Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

February 20, 2019

Big Tree Grove and Northcliffe

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 5:42 am

Southern Forests of Western Australia

After leaving Walpole, I camped at Crystal Springs for a couple of nights, recharging my batteries, doing nothing but read crime novels. I was going to camp at Shannon camp but there were millions of March Flies or Horseflies. It was just unbearable. Next stop was the Big Tree Grove. Not much there at all. The southern forests are a bit of a disappointment really. The only saving grace was the sight of another Baudin’s Black-cockatoo.

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo


Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus baudinii)

Purple-crowned Lorikeet


Purple-crowned Lorikeet (Glossopsitta porphyrocephala)

There were a lot of Purple-crowned Lorikeets in the high canopy at the Big Tree Grove, along with some Western Rosellas.

Gilbert's Honeyeater


Gilbert’s Honeyeater (Melithreptus chlorospis)

This Gilbert’s Honeyeater was getting right into the nectar with this flower.

Red-winged Fairy-wren


Red-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus elegans)

I rolled into Northcliffe for lunch and then found my way to Sid’s Campground. Pretty cheap at five bucks a night, with shower and camp kitchen – top value. The horse flies are not so bad here either.

Australasian Swamphen


Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus bellus)

In the afternoon I went for a walk around the camp grounds. Not a great deal of bird activity at all. The South-west sub-species of the Australasian Swamphen, bellus, has an iridescent cobalt front.

Grey Shrike-thrush


Grey Shrike-thrush (Collurincla harmonica rufiventris)

I had to have a good hard look at this one. But the rufous vent, red eye, whitish lores, black bill and whitish eye-ring convinced me that it was a Grey Shrike-thrush and not a Western Whistler.

Scarlet Robin


Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang campbelli)

Last but not least, this SW sub-species campbelli, were very lively around the campsite when I got back from my walk.

Southern Forests Bird List

Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus baudinii)
Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang campbelli)
White-browed Scrubwren
Western Rosella
Purple-crowned Lorikeet (Glossopsitta porphyrocephala)
Red Wattlebird
Gilbert’s Honeyeater (Melithreptus chlorospis)
Red-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus elegans)
New Holland Honeyeater
Australian Magpie
Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus bellus)
Grey Shrike-thrush (Collurincla harmonica rufiventris)

February 17, 2019

Albany to Walpole

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

On to Walpole

After camping at the beach for a night, I kept heading west to the Valley of the Giants where I spotted a Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo. It was too dark but I could tell it was a Baudin’s because of the elongated upper mandible. But I hopefully will get a better photo as this is the first time I have run into any of them.

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo


Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus baudinii)

At Peaceful Bay I was lucky to get some photos of an adult Red-eared Firetail.

Red-eared Firetail - adult


Red-eared Firetail (Stagonopleura oculata)

Here is an adult and a rather strange juvenile with a white tail instead of a red tail.

Red-eared Firetail


Red-eared Firetail (Stagonopleura oculata)

At the Treetop Walk in the Valley of the Giants, I snapped a male Red-winged Fairy-wren hopping around under the cars in the car park.

Red-winged Fairy-wren


Red-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus elegans)

Walpole – South-west bird list

Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus baudinii)
Sooty Oystercatcher
Silvereye
Red-eared Firetail (Stagonopleura oculata)
Grey Fantail
Red-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus elegans)

February 15, 2019

Something rotten in the state of Denmark

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:56 am

Denmark – Western Australia

I had a swim yesterday at the beach. I needed a wash. The water was really nice and refreshing. I did all my photo processing at the library . In the afternoon found a couple of Osprey fishing at the river-mouth. At times they were hovering like kestrels.

Eastern Osprey


Eastern Osprey (Pandion cristatus)

Eastern Osprey


Eastern Osprey (Pandion cristatus)

Australian Shelduck


Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)

The males have dark heads and the females have a white ring around the eye.

Red-winged Fairy-wren


Red-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus elegans)

Then I went on the Mokare walk over the river but it was nothing. Late in the afternoon I headed to the Harewood Forest Walk. There were all these bit karri trees but no birds at all.

Western Whistler - male


Western Whistler (Pachycephala occidentalis)

This morning I had a pastie and coffee at the Vienamese bakery. Then headed out along the inlet to Campbell Road and walked the trail along the waterfront for a kilometer or so. This is a male Western Whistler at long last.

Red-eared Firetail


Red-eared Firetail (Stagonopleura oculata)

This is a very young juvenile Red-eared Firetail, without the red ear, yellowish gape, and black bill.

Gilbert's Honeyeater


Gilbert’s Honeyeater (Melithreptus chloropsis)

A Gilbert’s Honeyeater having a good old scratch. They are reasonably common over here in the west.

Galah and Little Corella


Galah and Little Corella

These buddies were digging big holes in the dirt looking for something to eat.

