Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

March 17, 2009

Bird Photography Stockton Ash Island 090316

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 4:10 am

Bird Photography at Ash Island and Stockton , 16th March, 2009.

I went to Ash Island early in the morning and saw a Black-shouldered Kite along the road. He hovered and then dove into a field and flew off. I could not see if he caught any prey. Then down to the pools along Wagtail Way. There were heaps of the usual swallows so I practiced my Bird in Flight photography on them. Nothing came out all that good. The light was pretty low. I went around past the Railway line and then back towards Ramsar Road.

I spotted a Nankeen Kestrel on the way but it was too far away to get a decent shot. Then I headed around to a track off Ramsar Road to have a look at the White-fronted Chats who were once again posing with the bug in the bill. They are such posers, these birds. This one is a male. Notice the dark black band in front with the sharp edges. The male has also a dark black band over the head with distinct edges.

White-fronted Chat

The female White-fronted Chat has a greyish head without the distinctive black bar and the black front bar has not as sharp edges. Also the wing primaries are greyish, whereas they are dark black on the male.

White-fronted Chat

I left Ash Island and then drove to the Stockton side of the Hunter River, just past the wreck. There were about 8 Pacific Golden Plover. This group is distinctive from the group that hang out at the Kooragang Dykes. I took this photo to show the wing feathers.

Pacific Golden Plover

This one still has not got the breeding plumage yet.

Pacific Golden Plover

This Pacific Golden Plover is just starting to get some breeding plumage. Notice the black speckles down the front which will turn fully black with a white line from behind the ear down the sides of the chest.

Pacific Golden Plover

Well, thats about it for today. byeeee.. 🙂

March 16, 2009

Bird Photography Kooragang Dykes 090314

Kooragang Dykes Bird Photography 14th March, 2009

Note: Click on a photo, to get a larger version.

Today I had a boat ride to the end of the kooragang Dykes thanks to Liz and Chris from the HBOC. When we got there the Bar-tailed Godwits and Black-tailed Godwits were roosting. The Bar-tailed Godwits were a little fatter than the Black-tailed Godwits because they leave for the Northern Hemisphere about a week earlier in April than them.


The breeding plumage of the Bar-tailed Godwits as well as the Black-tailed Godwits is beginning to show. In this photo you can see the russet colours in some of the birds. There are also a few Pacific Golden Plovers in this photo.

Godwits and golden plovers

You can also see some of the Pacific Golden PLovers in this photo are starting to get their breeding plumage. The Pacific Golden Plovers get a black front with a white edge around it. Note that the Bar-tailed Godwit has a slightly upturned bill, whereas the Black-tailed Godwit has a straight bill which can be a little pinker.

Godwits and golden plovers

There were a few Pacific Golden Plover a little further west by themselves. Note that in one bird on the left, the white stripe that goes around the eye and down the chest is starting to form.

Pacific Golden Plover

That is about it, thank you very much to Liz and Chris for their excellent advice and for the boat ride. 🙂

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