Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

January 11, 2010

The Drip Gorge, Goulburn River

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 6:42 am

The Drip Gorge, Goulburn River

11th January, 2010.

After the heat of yesterday at the Travelling Stock Route between Mudgee and Gulgong, today was a blessed relief with overcast skies and lots cooler weather. I drove to Gulgong and stopped off to buy some bread and had a beer at the rustic pub across the road. A thunderstorm was brewing towards the north and I saw a few flashes of lightning. I reached The Drip Gorge on the banks of the Goulburn River and read my book for a while before the rain came pelting down.

Just on dusk I saw something fly into a tree near me. It was making a low “oom oom” call so I thought it might have been a bronzewing because I have been sucked in before with this sub-bass snarl call. But when I had a good look, I saw that it was some kind of owl. I ran and grabbed the camera and took a few photos with my onboard flash. I don’t have a spotlight but I do not how how I could have used it by myself, anyway. The photos came out too dark, so I had to bump the exposure up by about 2 stops. I think this is a Tawny Frogmouth, but I really do not have a clue. Can you tell me what it is?

Owl, ID please.
Tawny Frogmouth, Marbled Frogmouth ? ID please?

The next morning I had a relaxing breakfast and let the birds come to me. I was feeling very lazy this morning. I was not even going to take out the camera, but I saw this Noisy Friarbird with his dinner. I have no idea what it is. It looks like some massive spider or something, or a fish? But I thought they were honey eaters and did not eat animals/bugs etc.. He seemed to be posing with it, saying “Look what I got, aren’t I clever?”.

Noisy Friarbird
Noisy Friarbird

There were a couple of other birds – an Olive-backed Oriole, a few honeyeaters and a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, but that was about it. Oh, and a male Superb Fairy-wren who came right up to me when I was eating my muesli. He was about less than a metre from me. Maybe he wanted a cuppa tea? I eventually finished my desultory bird watching episode and headed off down the road. At the Golden Highway, I thudded to a halt because I saw a Wedge-tailed Eagle over the highway. I jumped out, grabbed my camera and hurriedly guessed my exposure setting and shot away. The back lighting was pretty horrendous and I was way underexposed, so I cranked up the contrast just a bit too much I think. What do you reckon? hmmm.

Wedge-tailed Eagle
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)

Anyhow, here is a shot of the under side of the wings with the contrast not so extreme. You can see how washed out it looks. Its a shame because its the closest I have been to them. doh!

Wedge-tailed Eagle

Tomorrow I should be back in Newcastle and in the morning I might have a look at Walka Water Works which is to the north of Maitland, where I am right now.


  1. Great stories. Gee you get about a bit! I am enjoying your blog a lot.

    Comment by adam — January 11, 2010 @ 11:11 am

  2. Thanks Adam.

    I am now back in Newcastle for a couple of weeks.


    Comment by admin — January 12, 2010 @ 3:18 am

  3. Enjoyed the pics. Thanks for posting.

    Comment by C. E. Webster — January 13, 2010 @ 3:15 am

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