Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

March 17, 2009

Bird Photography Tomago 090317

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 5:34 am

Bird Photography at Tomago Wetlands, 17th March, 2009.

Today I went with the HBOC survey group to Tomago Wetlands. This is the second time I have been to Tomago Wetlands. The first time it was very dry. The weather was clear with sunny skies and a temperature of about 24 degrees Celsius. But, the big news is that I have seen four, count them 4, new bird species, with photos. The other big news is that it was officially raptor day at Tomago, with no less than than ten raptors seen during the morning. Australian Hobby, Black-shouldered Kites, Swamp Harrier, and Whistling Kites. As soon as I pulled up in the car, there was an Australian Hobby right where we met up.

So off we went into the wetlands and stop near the gates where we saw a heap of birds in the Casuarina trees. And the first new bird was a Shining bronze-cuckoo(Chrysococcyx lucidus). It may be also called a Golden Bronze-Cuckoo, but I am not sure about that.

Shining Bronze-cuckoo

Up towards the river was a Male Mistletoebird(Dicaeum hirundinaceum). I think there may have been a female one, but I am unsure about that. First time seen for me.

Mistletoebird

The next new bird was Dicrurus bracteatus, the spangled drongo. This bird is very easy to spot with its distinctive bifurcated tail.

Spangled Drongo

Along the flats there were a lot of grassbirds, Golden-headed Cisticolas and some Southern Emu-wren. We managed to disturb a Latham’s Snipe(Gallinago hardwickii) which took off into the air and flew quite a ways, more than they usually do.

Latham's Snipe

Going back to the parking spot, we spotted a couple of Whistling Kites(Haliastur sphenurus) and here is one of them.

Whistling Kite

So all in all it was a great day for me with four new birds – Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Spangled Drongo, Mistletoebird, and Latham’s Snipe.

Bird Species List for Tomago Wetlands, 17/3/09

Australian Hobby
Black-shouldered Kite
Whistling Kite
Swamp Harrier
yellow-faced Honeyeater
Southern Emu-wren
Shining Bronze-cuckoo
Spangled Drongo
Mistletoebird
Golden-headed Cisticola
Latham’s Snipe

Bird Photography Stockton Ash Island 090316

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Bird Photography at Ash Island and Stockton , 16th March, 2009.

I went to Ash Island early in the morning and saw a Black-shouldered Kite along the road. He hovered and then dove into a field and flew off. I could not see if he caught any prey. Then down to the pools along Wagtail Way. There were heaps of the usual swallows so I practiced my Bird in Flight photography on them. Nothing came out all that good. The light was pretty low. I went around past the Railway line and then back towards Ramsar Road.

I spotted a Nankeen Kestrel on the way but it was too far away to get a decent shot. Then I headed around to a track off Ramsar Road to have a look at the White-fronted Chats who were once again posing with the bug in the bill. They are such posers, these birds. This one is a male. Notice the dark black band in front with the sharp edges. The male has also a dark black band over the head with distinct edges.

White-fronted Chat

The female White-fronted Chat has a greyish head without the distinctive black bar and the black front bar has not as sharp edges. Also the wing primaries are greyish, whereas they are dark black on the male.

White-fronted Chat

I left Ash Island and then drove to the Stockton side of the Hunter River, just past the wreck. There were about 8 Pacific Golden Plover. This group is distinctive from the group that hang out at the Kooragang Dykes. I took this photo to show the wing feathers.

Pacific Golden Plover

This one still has not got the breeding plumage yet.

Pacific Golden Plover

This Pacific Golden Plover is just starting to get some breeding plumage. Notice the black speckles down the front which will turn fully black with a white line from behind the ear down the sides of the chest.

Pacific Golden Plover

Well, thats about it for today. byeeee.. 🙂

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