Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

September 23, 2019

NSW up the coast

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 1:10 am

Mid-north Coast Surfing

I am going back up the coast of New South Wales. Finally I found some decent surf just south of Forster at Seven Mile Beach, which is in Booti Booti National Park.

7 Mile Beach


7 Mile Beach

There was not much until I got to Look At Me Now Headland, the back beach to Emerald Beach just north of Coffs Harbour.

Right barrel


Right barrel

Off the lip


Off the lip

Cutting back


Cutting back

Humpback Whale


Humpback Whale

I think this is a young whale and they are coming back from breeding up north. But not sure.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo with joey in pouch


Eastern Grey Kangaroo with joey in pouch

August 29, 2019

Macksville to Taree

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:25 am

Mid-North Coast Birding.

I wanted to have a look at the surf at Scott’s Head, just out of Macksville. There was a bit of swell running so I thought there might be something there if the point had accumulated some more sand. When I was walking up to the point, I saw some people looking up into the trees and I pulled out the camera and took some photos of a snoozing Tawny Frogmouth.

Tawny Frogmouth


Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

There was a bit of swell but there was no sand out at the point. It has been like that for years now. I remember surfing for hundreds of meters down the beach with lots of sand. 🙁

Scotts Head surfing


Surfing the point

After Scott’s Head, I headed south along the coast and stayed at Ryan’s Cut Picnic Area in Hat Head National Park for the night. Then continued on to Crescent Head which was no good at all – small waves with an onshore wind chopping everything up. I then went via Port Macquarie and Laurieton then stopped again at Saltwater National Park , east of Taree. I have been here a few times and it has always been productive.

White-headed Pigeon


White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

Regent Bowerbird   - male


Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus) – male

Regent Bowerbird - female


Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus) – female

Mid-north Coast bird list

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera)
Lewin’s Honeyeater
White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)
Australian Brush-Turkey (Alectura lathami)
Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)
Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis)
Willie Wagtail
Eastern Yellow Robin
Superb Fairy-wren
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Australian Pied Oystercatcher
White-browed Scrubwren
Spangled Drongo
Pied Butcherbird
White-faced Heron
Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)

nsw190829

August 21, 2019

Hortons Creek

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:28 am

Nymboida Area

Heading down south from Kyogle, I spent the weekend near Casino, then headed to Grafton , then inland towards Nymboida. Just before Nymboida, I found a camp spot next to a creek and in the morning carried on to Horton’s Creek, where I went for a walk along the creek bed. There was no water in the creek, just lots of big stones. I found a waterhole where the Bell Miners were coming to have a drink.

Bell Miner


Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)

Bell Miner


Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)

Spotted Pardalote - female


Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus punctatus)

This Spotted Pardalote , sub-species punctatus), is a female with yellow spots on the crown and without a yellow throat.

Hortons Creek bird list

Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)
Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)
Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)
White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis )
Red-tailed Black-cockatoo
Lewin’s Honeyeater
White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus)
Red-browed Finch
Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus punctatus)
Superb Fairy-wren
Laughing Kookaburra

nsw190821

August 7, 2019

Sheepstation Creek Campground

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:13 am

Border Ranges National Park

After some time in Kyogle I headed up the hill to the Border Ranges National Park. I think it is on the edge of the caldera that is the old volcano of Mount Warning. I stopped at Sheepstation Creek Campground and in the afternoon went for a walk along the track. In the morning there were so many Satin Bowerbirds around the camp ground.

Satin Bowerbird - male


Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)- male

Satin Bowerbird


Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

I am not sure if this is a female or a juvenile Satin Bowerbird.

Eastern Whipbird - adult


Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)

I was lucky to get a couple of photos of this adult Eastern Whipbird. They hardly ever come out into the open but skulk around the forest floor, scratching around the leaf litter.

Crested Shrike-tit


Crested Shrike-tit (Fulcunculus frontatus)

White-browed Scrubwren


White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis )

Bell Miner


Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)

This was unusual seeing a Bell Miner on the ground. This one was digging away in the ground, possibly looking for worms or something.

Variegated Fairy-wren


Variegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti)

Eastern Yellow Robin


Eastern Yellow Robin ( Eopsaltria australis)

These are very common on the edges of rainforest areas.

Border Ranges National Park bird list

Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)
Eastern Yellow Robin ( Eopsaltria australis)
Crimson Rosella
Australian King Parrot
Bell Miner
Lewin’s Honeyeater
Pied Currawong
Satin Bowerbird
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla)
Crested Shrike-tit (Fulcunculus frontatus)
Grey Shrike-thrush
Brush Turkey
Grey Fantail
Willy Wagtail
Pied Butcherbird
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo
Laughing Kookaburra
White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis )
Variegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti)

nsw190807

November 13, 2018

Far South Coast NSW

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:17 am

Lake Pambula and Lake Carulo

Coming from Narooma, I stopped off at a boat ramp at Lake Pambula for the night. The wind was howling from the ocean, and the only thing I saw was a male Golden Whistler.

Golden Whistler  - male
Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) – male

In the morning I took off really early and found a nature walk on the edge of Eden. Luckily there was a board-walk along the edge of Lake Curalo, just past the Nev Cowgill Reserve. There were a few water birds in the lake and quite a few bush birds in the melaleuca trees on the edge of the water. All in all it was a good score with lots of good birds. Nothing new but some nice photos of old friends.

Bell Miner
Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)

I could hear the Bell Miners chiming as I made my way along the creek. This one is an adult with the orange-red bare skin behind the eye.

Eastern Whipbird
Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceous)

Wow, so lucky to get a shot of this Eastern Whipbird. They are so elusive.

Little Wattlebird
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera)

There are no wattles on the Little Wattlebird.

New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)

The white eye distinguishes the New Holland Honeyeater.

Welcome Swallow - baby
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)

This baby Welcome Swallow was just sitting on the rail waiting to be fed by his parents. The parents would fly in, deposit some food in his mouth and then just fly off.

Little Pied Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos)

A Little Pied Cormorant drying his wings.

Far South Coast bird list

Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis)
Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera)
Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Royal Spoonbill
White-faced Heron
Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos)
Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)
Masked Lapwing
Grey Teal
Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
Australian White Ibis
Australian Pelican
Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus)
Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus)
Black Swan
Crimson Rosella
Rainbow Lorikeet
Great Egret
Pied Oystercatcher
Grey Fantail
Willie Wagtail
Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceous)
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)

November 12, 2018

New South Wales

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 5:36 am

Tourist photos from Australia

I cannot remember where I left you with the last lot of tourist photos. I think I had just arrived in Melbourne and thence to Newcastle. Let us carry on dear reader. I think I left you at the airport in Newcastle. I spent a few days and bought a car for travelling. It was a Toyota people-mover. My brother Lawrie helped me pull all the seats out and put a bed in the back. There is plenty of head room and it is much better than a station wagon.

Pimp my ride
Pimp my ride

The first journey was out west through the Hunter Valley, stopping at Burning Mountain and Wallabadah, my old favourite camp sites.

Wallabadah Cemetry
Wallabadah Cemetry

Then through Nundle and the back way to Tamworth and still heading west.

Sunset at Attunga
Sunset at Attunga

I stopped opposite the pub at Attunga and photographed a Black Honeyeater.

West to Manilla, then a few days at Borah Creek , before the rain came I snuck out to Gunnedah and Coonabarabran.

The Warrumbungles
The Warrumbungles.

A nice hot show at the Warrumbungles National Park, then on to Coonamble a very nice little town.

The river at Coonamble
The river at Coonamble

No jumping off the bridge or fishing!

water over Gibson's Way
water over Gibson’s Way.

There was heaps of water in the Macquarie Marshes and thousands of water birds. On to Warren and the wetlands

Namoi River near Boggabri
Namoi River near Boggabri

The Namoi River was flowing at Boggabri but not at Narrabri. Where did the water go? Back to Borah Creek again.

black furry  kangaroo
black furry kangaroo

I was amazed how black and furry these kangaroos were. Then back to Newcastle. And down south to the Bendeela Recreation Area – Kangaroo River.

Wombat and camp
Wombat and camp

Nowra and the Shoalhaven. And south to Narooma.

Bodalla State Forest - Lake Mummuga
Bodalla State Forest – Lake Mummuga

Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata) The Spotted Gum is an attractive treen with smooth mottled bark with is shed in small irregular shapes.

Narooma – South Coast

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 1:26 am

Bodalla State Forest

Last night I camped at the Bodalla State Forest, a great rest area in the bush. In the late afternoon I went for a a trek along the Lake Mummuga Walk. It is quite a nice walk in typical south coast country. There are heaps of Spotted Gums.

Golden Whistler - male
Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis)

This is a male Golden Whistler. I could only tell the females from Grey Shrikethrush because he was hanging around.

Brown Thornbill
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla)

This Brown Thornbill has got a very colourful looking caterpillar.

Great Egret
Great Egret (Ardea alba)

Some moody atmospheric shots of the egrets on the lake hunting for food.

Little Egret
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

I think this Little Egret is a breeding adult because of the plume out of the head.

Narooma bird list

Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Black Swan
Australian Pelican
White-faced Heron
Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis)
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla)
Grey Fantail
Eastern Yellow Robin
White-browed Scrubwren
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Noisy Friarbird
Australian Magpie

Nowra Birds 181110

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:25 am

Nowra Creek and Bomaderry Creek

After coming down the hill from Kangaroo Valley, I went to the Nowra Creek in the afternoon. You can get to Ben’s Walk from the showground. It is all sandstone country and the track down is pretty steep to get to the track along the creek.

Rockwarbler
Rockwarbler (Origma solitaria)

The next morning I trotted along to the Bomaderry Creek Regional Park, which has a number of great tracks along the creek in burnt out sandstone country. This is a bad photo of a Rockwarbler but at least it is a tick, I think.

Yellow-faced Honeyeatar
Yellow-faced Honeyeatar (Caligavis chrysops)

Olive-backed Oriole  - juvenile
Olive-backed Oriole (Oriolus sagitatus) – juvenile

There were quite a few Olive-backed Orioles around but I did not see any adults. I do not know why.

Noisy Friarbird
Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus)

The Noisy Friarbirds eat bugs as well as nectar, it seems.

Yellow Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana)

White-throated Treecreeper  - female
White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea) – female

This is a female White-throated Treecreeper with the red patch under the chin.

Red Wattlebird
Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)

A classic photo of a Red Wattlebird feeding on some red wattle, and displaying his red wattle quite nicely.

Satin Bowerbird
Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

This Satin Bowerbird is either female or a juvenile. I cannot tell which.

Common Bronzewing
Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)

Nowra bird list

Rockwarbler (origma solitaria)
Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata)
Grey Fantail
Yellow-faced Honeyeatar (Caligavis chrysops)
Superb Fairy-wren
Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Crimson Rosella
Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)
Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus)
Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)
Olive-backed Oriole (Oriolus sagitatus) juvenile
Australian Raven
Dollarbird
White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaea) female
White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis)
Australian King-parrot
Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana)
Laughing Kookaburra
Magpie-lark

November 9, 2018

Wombats and Echidnas

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 11:45 pm

Bendeela Camping Area

This is my first day on the road to Melbourne and Tasmania. I took off after 10am and drove to Sydney, hopped onto the M7 Motorway and bypassed most of Sydney. It is so boring. It is just roads and roads and roads. Finally I turned off to Mittagong, then Bowral and went down the mountain to Kangaroo Valley, then followed the Kangaroo Valley to Bendeela Recreation Area. There were hordes of campers here. I was not impressed at first but after I went for a walk and seen what was around I was a bit happier. Except when I went down to the river, I nearly stepped on a Red-bellied Black Snake. I do not know who was more terrified, me or him.

common wombat
common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

“The common wombat (Vombatus ursinus), also known as the coarse-haired wombat or bare-nosed wombat, is a marsupial, one of three extant species of wombats and the only one in the genus Vombatus. The common wombat grows to an average of 98 cm (39 in) long and a weight of 26 kg (57 lb).” (wiki)

Common Wombat
Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

And here is a wombat with a young one. Not sure at all how old the baby is.

Short-beaked Echidna
Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

I was walking along the fence and just glanced over towards the dry creek when I spied an echidna rooting around in the side of a bank. I snapped away furiously. Previously I only had photos of their backs in long grass so I was happy to get some decent shots.

Short-beaked Echidna
Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

“The short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is one of four living species of echidna and the only member of the genus Tachyglossus. It is covered in fur and spines and has a distinctive snout and a specialized tongue, which it uses to catch its insect prey at a great speed. Like the other extant monotremes, the short-beaked echidna lays eggs; the monotremes are the only group of mammals to do so.” (wiki)

Little Corella
Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea)

“The little corella (Cacatua sanguinea), also known as the bare-eyed cockatoo, blood-stained cockatoo, short-billed corella, little cockatoo and blue-eyed cockatoo, is a white cockatoo native to Australia and southern New Guinea.” (wiki)

Kangaroo Valley birds and animals

Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus)
Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)
Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)

Little Corella
White-faced Heron
Satin Bowerbird
Dollarbird
Laughing Kookaburra
Pacific Black Duck
Australian Wood Duck
Masked Lapwing
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Noisy Friarbird
Common Myna

November 8, 2018

Stockton Sandspit 181108

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:53 am

Stockton Sandspit

Today I went to Stockton Sandspit, which is just under the Stockton bridge in Newcastle. It has been years since I have been here. I waited for the tide to go out a bit, so I went there about two in the afternoon. You need to have the mud-flats exposed a bit. It was a bit early in the year to go looking for waders but I was hoping there would be at least some refugees from Siberia. And there were a heap of Bar-tailed Godwits.

Red-necked Avocet
Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)

The Red-necked Avocet is an Australian endemic Avocet. There are 3 others in the family around the world. They are related to the stilts.

White-headed Stilt
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucophalus)

Whimbrel
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

As well as a couple of Whimbrels there were quite a few related Eastern Curlews.

Pacific Golden Plover
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)

Pacific Golden Plovers breed in Siberia and Alaska in the northern summer and migrate here in the southern summer.

Pacific Golden Plover
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)

Curlew Sandpiper
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)

The Curlew Sandpiper has a long down-curved bill and also breeds on the tundras of Siberia in the northern summers.

Stockton Sandspit bird list

Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)
Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis)
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucophalus)
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica macrotarsa)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)
Little Black Cormorant

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