Denmark bird list

Eastern Osprey (Pandion cristatus)
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
Australian White Ibis
Little Pied Cormorant
Black Swan
Australian Pelican
White-faced Heron
Great Egret
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Gilbert’s Honeyeater (Melithreptus chloropsis)
Red Wattlebird
Red-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus elegans)
Western Whistler (Pachycephala occidentalis)
Red-eared Firetail (Stagonopleura oculata)
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Twenty-eight Parrot
Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla roseicapilla)
Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea sanguinea)

February 14, 2019

Denmark Birding

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Denmark Wetland Boardwalk

After leaving Albany and the big winds, I went west and tried to find a camp spot at Cozy Corner but it was all full up so I camped along the Hay River. In the morning I discovered the Denmark Wetlands and Boardwalk. The boardwalk was fantastic except there was no water. Another dry emphemeral wetland. So many water-holes have been dry.

Western Whistler


Western Whistler (Pachycephala occidentalis)

I did happen to see the male, but the photos are really crap. doh! This is a juvenile or a female.

Red-capped Parrot


Red-capped Parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius)

This is a juvenile and an adult.

Twenty-eight Parrot


Twenty-eight Parrot – Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus)

This is a genuine 28, not one of your Port Lincoln hybrids.

Western Rosella


Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis)

Denmark Wetland bird list

Western Whistler (Pachycephala occidentalis)
Tree Martin
Red-eared Firetail (Stagonopleura oculata)
White-breasted Robin
Twenty-eight Parrot – Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus)
Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis)
Red-capped Parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius)
New Holland Honeyeater
Australian White Ibis
Gilbert’s Honeyeater
Willie Wagtail
Dusky Woodswallow
Sacred Kingfisher

February 13, 2019

Waychinicup National Park

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 2:58 am

Cheyne’s Beach

After doing all my photo processing in Albany, I headed east along the coast to Cheyne’s Beach. It is a pretty famous spot and rightly so. Except for the millions of annoying New Holland Honeyeaters! It is adjacent to Waychinicup National Park.

Southern Emu-wren


Southern Emu-wren (Stipiturus malachurus)

What an amazing little bird. I thought I had blown it with these photos. They looked blurred on my viewfinder. I was so cranky. But now I am happy. 🙂

Western Spinebill  - male


Western Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus superciliosus) – male

It was hard to get photos of these elusive birds. Pure luck on my part.

Western Spinebill


Western Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus superciliosus)

I think this is an immature male, female or juvenile. ha ha take your pick, doh!

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater


Tawny-crowned Honeyeater (Glyciphila melanops)

My book says these are not here. But I saw them with my own eyes and camera.

White-cheeked Honeyeater


White-cheeked Honeyeater (Phylidonyris niger)

These are the first I have seen in the west.

Crested Tern  - juvenile


Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) – juvenile

Crested Tern with big fish


Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)

Non-breeding adult with a big fish. I think it is a West Australian Herring or something similar.

Carnaby's Black-cockatoo


Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

Cheyne’s Beach bird list

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater (Glyciphila melanops)
Western Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus superciliosus)
Southern Emu-wren (Stipiturus malachurus)
Red Wattlebird
New Holland Honeyeater
White-cheeked Honeyeater (Phylidonyris niger)
Brush Bronzewing (Phaps elegans)
Common Bronzewing
White-browed Scrubwren
White-breasted Robin
Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)
Pacific Gull
Silver Gull
Common Sandpiper
Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)
brown Quail

February 11, 2019

Porongurup Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 6:46 am

Porongurup National Park

After the Stirling Ranges, I went south towards Albany and found the Porongurup National Park. The first stop was the Granite Skywalk at Castle Rock. But horror, it was packed with tourists so i made a quick getaway and went to the Tree in the Rock Picnic Area. Luckily it was much quieter there.

White-breasted Robin


White-breasted Robin (Eopsaltria georgiana)

These ones were plentiful around the picnic tables, and they came really close. They must have been really used to people. They are an endemic Western Australian bird.

Rufous Treecreeper


Rufous Treecreeper (Climacteris rufus)

One Rufous Treecreeper came within two meters of me while I was sitting having my breakfast. So close that I could not take a photo.

Red-eared Firetail - juvenile


Red-eared Firetail (Stagonopleura oculata)

The Red-eared Firetail (Stagonopleura oculata) is the only finch found in the south-west of Western Australia. It prefers moist forests and dense coastal heath. It feeds on seeds from shrubs and sedges. This one is a juvenile without the red ears.

Western Yellow Robin


Western Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria griseogularis)

Check out the amazing yellow belly on this Western Yellow Robin. Well-named.

Splendid Fairy-wren - eclipse male


Splendid Fairy-wren (Malurus splendens splendens)

This is an eclipse male Spendid Fairy-wren.

Splendid Fairy-wren - female


Splendid Fairy-wren (Malurus splendens splendens)

Female with the reddish lores and bill.

