Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

September 2, 2016

Oxley Highway

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 2:25 am

New England Birding.

The Oxley Highway goes from Port Macquarie, through Wauchope, Walcha, and joins the New England Highway at Bendemeer, near Tamworth. It has some great rugged bush and winding roads through the mountains.

Ellenborough Reserve

This is a nice camping spot by the river. Good for walking, birding and fishing.

ellenborough river
Ellenborough River

Red-browed Finch
Red-browed Finch

Brown Cuckoo-dove
Brown Cuckoo-Dove

Stockyard Creek

There is a nice rest area here where there were dozens of Satin Bowerbirds grazing on the grasses.

male Satin Bowerbird
Male Satin Bowerbird

female Satin Bowerbird
Female Satin Bowerbird

White-browed Scrubwren
White-browed Scrubwren

Mummel Gulf National Park

Mummel Gulf is way up on top of the mountain, with huge trees and fern trees scattered throughout.

Mummel gulf NP.
big trees

July 18, 2016

Air Time

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: , — admin @ 12:05 am

Bonnie Hills.

I just happened upon the Junior State Surfing Titles at Bonnie Hills on Sunday. The surf at the contest site was really crappy, but down the beach a few grommets were catching some better waves.

air time
Air Time

off the lip
Off the lip.

Cut back.

July 4, 2016

Kingscliff Birds

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 1:09 am

Cudgen Creek.

Cudgen Creek at Kingscliff on the North Coast of New South Wales has always been a favourite place of mine. In the afternoon I went for a walk along the creek from the breakwater as far as the track goes along the northern edge of the creek.

young Blue-faced Honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis)

There were quite a few Blue-faced Honeyeaters in the flowering banksia trees. This one is a young one with the green around the eyes. As they get older the green becomes blue.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

There is an Osprey nest at the breakwater just near the coast guard building. I saw about four Ospreys in the vicinity and they seemed to love roosting on top of the crane that is doing work on the bridge.

Bush Stone-curlew
Bush Stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius)

A big tick for me, the Bush Stone-curlew. And it was just in the park by the beach at North Kingscliff. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the signs saying do not go near the Bush Stone-curlews. I rushed back to my car, grabbed my camera and rushed back. Luckily I just had enough sunlight before it went behind the houses.

June 27, 2016

arrawarra and angourie

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 12:31 am

Northern Rivers.

The swell had dropped at Arawarah just north of Coffs Harbour. It needs a lot of swell for it to break here. And it is not the hollow.

Arrawarah Headland
Arawarrah Headland

Sooty Oystercatcher
Sooty Oystercatcher

The swell had picked and the wind had changed to the South-west by the time I got to Yamba. The point is a classic set-up at Angourie. It has not changed in fifty years.

Angourie Headland

The surf was about three or four foot and the bigger ones were going a bit wide.

Angourie surf
Off the top

Angourie surfing
In the barrel

June 20, 2016

Beach Stone-curlew

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:37 am


Urunga is at the mouth of the Bellinger River. There is a footbridge that goes from the caravan park, across the lagoon, and up to the south end of the river mouth.

Urunga Lagoon Footbridge
Urunga Lagoon Footbridge.

Looking west towards Urunga and the hinterlands

The Beach Stone-curlew (also known as the Beach Thick-knee) inhabits open undisturbed beaches, exposed reefs, tidal mudflats and coastal lagoons. It’s range extends along the coast of Australia north from Nambucca Heads to Shark Bay.

Beach Stone-curlew
Beach Stone-curlew (Esacus neglectus)

This is the first time I had ever seen of these things, so I was quite excited. I could not believe it at first. I thought it was a white-faced heron but had a double take, then knew what it was, scrambled for my camera, and went madly snapping away until it flew off.

Beach Stone-curlew
Beach Stone-curlew (Esacus neglectus)

I could not work out what was happening with the bill. There was a great big hole in it and it seemed to be all bent and twisted.

June 16, 2016

Mid-North Coast Rainforest

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 12:51 am

Yarriabini National Park.

I had never been to Yarriabini National Park before. It is on the road to Scott’s Head, Mid-north coast of NSW. Down in the gullies there is the most amazing rainforest with Hoop Pines and Flooded Gums and lots of Bangalow Palm.

