Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

April 22, 2010


Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — steve_happ @ 2:11 am

Diamond Head

It has been raining for days and days, so this morning was the first time I had been able to get my camera out. It is still a bit overcast with a few black clouds about. I was hoping that it would clear up today. The sun came out for a brief while this morning, but hope springs eternal. Caloundra is north of Brisbane and just south of Mooloolabah in Southern Queensland. It is basically the start of the Sunshine Coast. This morning the first thing I saw when I got out of bed was a pair of Brahminy Kites perched on a tree way over the water on Bribie Island. After breakfast I headed off along the walk towards Diamond Head, seeing lots of Noisy Miners, pelicans, ibis and kookaburras.

Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

Then I happened to meet a nice lady walking by who told me there were a pair of Tawny Frogmouths roosting in a tree around the corner. After a search by me and a few other passers-by, I finally spotted the pair up in a casuarina tree. Tawny Frogmouths have a long lifespan and form permanent pairs. They usually stay in the one territory for a decade or longer. The locals were telling me this pair would come back every year and had done so for ages. During the day, they will remain motionless on a roosting site for a length of time.

Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Yawny Frogmouth

After that, I was blissfully walking back to my starting point, feeling very satisfied with myself, and these people told me they had seen a peewee’s nest with young chicks being fed. I went around the bend, and lo and behold, there they were. I think there were about 4 chicks and they would open their mouths wide in anticipation of mum and dad popping a yummy worm in their BIG mouths.

Magpie-lark feeding young
Magpie-lark feeding chicks on nest

Update 27th April 2010

And here are the chicks, about five days later, when I came back to Caloundra. They have grown heaps.

Magpie-lark chicks, 5 days older, grown heaps

And here is mum, hunting for some tucker for her babies. She seems to have a moth or a butterfly in her bill. I think they gather a few bugs in their bills before returning to the nest.

Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)

All in all it was a great morning and finally after waiting days for the rain to stop, I got some decent photos of some very interesting behaviour. Too bad the weather is still looking grim, but at least the drought has finished in Queensland.

Diamond Head, Caloundra bird list

Noisy Miner
Brahminy Kite
Australian Pelican
Silver Gull
Welcome Swallow
Rainbow Lorikeet
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Australian White Ibis
Eastern Whipbird
White-faced Heron
Laughing Kookaburra
Australian Raven
Masked Lapwing
Black-winged Stilt
Australian Magpie
Tawny Frogmouth
Crested Pigeon
Spotted Turtle-dove
Pied Butcherbird
Little Black Cormorant
Little Egret
Whistling Kite


“Tawny Frogmouth” by Gisela Kaplan, CSIRO Publishing, 2007.


  1. wow.awesome photography

    Comment by Caloundra Accommodation — April 9, 2011 @ 3:56 am

  2. Thank you.

    I really enjoyed Caloundra. It is a great place!

    steve 🙂

    Comment by @steve_happ — April 10, 2011 @ 11:43 pm

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