Red-tailed Black-cockatoo


Red-tailed Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso)

Porongurup National Park bird list

White-breasted Robin (Eopsaltria georgiana)
Rufous Treecreeper (Climacteris rufus)
Red-eared Firetail (Stagonopleura oculata)
Splendid Fairy-wren (Malurus splendens splendens)
Red-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus elegans)
White-browed Scrubwren
Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis)
New Holland Honeyeater
Australian Magpie
Western Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria griseogularis)
Red-tailed Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso)
Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang campbelli)

Stirling Range National Park 3

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 4:39 am

Stirling Range Retreat 3

This is my last morning at the Stirling Range Retreat. I got up at 5.30am to go to the Mount Trio Walk. I got there and there was fog everywhere and no birds! I was looking for a Wester Whipbird. I could not hear anything. So, dejected I went back down the mountain to the camp site and walked around there for a while.

Western Yellow Robin


Western Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria griseogularis)

I got some out of focus shots of the Western Yellow Robin at the West River but here I managed to get a couple in focus. doh!

28 Parrot


Twenty-eight Parrot – Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus)

I reckon this one is a genuine Twenty-eight Parrot because of the greenish belly and the red stripe across the forehead.

Twenty-eight Parrot


Twenty-eight Parrot – Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus)

But this one I am inclined to think is a hybrid or mix with the Port Lincoln Parrot because of the yellow belly. But it has a red forehead stripe.

Grey Currawong


Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor plumbea)

Finally I got a semi-reasonable photo of the western sub-species plumbea. But there is still room for improvement.

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo


Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

Stirling Range bird list

Twenty-eight Parrot – Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus)
Western Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria griseogularis)
Red-capped Parrot
Western Lorikeet
Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)
Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor plumbea)

Stirling Range National Park 2

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Stirling Range Retreat

Next morning at the camp at the edge of the Stirling Range National Park.

Twenty-eight Parrot


Twenty-eight Parrot – Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus)

I think this one is a hybrid or mix between the Port Lincoln and Twenty-eight Parrot. I will call it for definite the closer I get to the far south-west.

Elegant Parrot


Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans carteri)

They are very similar to the Rock Parrot but do not hang on the coast.

Western Rosella


Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis xanthogenys)

Red-capped Parrot


Red-capped Parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius)

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo


Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

Blue-breasted Fairy-wren


Blue-breasted Fairy-wren (Malurus pulcherrimus)

yes it was a Blue-breasted Fairy-wren as I first thought. Thank you Raymond. and Nikolas.

Inland Thornbill


Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis)

Weebill


Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris occidentalis)

Tree Martin


Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)

Gilbert's Honeyeater


Gilbert’s Honeyeater (Melithreptus chloropsis)

Looking like a drowned rat after a bath.

Stirling Range bird list

Twenty-eight Parrot – Australian RingnecK (Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus)
Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans carteri)
Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis xanthogenys)
Red-capped Parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius)
Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)
Blue-breasted Fairy-wren (Malurus pulcherrimus)
Dusky Woodswallow
Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus substriatus)
Gilbert’s Honeyeater (Melithreptus chloropsis)
New Holland Honeyeater
Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula ornata)
Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris occidentalis)
Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis)
Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor plumbea)

Stirling Ranges National Park 1

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 3:47 am

Stirling Range Retreat

The Stirling Range Retreat is at the northern end of the Stirling Range National Park. It has everything for the happy camper. Kettle to boil water, gas range, hot showers and a fridge.

Little Eagle


Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides)

Little Eagle


Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides)

Yellow-plumed Honeyeater


Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula ornata)

Restless Flycatcher


Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

This is the same species as over east but the only flycatcher in Western Australia, as far as I know.

Gilbert's Whistler


Gilbert’s Whistler (Pachycephala inornata)

Stirling Range bird list

Weebill
Silvereye
Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (Ptilotula ornata)
Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)
Rainbow Bee-eater
Gilbert’s Whistler (Pachycephala inornata)
Dusky Woodswallow
Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides)
Tree Martin
Twenty-eight Parrot

February 8, 2019

South of West Australia

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 3:53 am

Southern Coast of Western Australia

I headed south from Norseman towards Esperance. Then I headed east along the coast to the Duke of Orleans Bay and Wharton Beach.

Duke of Orleans Bay


Duke of Orleans Bay

Just west of there is Wharton Beach and Little Wharton Beach. These are the islands from Little Wharton Beach.

Little Wharton Beach view


Little Wharton Beach view

Then I went back to Esperance and had a look at Lake Monjingup.

Lake Monjingup


Lake Monjingup

Next stop is Stokes National Park, about 80 kilometers west of Esperance. They have a really nice camp ground and the fishing is supposed to be terrific. Black Bream – yum yum.

Strange seed pod


Strange seed pod

The water seemed to be really high. These paperbarks were looking pretty soaked.

Stokes Inlet


Stokes Inlet

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