Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 20, 2018

Tasmanian Endemics

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:08 am

Birds of Tasmania

I have finally sorted out all my birds from Tasmania. I got a few of the endemics but not all of them.

Tasmanian Endemics

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)

Black Currawongs are pretty common all over Tasmania. This one was at Tungatinah Lagoon in the Central Highlands.

Forest Raven
Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus)

The only way I could ID this was that they are the only crows in Tasmania. doh!

Green Rosella - male
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)

Relatively common all over Tasmania. This one was at Lake St Clair.

Tasmanian Native-hen
Tasmanian Native-hen (Tribonyx mortierii)

Very common all through Tasmania.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

On the ground in deep forest or rainforest scrub.

Tasmanian Thornbill
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

At first they are very hard to distinguish between the Brown Thornbills who have a whitish edges of primaries.

Yellow Wattlebird
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)

Pretty common all over Tasmania. They have a very raucous cry, so they are easy to find.

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis flavicollis)

Strong-billed Honeyeater
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)

My Tasmanian Bird List. November – December 2018

Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus)
Australian Magpie, race tyrannica
Australian Pelican
Australian Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
Australian Wood Duck
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
Black-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae novaehollandiae)
Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostoma)
Brown Falcon (Falco berigora)
Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla diemenensis)
Brush Bronzewing (Phaps chalcaptera)
Cape Barren Goose (Cereopis novaehollandiae novaehollandiae)
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
Common Blackbird
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)
Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)
Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris dubius)
Eurasian Coot
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicia)
Forest Raven (Corvus tasmanicus)
Great Cormorant
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus cinereus)
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica strigata)
Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)
Hardhead (Aythya australis)
Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus)
House Sparrow
Laughing Kookaburra
Little Black Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera tasmanica)
Masked Lapwing
Musk Duck ( Biziura lobata)
Musk Lorikeet
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae canescens)
Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala leachi)
Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea apatetes)
Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus pacificus)
Pacific Black Duck
Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus)
Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang leggii)
Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris)
Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae)
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis lateralis)
Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus)
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus striatus)
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)
Superb Fairy-wren
Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans)
Tasmanian Native-hen (Tribonyx mortierii)
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)
Welcome Swallow
White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster )
White-faced Heron
White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons)
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa leachi)
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus xanthanotus)
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilotis flavicollis)
welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxema)

Tasmanian Animals

Echidna
Flinders Island Wombat
Forester Kangaroo
Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
Tasmanian Pademelon (Thylogale billardierii)

December 18, 2018

Northwest Tasmania Tourist

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 6:45 am

The Tarkine Tourist

After the Arthur River, I drove up the road to the Couta Rocks. It is a wild area. There are a few fishermen’s shacks by the bay with a lobster boat moored in the protected waters.

Couta Rocks
Couta Rocks

The country in the north-west is a lot of grasslands and heath.

North-west country panorama
North-west country panorama

I drove inland through the Tarkine and camped at Julius River. There is a rainforest walk as well as a walk along the river.

Unusual Bottle  Brush
Unusual Bottle Brush

At the Sumac Lookout I spotted a whole bunch of Foxgloves along the road.
“Digitalis is a genus of about 20 species of herbaceous perennials, shrubs, and biennials commonly called foxgloves. This genus was traditionally placed in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae, but recent phylogenetic research has placed it in the much enlarged family Plantaginaceae.”

foxglove
Foxglove

The Kannunah Bridge has a good view over the river.

Kannunah Bridge
Kannunah Bridge

Heading north, I stopped off at Smithton, then north along the top of Tasmania, past Burnie and waited for the ferry to Melbourne at Devonport. And now it is back to the mainland!

The Tarkine

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:18 am

Last Day in Tasmania

This is it, the last day in Tasmania. camped the night before at Julius River in the Tarkine. They had a great rainforest walk and a nice river walk but not much birds.

Eastern Spinebill
Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris dubius)

The only interesting bird was a Tasmanian sub-species of the Eastern Spinebill.

Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster
Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster (Astacopsis gouldi)

Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Lobster (Astacopsis gouldi) is the largest freshwater invertebrate in the world. It is only found in the rivers of Northern Tasmania. I found this one crossing the road in the pouring rain at Edith Creek heading towards Smithton. I stopped to pick it up but it got angry at me and was going to bite me so I just kicked him off the road so he would not get run over. The people at the shop said that it was only a little one. doh! And, fun fact, there is a $10,000 fine for taking one.

Common Starling
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

At Smithton Foreshore I went for a walk and took some photos. I liked this one of a Common Starling with a worm. ha ha.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus xanthanotus)

Just before I left This mob of Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo were munching on these banksia cones. yummy.

