Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

August 29, 2009

Canberra Bird Photography 090829

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Canberra Bird Photography, 29th August 2009.

This morning we got up early and went to the Jerabombera Wetlands off the end of Newcastle Street. The weather was a bit overcast but it looked like it might clear up and the sun would come out. When we got there to the wetlands it was looking very grey indeed. We saw a few rabbits and lots of rabbit holes near the hide. The rabbits really have made a big mess.

There were a few water birds in the pond – Grey Teal and Purple Swamphen but not much else. Some Superb Fairy-wrens were flittering around in the trees. After that fantastic start, it begins to rain, so we went home. When we got home there were a bunch of European Goldfinch in the trees around the apartments, so I got out the camera and took some photos of them.

European Goldfinch
European Goldfinch

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) were introduced to Australia in the nineteenth Century. They are found mainly in settled areas, farm lands, gardens and parks. They eat smaller seeds and in summer they feed on insects as well. Their average size is about fourteen centimetres.

The other day at Cooma I saw a few Gang Gang Cockatoos in the park. I rushed off to get my camera but by the time I had got back they were gone and a gang of crows were ruling the roost. I suspect that the park was the territory of the Australian Ravens and had chased off the Gang-gangs. At Mount Selwyn there were copious Australian Ravens and Australian Magpies who were working the slopes and the car park. I also saw what were Scarlet Robins on the road above the snow line.

Canberra Bird List 29/8/09

Grey Teal
Superb Fairy-wren
Purple Swamphen
Australian Magpie
Australian Raven
Crested Pigeon
Spotted Turtle-dove
European Goldfinch
Common Starling

June 8, 2009

Canberra Bird Photography 2

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Cooleman ridge, Canberra, 7th June, 2009, pm

This afternoon I went to the Cooleman ridge which is near the suburb of Rivett in Canberra. I got there by going to the end of Hindmarsh Drive, turning left onto Darwinia Terrace and then the first left into Kathner Street. There are brochures at the start of the walk and the sections are indicated by numbers. It is quite a pleasant walk even if you are not going birding or taking some photographs. There are a few spots where you can look out on the mountain ranges surrounding Canberra.

Scarlet Robin
Scarlet Robin(Petroica boodang)

The weather was cloudy and overcast and the light was atrocious. I had the ISO on 1600 for most of the time I was there and at the end of the walk, it was getting so dark, i could not even get a picture. The first birds are what I assumed to be Superb Fairy-wren, but I could not get a positive Identification because i could not get a good look at a dominant male. Next up I saw a Scarlet Robin up a hill so I followed them up and spotted a bunch of Yellow-tailed Thornbills as well who were feeding under some small trees on the ground.

Scarlet Robin

On the way back I spotted a juvenile Currawong and a King Parrot, as well as a few flocks of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos as well as a Crested Pigeon. By that time, the light had diminished to impossible to take a decent photo, so I gave it a miss.

Scarlet Robin

The habitat of the Scarlet Robin(Petroica boodang) when breeding is closed and tall open forests. There is some autumn and winter altitudinal dispersal to more open localities such as the grasslands of Cooleman Ridge in this example.

The Scarlet Robin feeds on mainly insects and feeds around the ground. They sit on a tree branch and fly down to catch prey. It is in the passerine bird genus Petroica. They are territorial and monogamous. In NSW they have been proposed as a Vulnerable Species because of a moderate reduction in population due to habitat degradation and overgrazing. Clearing of native vegetation, removal of dead wood and dead trees are recognised as Key Threatening Processes. An over-abundant populations of Pied Currawongs, as well as other native and/or feral predators appear to be severe threats to the scarlet robin’s breeding productivity.

sources: birdsinbackyards.net, environment.nsw.gov.au

Cooleman Ridge Bird Species List, 7/6/09

Superb Fairy-wren
Scarlet Robin(Petroica boodang)
Yellow-tailed Thornbill
Currawong
King Parrot
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Crested Pigeon

Canberra Bird Photography 1

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5th June, 2009, Midday. Mooney Mooney.

I stopped at Mooney Mooney rest area by the side of the Hawkesbury River on the way to Canberra. I needed to rest the engine so I had half an hour to wait. There were not many birds around – just a couple of silver gulls on the river bank. I walked around the edge of the river along the mangroves, then saw what looked like a Banded Lapwing. So I went back to get the camera and took some photos of what turned out to be a pair of Masked Lapwings. The spurs on one of the birds was very prominent, so that was an interesting thing.

Masked Lapwing
Masked Lapwing(Vanellus miles)

There wasn’t much else around, just some cockatoos over on the far side of the river flying around. So I walked back to the car park, taking a photo of this oyster boat riding past. I filled up with water, checked the oil and set off over the bridge towards Sydney and Canberra.

Jerrabomberra Wetlands, Canberra. 7th June, 2009. am

This morning I went to the Jerrabomberra Wetlands, which is near Fyshwick. You can get to it by going off the Monaro Highway at Newcastle Street, and then going down Dairy Road. We parked at the car park right at the end and then went to the left to the Bittern Hide. There were a few Purple Swamphens and Eurasian Coots with a couple of swans.

Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Yellow-rumped Thornbill(Acanthiza chrysorrhoa).

There were a lot of rabbits bouncing around and there were lots of rabbit holes in the ground. There were almost as many Superb Fairy-wren as rabbits – they were everywhere.

New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater(Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)

I walked back to the car park and spotted a few Yellow-rumped Thornbills cavorting around in the thistles in the next door paddock. You could spot their yellow rumps quite clearly when they were fluttering around from one thistle bush to another. After that I went right and crossed a creek and saw an Australasian Grebe and in the bush there were Superb Fairy-wrens, Red-browed Finches, Red Wattlebirds, and New Holland Honeyeaters.

Red Wattlebird
Red Wattlebird(Anthochaera carnunculata)

The weather was not the best but at least we saw the sun in patches from time to time.

Jerrabomberra Bird Species List, 7/6/09

New Holland Honeyeater
Superb Fairy-wren
Black Swan
Purple Swamphen
Eurasian Coot
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Australasian Grebe
Red-browed Finch
Red Wattlebird
Currawong
Australian Raven

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