Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

January 10, 2010

Travelling Stock Route Number 21

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 2:51 am

Travelling Stock Route Number 21

The Travelling Stock Route #21 is on the road between Mudgee and Gulgong on the banks of the Cudgegong River. From Mudgee it is about 14kms. It was quite hot when I got there so I found a nice shady tree and read a book. When the sun went down a bit I headed out to have a look for some birds. There were quite a few Dollarbirds about. They seem to sit on the tallest trees and fly about here and there and then come back to these high perches.

Dollarbird
Dollarbird

On the other side of the river I spotted a mob of White-winged Choughs. A Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike was in the tree and I saw a few of them in the last couple of days hunting for grasshoppers as I did the Sacred Kingfishers. One of the fishermen even told me a kingfisher had taken his bait when he cast out.

Sacred Kingfisher
Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)

I did see and hear a Restless Flycatcher but the perches he was on were a bit too dark for a decent photo. I could hear their scissors-grinder call all afternoon. Down the river a bit, I spotted a nest and a Willy Wagtail came along and sat in it. I could not see any eggs or chicks in it, but that does not mean anything.

Willy Wagtail
Willy Wagtail on nest

A few Grey Shrike-thrush made their appearances a few times and some Galahs, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and a Little Pied Cormorant flew past. On the water there was not much, just a Dusky Moorhen or two, a few Australian Wood Duck and Pacific Black Duck. The Red-rumped Parrots were flying around in the paddocks and perching on the trees occasionally. They also like to sit on logs in the river.

Red-rumped Parrot
male Red-rumped Parrot

I was trying to get a photo of some dragonflys on the river. Some were stationary and there were a few on the wing. I tried to photograph them on the wing and this is what I came up with. What do you reckon? Its a bit dark, but I had to make the background dark so I could get a decent shutter speed.

Dragonfly
Dragonfly

Travelling Stock Route #21 bird list

Dollarbird
Peaceful Dove
Willy Wagtail
White-winged Chough
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Restless Flycatcher
White-throated Treecreeper
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Super Fairy-wren
Sacred Kingfisher
Red-rumped Parrot
Grey Shrike-thrush
Little Pied Cormorant
Galah
Australian Reed-warbler
Dusky Moorhen
White-plumed Honeyeater
Pacific Black Duck
Laughing Kookaburra
Noisy Miner
Australian Raven
Pied Currawong
Eastern Rosella
Crested Pigeon
Crested Shrike-tit

January 9, 2010

Wilbetree Road Bridge – Mudgee

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 1:15 am

Wilbetree Road Bridge, Mudgee

8th & 9th January 2010

To get to the Wilbetree Road Bridge, starting from the clock in Mudgee, go down Market Street and keep going along the road to Gulgong for about 3kms. Turn right at Wilbetree Road and then go about 7kms down the road till you get to the bridge over the Cudgegong River. There is a great shady place to park and have some lunch or a picnic. I went to have a look at the side of the river bank, and then just walked across the bridge a few times. When I got there, I saw Eastern Rosella, kookaburras, Superb Fairy-wrens, Dollarbirds high up in the trees, and a Mistletoebird right by my camp. There were quite a few of these young ones. I think they are Grey Shrike-thrush, but I am not totally sure. Maybe they are immature whistlers? Please comment if you know. 🙂

Grey Shrike-thrush ?
Grey Shrike-thrush ?

I was quite surprised to see some Silvereye lurking in the willow trees by the Cudgegong River. The Dusky Woodswallows were having a whale of a time chasing each other through the trees and performing hair-raising aerobatics. They really are wonderful fliers. This little skink was sitting on top of one of the bridge stanchions having a sun bake.

Lizard
Skink

There were some Peaceful Doves feeding on the sides of the road and a Crested Shrike-tit was feeding on the She-Oak tree right near the bridge, but I could not get a decent photo of him as he was always behind the leaves. Why do trees have so many leaves? Then the Willy Wagtails had a huge fight with a White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike and drove him away from “their” tree. I did get a visit from this colourful bird. Top marks for that special splash of colour!

Red-browed Finch
Red-browed Finch

I think this Shining Bronze-cuckoo is quite young as the chest bars have hardly developed at all. What do you think?

Shining Bronze-cuckoo
Shining Bronze-cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus)

There were not many water birds, just a couple of Dusky Moorhens, Pacific Black Ducks and some Australian Wood Ducks. At one stage I heard this great commotion in the water and it looked to me like an evil carp had tried to eat a Dusky Moorhen. There was a big splash and a huge hullaballoo. These Red-rumped Parrots were jumping up and down as well on the sidelines.

Red-rumped Parrots
Red-rumped Parrots (Psephotus haemaonotus).

As it got later a few White-throated Treecreepers were hanging upside down on the branches and the Sacred Kingfishers were having a good look for a feed along the river. This one was getting harrassed by the Dusky Woodswallows.

Sacred Kingfisher
Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)

I took this photo of this tortoise in Mudgee at the riverside park where the weir is. He looks like he is covered in green felt.

Tortoise
Tortoise

Wilbetree Road Bird List

Eastern Rosella
Laughing Kookaburra
Superb Fairy-wren
Dollarbird
Mistletoebird
Galah
White-plumed HOneyeater
Silvereye
Dusky Moorhen
Dusky Woodswallow
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Willy Wagtail
Peaceful Dove
Crested Shrike-tit
Grey Shrike-thrush
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Red-browed Finch
Australian Wood Duck
Shining Bronze-cuckoo
Pacific Black Duck
Australian Raven
Welcome Swallow
Sacred Kingfisher
White-throated Treecreeper
Red-rumped Parrot
Common Starling
Australian Magpie
White-faced Heron
Pied Currawong

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