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Bird Log 30th June 2008

The weather was windy and sunny with the wind from the North West and blowing at about twenty knots. The location was Throsby Creek at Islington in Newcastle right next to the TAFE college on Maitland Road. Throsby Creek gets its water source from storm water drains west of the suburbs of Newcastle. There are some mangrove swamp islands in the middle of the creek and some at the sides. The area is used for recreation for children and dog exercising. Adjoining the Creek is a cycle way and a soccer field. The birds that I saw on this photography session were little pied cormorants, little black cormorants, white-faced herons, Australian white ibis, Australian Magpie and a pair of seagulls or silver gulls.

Australian White Ibis

australian white ibis
Camera settings: 1/1000, f/5.6, iso200, 400 mm, Canon 40D

The Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) roosts in trees or near water , bullrush beds, or mangroves. Their habitat is all but very saline wetlands, pastures, tidal flats, garbage dumps, and suburban parks. They have bright pink bands at the beck of the neck, a black head, with a yellow upper tail. The size of the Australian White Ibis ranges from 65 to 75 centimeters. Another name for it has been the Sacred Ibis.

Australian Magpie

Australian Magpie
Camera settings: 1/1000, f/5.6, iso200, 400 mm, Canon 40D

The Australian Magpie or Gymnorhina tibicen is a very common bird all over Australia. They are a glossy black with white at the back of the neck , the top of the body and the front of the wing feathers. This bird is very territorial and in spring will swoop any humans or dogs that get near to the birds nest. When we were kids we usually carried sticks and waved them around our heads if we were in the vicinity of any magpies. Their song is delightful and one of the most tuneful of all the bird calls. The habitat is usually open forest, farm land, and urban treed areas.

Silver Gull

silver gull
Camera settings: 1/1000, f/5.6, iso200, 400 mm, Canon 40D

The Silver Gull is commonly called a seagull and has a scientific name of Larus novaehollandiae. Silver Gulls are scavengers that frequent fishing boats, beaches, seabird colonies, and cities. They mainly hang around coastal areas. The body is mainly white with grey wings and red legs and beaks. The tail feathers are black and white striped.

Little Pied Cormorant

little pied cormorant
Camera settings: 1/1000, f/5.6, iso200, 400 mm, Canon 40D

The Little Pied Cormorant has a scientific name of Phalacrocorax melanoleucos. The little pied cormorant is the smalles australian cormorant that is mostly aquatic living in creeks and lakes nearly all over Australia. They have a size of between 55 and 65 centimeters. It has a short yellow bill with black borders and a crest of short black feathers just before the bill.

Little Black Cormorant

little black cormorant
Camera settings: 1/1000, f/5.6, iso200, 400 mm, Canon 40D

The scientific name for the Little Black Cormorant is Phalacrocorax sulcirostris. The habitat of the little black cormorant is mainly estuarine and inland aquatic lakes, river, and creeks. They sometimes fish co-operatively with Australian Pelicans. They are distinguishable from the little pied cormorant because they are all black.

White-faced Heron

white-faced heron
Camera settings: 1/200, f/5.6, iso400, 400 mm, Canon 40D

The White-faced Heron has a scientific name of Egretta or Ardea novaehollandiae. The main body of the white-faced heron is a blue-grey colour with white aorund the face and down the neck some way. The bill is a dark brown and the legs are a yellow-green. The habit of the white-faced heron is mostly wetlands such as inter-tidal flats, as well as pastures, farm dams and park lands. They can quite commonly be seen in urban areas. Their size ranges from 66 to 68 centimeters.