I saw a Tawny-crowned Honeyeater(Phylidonyris melanops) on the top of a bush. It was a fair way away and I could not get any closer. The background in this photo is just beautiful. I love the pastel shades.

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater

On the way back, I saw a New Holland Honeyeater(Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) on a stick. I was lucky to get a shot of him as he was singing a lovely song just for me. ha ha.

New Holland Honeyeater

Here is another shot with a different framing. I like the framing of the bushes and the stick. It is cool.

New Holland Honeyeater

The other birds that I saw were a Crimson Rosella, Red Wattlebird, Eastern Spinebill, and a White-bellied Sea-eagle magnificently flew by and I stuffed up the shot. doh!

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