North Tasmania bird list

Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris dubius)
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)
Australian Pied Oystercatcher
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus xanthanotus)
Masked Lapwing
Little Wattlebird

December 15, 2018

On to Arthur River

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North-west Tasmania Birding

The first place I started off in the North-west of Tasmania was at Green Point. The weather was windy and rainy and not very pleasant There were a few birds on the beach braving the strong winds but they must have been crazy.

Orange-bellied Parrot
Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostoma)

But I am going to start from the last place first. I was very lucky to get this shot of an Orange-bellied Parrot Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostoma) at Couta Rocks, 15 kilometers south of Arthur River. It really is wild rugged country down here.

White-fronted Chat
White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons)

And another surprise was this White-fronted Chat just above the cottages along the point.

Red-capped Plover
Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus)

I still have not seen and Hooded Plovers. doh!

Olive Whistler
Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea apatetes)

At Arthur River, I had a walk along the road to the boat ramp and found a few birds.

New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae canescens)

The Tasmanian race canescens of the New Holland Honeyeater .

Tasmanian Native-hen
Tasmanian Native-hen (Tribonyx mortierii)

And last but not least the obligatory Tasmanian Native-hen.

Green Rosella
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus )

A few kilometers south I stayed at the Prickly Wattle Camp Ground and went for a walk in the afternoon.

Tasmanian Thornbill
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

Grey Fantail
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)

Once again the Tasmanian race albiscapa

North-west Tasmania bird list

Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostoma)
White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons)
Red-capped Plover
Pacific Gull
Silver Gull
Grey Teal
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae canescens)
Tasmanian Native-hen
Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea apatetes)
Green Rosella
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)
Grey Fantail
White-faced Heron
Masked Lapwing
Sooty Oystercatcher
Australian Pied Oystercatcher

December 13, 2018

North by North West

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 3:39 am

West Tasmania Tourist

In the very south-west of Tasmania is Strahan and Macquarie Harbour, a very important site in Australian history. At the entrance to the harbour is Macquarie Heads, commonly called Hell’s Gates because of the treacherous entrance and bar at the heads.

Macquarie Heads
Macquarie Heads

I travelled north to Zeehan and Rosebery and spent the night at Montezuma Falls where I saw this tree splitting this massive rock.

Split-rock Tree
Split-rock Tree

Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain – Belvoir Vale Lookout 930 meters

In the foothills of the rugged peaks of Cradle Mountain lies the Vale of Belvoir, an extensive natural grassland surrounded by rainforest. A lot of these grasslands are rare and endangered and provide habitat for threateneed plants and animals. Twenty thousand years ago glaciers covered most of the the Tasmanian highlands.

Rainforest at edge of Vale of Belvoir
Rainforest at edge of Vale of Belvoir

Hellyer Gorge
Hellyer Gorge

There was not gorge at Hellyer Gorge, just a steep valley at the side of the river. There was a very nice walk through the rainforest.

>Boat Harbour
Boat Harbour

Past Burnie going west up north, there is a nice camping spot o the beach.

Arthur River - The Edge of the World
Arthur River – The Edge of the World

In the deep North-west I came across this amazing spot. It truly is the wild west. So awesome.

December 12, 2018

North-west Tasmania

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

Northern Tasmania

After Queenstown, I headed west to the coast of Tasmania at Macquarie Heads and Strahan. Macquarie Harbour is a historic place with a treacherous entry to the harbour. This yacht was going out the entrance. I was amazed that such a little boat was going out into the Southern Ocean.

Hells Gates
Hells Gates

Going north I passed through Zeehan and Rosebery and stopped the night at Montezuma Falls. In the afternoon I scooted up to Cradle Mountain and at the lookout at 930 meters you could see the amazing Belvoir Vale, which is a vast highland grass/heath valley.

Belvoir Vale
Belvoir Vale, Cradle Mountain

Hellyer Gorge had a nice walk along the river with lots of noisy birds but not much variety.

Flame Robin
Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea)

Next stop was Boat Harbour, just west of Burnie on the north coast of Tasmania. I had one sunny day at the beach and now it is miserable again. 🙁

Superb Fairy-wren
Superb Fairy-wren

At Sisters Beach I took a walk along the beach front and spied this very noisy Grey Shrike-thrush.

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

North Tasmania bird list

Masked Lapwing
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica strigata)
Grey Fantail
Superb Fairy-wren
Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea)
Green Rosella
European Goldfinch

December 9, 2018

Islands and Mountains

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Tasmanian tourist photos

After Eaglehawk Neck, I stopped off at Sorell for supplies and headed north towards Oatlands in the Southern Midlands. I stayed at a nice camp just near the Lake Dulverton Conservation Area. There were lots of Black Swans and coots and waterbirds.

Lake Dulverton Conservation Area - Oatlands
Lake Dulverton Conservation Area – Oatlands

Also at Oatlands was this amazing old mill that was fully functional. They could grind flour and there were bags of flour in the mill. I wanted to do a tour to see it working but there was no-one about.

