Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

November 2, 2012

More Griffith Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:58 am

Campbell Swamp.

This morning I went back to Campbell Swamp again. It is a pretty good spot. I saw a lot of different birds there this time. Mainly because I went along the edge of the swamp in the grasslands.

Black Honeyeater
Black Honeyeater (Certhionyx niger)

Also called Sugamel niger. This Black Honeyeater is a young male I think. But then again it could be a female. I cannot find any immature male Black Honeyeater photos to tell me. Does anyone know?

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)

This is the first Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater I have seen this year. They like a dry habitat of mallee, woodlands and open forests. They can be quite readily identified by their black and pink bill and white stripe under the eye.

Yellow-throated Miner
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)

These look like a bunch of young Yellow-throated Miner to me. They were all sitting on a branch having a conference, then they jumped up, had a great fight then flew back down again to roost all huddled up again.

Crested Pigeon
Crested Pigeon (Geohaps lophotes)

I tried to catch the colours in the wings. You can only see them when the sun is reflecting off them in the right angle. He looks like he has had a fright, doesn’t he?

Common Starling
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

I have been trying to get a decent photo of these very common birds for ages. They look really beautiful in the right light.

Plumed Whistling-Duck
Plumed Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)

A big flock of Plumed Whistling-Duck flew over the swamp. The Straw-necked Ibis seem to fly over every morning and night on their way to and from some feeding grounds, I suppose.

Campbell Swamp bird list

Little Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos)
Swamp Harrier
Straw-necked Ibis
Australasian Grebe
Superb Fairy-wren
White-breasted Woodswallow
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena)
Australian Pelican
Black-tailed Native-hen
Black Honeyeater (Certhionyx niger)
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes or Geohaps lophotes)
Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula)
Austrlian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) male, breeding
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Chesnut Teal (Anas castanea)
Hardhead (Aythya australis)
Plumed Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)

October 30, 2012

Riverina Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:21 am

Narrandera to Griffith.

After my weekend at Leeton and Narrandera, I headed back to Griffith.

my car
My car

Here is my car at Narrandera Wetlands. I have mag wheels, a noisy muffler and fat, low-profile tyres. I am a rev-head.

Brown Falcon
Brown Falcon (falco berigora)

I screeched to a halt just before Darlington Point on the Sturt Highway that heads to Hay. I think this one is a pale morph, and quite large, therefore possibly a female.

Nankeen Kestrel
Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides)

Another raptor just up the road. This time a Nankeen Kestrel. Both these raptors are in the falco family, therefore pretty similar. (That is a scientific technical term)

Baillon's Crake
Baillon’s Crake (Porzana pusilla)

Back at Griffith, I stopped off at South Wyangan Lake and did some birding with a French birder. This Baillon’s Crake was off the causeway between the north and south lakes.

Australian Spotted Crake
Australian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea)

At Campbell’s Swamp, this Australian Spotted Crake was on the boardwalk. I thought this was a Baillon’s Crake until my French mate pointed out my error. The Australian Spotted Crake has a yellower bill with a red spot near the base.

Australasian Bittern
Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus)

A pair of Australasian Bittern erupted from the reeds as we ventured out onto the boardwalk.

Blue-billed Duck
Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis)

These ducks like to dive. This a male. The female has a dark bill.

Riverina bird list

Galah
Magpie-lark
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Dusky Moorhen
Australian White Ibis
Brown Falcon (Falco berigora)
Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides) probably female due to large size
Black-shouldered Kite
Baillon’s Crake (Porzana pusilla)
Australian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea)
Black-shouldered Kite
Australian Reed-warbler
Swamp Harrier
Australasian Grebe
Black Swan
Whiskered Tern
Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis)
Straw-necked Ibis
Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus)

October 28, 2012

Narrandera Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 2:41 am

Narrandera Wetlands.

After Fivebough Swamp in Leeton, I drove thirty kilometers south to Narrandera. I like Narrandera. It is a nice little place and it is very peaceful. The Narrandera Wetlands are just across the bridge from town and well worth a visit, even if it is just for a bush-walk.

Grey Shrike-thrush
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica harmonica)

This bird is a juvenile Grey Shrike-thrush, race harmonica.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

There were two Yellow-billed Spoonbills at the wetlands most of the time, with a third coming later.

Yellow Rosella
Yellow Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus)

The Yellow Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus) is a sub-race of the Crimson Rosella, race flaveolus. They are mainly located in the Riverina area of New South Wales between the Murrumbidgee and Murray rivers. In the Yellow Rosella, the crimson is replaced by yellow. The South Australian races replace the crimson with orange.

Pied Butcherbird
Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nitrogularis)

This is a juvenile. The dark breast of the adult is all fuzzy on the young ones.

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

These are quite plentiful around the Riverina district of New South Wales. There are plenty around Griffith, Leeton and Narrandera, and I have seen them in Hay and West Wyalong.

Water Rat
Water Rat

I have always wanted to see and photograph a Water Rat and now my ambitions are realised. Oh happy day! “Hydromys chrysogaster, commonly known as Rakali or Water-rat, is an Australian native rodent. The species lives in burrows on the banks of rivers, lakes and estuaries and feeds on aquatic insects, fish, crustaceans, mussels, snails, frogs, birds’ eggs and water birds.” (Wikipedia)

Narrandera bird list

Eastern Rosella
Australian Raven
Australian Wood Duck
White-faced Heron
Masked Lapwing
Dusky Moorhen
Pacific Black Duck
Grey Shrike-thrush race harmonica juvenile (Colluricincla harmonica harmonica)
Sacred Kingfisher
Nankeen Night-heron
Black-fronted Dotterel
Yellow Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus) Crimson Rosella, race flaveolus
Superb Fairy-wren
Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nitrogularis)
Laughing Kookaburra
Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Magpie-lark
Australian Magpie
White-winged Chough

October 27, 2012

Leeton Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:17 pm

Riverina, NSW.

