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Bird Log 16th July 2008

Today I went to the Awabakal Nature Reserve at Dudley, Newcastle. To get there drive to the end of Ocean Street, Dudley, past the Dudley Nursing Home and park at the roundabout at the end of the street under the trees. Follow the walking track down the hill. There is a small lagoon at the bottom of the hill but there were no wading birds there, just a couple of magpie flittering about. On the way back I photographed a species that I had not seen before, the Red-browed Finch about which I was very pleased indeed. I think there was a cat or something in the undergrowth stalking the birds, and I was not too pleased about that.

The bird species that I took photos of today were as follows:

Laughing Kookaburra

laughing kookaburra
Camera settings were : 1/250 second, f/5.6, ISO400 with a 400 mm lens. The camera was a Canon 40D.

The Laughing Kookaburra has a scientific name of Dacelo novaeguineae. It is the largest kingfisher and they usually hang around in families of between four to eight birds. They have a distinctive raucous laughing voice that sounds like koo koo kah kah. They live in open forests and woodlands. They have a large bill and a large creamy head. The wings of the laughing kookaburra are mostly blue and the tail is deep blue with white tips.

Red-browed Finch

red-browed finch
Camera settings were : 1/1250 second, f/5.6, ISO800 with a 400 mm lens.

The Red-browed Finch has a scientific name of Neochmia temporalis. The red-browed finch has a size of 11-12 centimetres and group in small flocks and families. The body is olive-green with a scarlet flash from the red bill through the eye to the back of the crown. The tail is dark gray to black. The voice is a high-pitched tweet and the red-browed finch lives in dense shrubs and grassy areas, usually near water.