Callington Mill - Oatlands
Callington Mill – Oatlands

After the lovely weather in the Southern Midlands I heade uphill to Lake Sorell and Interlaken in the Central Highlands, but that night the weather turned windy and rainy, so I headed west back to the highway and down to Bothwell, Hamilton and stayed the night near Hobart at the scout camp.

Truganini Lookout and Rookery - The Neck
Truganini Lookout and Rookery – The Neck

I got on the ferry at Kettering to Bruny Island and turned off at Barnes Bay where there were a lot of nice birds and a good mooring inlet for yachts.

The Neck Camp Ground in the rain.
The Neck Camp Ground in the rain.

Unfortunately that afternoon the rain set in so it was not a pleasant place. Luckily there was a little shelter for the campers to cook some dinner.

ferry from Bruny Island
ferry from Bruny Island

I was sick of the horrible weather so I bailed out on Bruny Island, drove through Hobart and camped at Mount Field for two nights. Then I set off again for the west, camping at Tungatinah Lagoon

Tungatinah Lagoon
Tungatinah Lagoon

I did the tourist thing at the lookout of the Taralleah Hydro-electric power station.

Taralleah Hydro-electric power station
Taralleah Hydro-electric power station

Lake st clair NP
Lake st clair

This was a tree cut down along the Watersmeet track at Lake St Clair. Probably for safety reasons.

Do not feed wild animals
Do not feed wild animals

December 8, 2018

Yellow-throated Honeyeater

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

Lake St Clair National Park

I deleted all my photos from last night this morning. I was in a rush to photograph this Yellow-throated Honeyeater and formatted my chip without remembering I still had photos from yesterday. doh! The main photo that I deleted was of a Fan-tailed Cuckoo, but I have photos of them, so whew! This morning I think I saw a Pink Robin but it was too quick to get a photo. double doh!

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)

Finally I got some decent photos of this elusive Tasmanian endemic. I wonder why they call them Yellow-throated Honeyeater ???

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)

So good I had to post two photos.

Olive Whistler
Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea apatetes)

Another good score – the Tasmanian sub-species of the Olive Whistler.

Grey Fantail
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)

And another Tasmanian race albiscapa.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

I like the background here of sawn wood.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

I think this one is a juvenile because he is so dark.

Lake St Clair bird list

Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)
Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea apatetes)

December 7, 2018

Lake Saint Clair National Park

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:07 am

Lake St Clair National Park

I arrived at Derwent Bridge before 9am so I went to the Information Centre for Lake St Clair National Park. I wanted to find out about the boat rides across the lake. But – gah! – $70 return. What a ripoff. I just went for a walk along the tracks which turned out to be quite good with a new Tasmanian endemic honeyeater.

Strong-billed Honeyeater
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)

The Strong-billed Honeyeater has a stout pointed bill and a rather flat forehead.

Strong-billed Honeyeater
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)

A juvenile on top with yellow bill and some colour around back of neck.

Yellow-throated Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)

Super bad photo of this Tasmanian endemic honeyeater. I still have not got a decent shot of one. doh!

Tasmanian Thornbill
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

Green Rosella - male
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)

This is a really nice shot of a male with lots of yellow.

Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)

I got some good shots of some of the endemics today.

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)

Wow, really bizarre shot of this Black Currawong’s massive tongue grabbing onto an insect.

Echidna
Echidna

Lake St Clair bird list

Tasmanian Scrubwren (Sericornis humilis)
Yellow-throated Honeyeater (Nesoptilis flavicollis)
Strong-billed Honeyeater (Melithreptus validirostris)
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa)
Tasmanian Thornbill (Acanthiza ewingii)

Echidna

Tungatinah Lagoon

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:24 am

Highland Lakes

Leaving Mount Field, I trekked down the hill to the Derwent River and had lunch at Hamilton where I charged up all my batteries and dried all my mattresses and blankets. The sun was shining for a change and it was actually quite hot. I should have got some supplies at Ouse, because there is nothing here at Derwent Bridge. Just high-priced tourist crap. I found a camp at the Tungatinah Lagoon. It was ok but nothing special. There were about three other lakes and lagoons which looked much nicer.

Black Currawong
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)

In the afternoon I went for a walk along the lagoon and into the bush for a bit. Not much around.

Green Rosella
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)

There were just a couple of Green Rosellas feeding on the grass near the lagoon embankment. They flew up into the trees when I surprised them and myself.

Yellow Wattlebird
Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)

And everywhere I go there are Yellow Wattlebirds. Next to the ocean, up in the high mountains, I have seen them.

And there we have it. Half the colours of the rainbow : Black Currawong, Green Rosella and Yellow Wattlebird. doh!

Tungatinah Lagoon bird list

Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)
Black Currawong (Strepera fulignosa)
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)
Welcome Swallow

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