Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

May 5, 2009

Hunter Wetlands Bird Photography 090429

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:19 pm

Bird Photography at the Hunter Wetlands Center, Shortland. 29th April, 2009.

This morning I went to the Hunter Wetlands Centre at Shortland in Newcastle. It is a good place to go when you just feel like having a cruise and wander around the wetlands. The first bird I saw was a Yellow-faced Honeyeater(Lichenostomus chrysops). Their habitat is forests, woodlands, and heath lands on the mountains and the coast. They feed on mainly insects and nectar.

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Then I spotted this baby Purple Swamphen(Porphyrio porphyrio) climbing in the reeds behind its mother. After they hatch the chicks of the Purple Swamphen are covered in soft down. The chicks can run and follow and adult to food in just a few days and have feathers and are ready to fly in 8 weeks.

Purple Swamphen baby

A mob of Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos(Calyptorhynchus funereus) flew over making a terrible racket. They are such noisy birds. The Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo is found in southeast Australia and their habitat is a variety, but favouring eucalypt forests and pine plantations. They feed in large noisy flocks, eating the seeds of native trees and pine cones.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

This Australasian Grebe(Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) was looking a fright after diving into the pond.

Australasian Grebe

This Australasian Shoveler(Anas rhynchotis) was also having a good time in the pond.

Shoveler Duck

And here he is bum up, looking for food, working hard.

Shoveler Duck

Bird Species List, Hunter Wetlands Centre, 29/4/09

Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Superb Fairy-wren
Intermediate Egret
Purple swamphen
Whistling Kite
Nankeen Night Heron
Magpie Goose
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Australasian Grebe
Australasian Shoveler
Pacific Black Duck

May 4, 2009

Bird Photography Ash Island 090427

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:10 pm

Ash Island, Hunter River, Bird Photography, 27th April, 2009.

Well I am home at last. This morning I went to Ash Island, which is on the Hunter River, Newcastle. The temperature was 14 degrees Centigrade at 8 am. I saw a few raptors but they were too far away for any decent shots. Probably also I am getting a bit more fussy now. There was a dead rabbit on the road just before Milham Road starts and the crows and Whistling Kites flew off as I approached. As I said there were lots of raptors in the distance, but nothing came close. The only decent photographs were of Black-fronted Dotterels and a Pied Butcherbird.

The Black-fronted Dotterel(Elseyornis melanops) is of the Family Charadriidae and they are widespread throughout Australia. Their habitat is the shallow margins of wetlands, lakes, marshes and other freshwater bodies of water. The Black-fronted Dotterel feeds on small molluscs and aquatic and terrestrial insects.

Black-fronted Dotterel

C. E. Bryant, in The Emu asserts that: “Particular birds seem to be very local and are often confined to small water-holes and dams. ” This may well be the case as there is always a group of Black-fronted Dotterels at the same spot along Wagtail Way whenever I visit there.

Black-fronted Dotterel

The Pied Butcherbird(Cracticus nigrogularis) is said to be the best singer of the birds of Australia. They belong to family Artamidae. Pied Butcherbirds prey on small reptiles, mammals, frogs, and birds, as well as large insects.

Pied Butcherbird

The nest of the Pied Butcherbird is a bowl of sticks and twigs, lined with grasses and other finer materials.

Pied Butcherbird

Sources: csiro, austmus.gov.au, birdsinbackyards.net, ozanimals.com

March 3, 2009

Seaham Bird Photography 090303

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 2:23 am

Bird Photography at Seaham, Hunter Valley. 3rd February, 2009.

This morning we went to a property at East seaham which is on the Williams River past Raymond Terrace in the Lower Hunter Valley. The first thing we saw when we started off was about three Pied Butcherbirds. Here is one of them.

Pied Butcherbird

We walked along the river side for a fair way and then headed back up the paddock. Something must have disturbed the birds at the dam because of some reason, probably a raptor. This flock of mixed Australian White Ibis and Straw-necked Ibis flew around and around. Its funny seeing them mixed up like this. Or is it?

Ibis

Way in the distance on a hill we saw a Wedge-tailed Eagle.

Wedge-tailed Eagle

Then a pair of them starting circling way off in the distance. I think there were a pair of crows harassing them. Its a pity they did not come closer and this is the best shot I could manage. Pretty crappy, hey?

Wedge-tailed Eagle

And on the way back, at the end of the trek, there was an Australian Hobby in a paddock on a dead tree.

Australian Hobby

Bird Species List, East Seaham, 3/3/09

White-faced Heron
Noisy Miner
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Australian Hobby
Whistling Kite
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Intermediate Egret
Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Grey Fantail

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