Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

August 19, 2009

Tomago Bird Photography 090818

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 2:49 am

Tomago Wetlands Bird Photography, 18th August, 2009.

I went to the monthly Tomago Wetlands bird survey this morning. We all met up at Tomago House, then drove into the wetlands. At Tomago House we spotted an Australian Hobby on one of the tall pine trees. We stopped at the tidal gates and saw some Brown Honeyeaters, Red-browed Finch and Mistletoebirds going in and out amongst the casuarina and mangrove trees.

Then we took off to the rice paddy to do our usual circle around it. We had a good look for some Southern Emu-wren and had some fleeting glimpses of a few, as well as some Golden-headed Cisticola. We did manage to spot a Fan-tailed Cuckoo off to the south.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Fan-tailed Cuckoo(Cacomantis flabelliformis)

A few of the crew walked into the swampy middle bit and flushed an Australasian Bittern. These birds are listed as vulnerable and we eventually saw 4 of them.

We had been hearing Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos all morning and eventually we saw about half a dozen of them roosing way off to the west. There were a lot of Australian White Ibis and Straw-necked Ibis hanging around together in large groups on the ground.

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

We did manage to spot some Fairy Martin (Hirundo ariel) who were flying around. The diagnostic features for the Fairy Martin are a rufous head, whitish rump and square tail. They were said to be possibly nesting in pipes at bridges.

After the obligatory birdwatchers morning tea at the tidal gates, we went to the eastern section of the wetlands. Straight away we saw a pair of Nankeen Kestrels hovering and hunting over the field. We thought that it was an adult and a young one being taught how to hunt. You could hear their cry of “kee, kee” quite clearly.

We also saw a Whistling Kite displaying and a pair of Swamp Harriers were soaring over us as well. There were so many raptors around. We just had to look up and see something. In all we saw five species of raptors – White-bellied Sea-eagle, Australian Hobby, Swamp Harrier, Nankeen Kestrel and Whistling Kite. Back at the casuarinas, an Olive-backed Oriole was singing the most beautiful songs. I thought it was a Noisy Friarbird until I saw him. It was glorious.

Olive-backed Oriole
Olive-backed Oriole (Oriolus sagittatus)

Tomago bird list 18/8/09

Brown Honeyeater
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Australian Hobby
Swamp Harrier
Nankeen Kestrel
Whistling Kite
Australian Magpie
Australian Raven
Little Black Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis
Red-browed Finch
Superb Fairy-wren
Southern Emu-wren
Australasian Bittern
White-faced Heron
Masked Lapwing
Golden-headed Cisticola
Fairy Martin
Welcome Swallow
Grey Fantail
Willy Wagtail
Grey Shrike-thrush
Australian Pipit
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo
Olive-backed Oriole

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