This weekend I got some time off work so I headed for Leeton and Narrandera. First stop was the Fivebough Swamp at Leeton. There was a lot more water there than two years ago. But then was at the height of summer.

Red-kneed Dotterel
Red-kneed Dotterel (Erthrogonys cinctus)

Whiskered Tern
Whiskered Tern (Childonias hybridus)

Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)

Variegated Fairy-wren
Variegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti)

Whistling Kite
Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus)

Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

Straw-necked Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis)

fox
fox

Leeton Fivebough Swamp bird list

Red Wattlebird
Black-tailed Native-hen
Black-winged Stilt
Red-kneed Dotterel (Erthrogonys cinctus)
Magpie-lark
Whiskered Tern (Childonias hybridus)
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)
Variegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti)
Grey Teal
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus)
Great Cormorant
Australian Pelican
Eurasian Coot
Straw-necked Ibis
Australian White Ibis
White-plumed Honeyeater
Superb Fairy-wren

February 1, 2010

From Hay to Robinvale

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

Hay to Robinvale

From Narrandera I got on to the Sturt Highway and headed for Hay. I stopped in at Hay Park for a rest and there were some Straw-necked Ibis and I spotted something up underneath a water tower. They were juvenile Blue-faced Honeyeaters. They must have had a nest up there somewhere. They were screaming out for some food.

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

On the road again, I stopped half way to Balranald at Ravensworth truck stop. I could not believe the number of sparrows there were. Way out in the middle of nowhere and they were there feeding away on these outback bushes. There were plenty of seeds for them to feed on, so why not. Most of them seemed to have their mouths full of these seeds.

House Sparrow
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

I finally made it to Robinvale and stopped at Euston Weir for some breakfast. I could hear this screeching so I got out the camera and this raptor was chasing away all these Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. I had a better look and it had a nest up in a tree. I could not tell if it was a Collared Sparrowhawk or a Brown Goshawk. Could you help to identify this bird, please.

ID please
Collared Sparrowhawk or Brown Goshawk?

There were some cormorants swimming around on the other side of the weir in the turbulent outflow. A couple of White-faced Herons sat on the railings and further down the river was a bunch of Great Cormorants and Little Black Cormorants.

Great Cormorant
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

The Yellow Rosella is also known as the Murray Smoker or the Murrumbidgee Lowry. This parrot is found feeding on the eucalyptus blosssoms of Red River Gums on flood plain forests along the mid-Murray, lower Murrumbidgee, Lachlan and Darling Rivers. The Yellow Rosella is considered a sub-species of the Crimson Rosella.

Yellow Rosella
Yellow Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus)

Further up past the caravan park in Robinvale I stopped for some lunch and this female Red-rumped Parrot roosted really close to me so I had to take her photo.

Red-rumped Parrot
Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haemaonotus)

Robinvale bird list 31/1/10

Yellow Rosella
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Laughing Kookaburra
Australian Wood Duck
Magpie-lark
Willy Wagtail
Crested Pigeon
White-faced Heron
Great Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
Australian Pelican
Brown Treecreeper
White-plumed Honeyeater
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater

January 29, 2010

Narrandera Wetlands Bird Photography

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:56 pm

Narrandera Wetlands

The Narrandera Wetlands are just over the bridge on the way out to Hay and the Sturt Highway. Just turn first right going out of town over the bridge and there you are. The Tourist Information has excellent maps and provide brilliant service. Well the first thing I heard when I started off yesterday afternoon was this crying of a bird. I was looking all over the place for it in the trees. I did not see it until I looked down. And there was this baby bird crying out.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike baby (Coracina novaehollandiae)

I could not tell what it was until I saw a pair of Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes hanging around with some food for the poor little mite. I am guessing that the baby chick fell out of the nest. At least it was up a little bit offthe ground on a branch.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
adult Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike with grasshopper for baby

A little while later I came back and there was a pair of magpies that were near the chick. The adult Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes were dive bombing the magpies and you could hear a very loud whack! each time they hit the magpies. Eventually after a lot of attacking, the magpies got the hint and moved away. Then dark descended and the moon rose.

Moon

The next morning, the chick was still there but it seemed to have been abandoned by its parents. A local birder came along and said that he will ring WIRES, the animal rescue people, to come and get it. I carried along around the wetlands and saw a few Yellow-billed Spoonbills. We do not usually get them on the coast, they are more an inland bird as far as I know.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

And as usual there were heaps of Galahs hanging around the paddocks. Because they are so common, one forgets how beautiful they look.

Galahs
Galah (Cacatua roseicapillus)

Oh, and I almost forgot to say that there have been some Little Bitterns seen at the wetlands, but they were not around or I did not see them, doh!

Narrandera Wetlands bird list 29-30/01/10

Galah
Australian Magpie
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
White-winged Chough
Grey Shrike-thrush
Magpie-lark
Grey Teal
Australian White Ibis
Royal Spoonbill
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Purple Swamphen
Eastern Rosella
Dollarbird
Pacific Black Duck
Laughing Kookaburra
Whistling Kite
White-faced Heron
Australian Reed-warbler
Australasian Grebe
Yellow Rosella (Platycerus elegans flaveolus)
Common Starling
Australian Wood Duck
Australian Raven

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