Aboriginal Sculpture
Aboriginal sculpture

There is a nice aboriginal sculpture there.

sculpture detail
sculpture detail

And here is a detail of the sculpture.

Flooded Gums
Flooded Gums.

This creek may be Way Way Creek but i am not sure. It wound round and round the area.

Way Way creek
A creek

I did see a Lyrebird and got the crappiest photo over of it. The light was so horrendously bad. I had the ISO cranked up to the max at 12,800, Shutter Speed 1/320, and aperture at f/5.6. I cannot remember if I have another shot of a Lyrebird so I am chucking it in here anyway.


I also saw some Bassian Thrush but the photos were too dark and what I thought were Logrunners or something similar but it was so dark I could not even tell what they were with my eyes. doh!

I came back out the back way and ended up at the turnoff to the Grassy Head Reserve on the road from Point Stuart to Scott’s Head.

June 14, 2016

Macleay Valley

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 4:11 am

Blackbird Flat.

I went up the Macleay Valley west of Kempsey to get a way from the long weekend hordes on the coast. It was nice and quiet. A bit of rain and not many people. A very relaxing weekend spent reading and walking.

Macleay River
Macleay River

Lewin's Honeyeater
Lewin’s Honeyeater

Australian King-Parrot
female Australian King-parrot

I wish I had tried a bit harder to get a better shot of this Rose Robin, but it was flittering around all over the place and the light was crap and … excuses excuses.. 🙂

Rose Robin
Rose Robin (Petroica rosea)

There was a bit of flood damage along the banks of the river from the wild weather last week. The river seemed to have rose about a meter or two.

Blackbird Flat
Along the Macleay River bank.

blackbird flat bird list

Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo
Grey Fantail
Australasian Figbird
Cattle Egret
Crimson Rosella
Australian King-Parrot
Noisy Miner
Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong
Lewin’s Honeyeater
Rose Robin (Petroica rosea)

May 13, 2016

Regent Bowerbird

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 1:34 am

Saltwater National Park.

Back to Saltwater National Park again. This time I finally got some good shots of the male Regent Bowerbird. It was late in the afternoon so the ISO is a bit hight but they are decent photos of a very pretty birdie.

male Regent Bowerbird
male Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)

female Regent Bowerbird
female Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)

immature male Regent Bowerbird
immature male Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)

I also got a bad photo of a Wonga Pigeon, which I have not seen before so I stuck it on the end here.

Wonga Pigeon
Wonga Pigeon (Leucosarcia melanoleuca)

May 9, 2016

Saltwater National Park. NSW

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 12:46 am

Mid-north Coast, New South Wales.

I had never seen these sea-slugs before. There were a heap of them at the rock pool at Forster. I asked one of the fishermen what they were and he said they were sea-slug or Spanish Dancers and that he had never before seen them around here and they were more commonly up north in Queensland. I looked them up and they are some type of Nudibranch.

Spanish Dancer
Hexabranchus sanguineus

White-bellied Sea-eagle
White-bellied Sea-eagle

This young White-bellied Sea-eagle was being harrassed by a couple of crows. She eventually got the shits with them and sailed off over the other side of the headland.

Emerald Ground-dove
Emerald Ground-dove (Chalcophaps indica)

Emerald Ground-doves are mostly found in eastern coastal rainforests. I think I have not photographed these before. If my memory serves me correct. doh!

Regent Bowerbird
Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)

This is either a female or immature bird. Not sure which.

Little Wattlebird
Little Wattlebird

I never tire of of the textures of these little darlings.

March 21, 2016

Cocoparra February

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 12:02 am

Cocoparra National Park.

These photos are from about a month ago. I thought it was about time I processed and posted them. doh!

Bar-shouldered Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis)

I do not have my book with my so I am waiting for some ID. These might be Speckled Warblers or something. And there is a young one there as well.
Thanks to Australian Bird ID facebook group, I think it is a Jacky Winter (Microeca fascinans). The streaks on the baby threw me a bit.
ID needed
Adult and baby

ID needed
not sure yet. probably a baby?

Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus)

Not sure which pardalote yet. I have to have a look at the internet for an ID. It does not have the red spot above the eye, so whatever one that is, that is it. doh! The spot over the eye gives it away. It is actually an orange spot over the eye. Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus), juvenile.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress