Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

August 13, 2009

Saltwater NP Bird PHotography 090806

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 10:07 am

Saltwater National Park Bird Photography, 6th August, 2009.

Magpie-lark
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)

From Bulahdelah I drove straight on to Saltwater National Park, close to Old Bar, near Taree. I got going about 2 o’clock in the afternoon when a family of Pied Butcherbirds came stomping into my camp, singing and carrying on. The little fella came really close to me, less than a metre away. At one stage he was perched on the car door while I was sitting in the drivers seat. He was singing to me and I was responding with the same song.

Pied Butcherbird
Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis)

A pair of Eastern Yellow Robins also came close to my camp looking for insects, I assumed. Laughing Kookaburras also came quite close to people. I guess that some of the birds have gotten used to being fed by people having picnics and come real close looking for a feed. I never feed wild birds, I don’t think it helps them, and could even be the wrong type of food for them anyway. That is my personal choice, but.

Australian Raven
Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) flying over the beach with some booty.

I went for a walk around the picnic area and all of the sudden the Pied Butcherbirds, who were following me pretty closely took off into the undergrowth. Then a Square-tailed Kite came wheeling by, and hovered right above me. Then the Pied Butcherbirds started attacking the Square-tailed Kite and made him go away.

Little Eagle
Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura)

I went up to the point and saw a White-bellied Sea-eagle hovering above the water, held up by the strong Norh-east wind. He flew past me and I could see that he had a bream in his claw. I think he was looking for another one, and held the bream clasped in one claw. He was a bit greedy, I thought.

White-bellied Sea-eagle
White-bellied Sea-eagle(Haliaeetus leucogaster)

In the bushes next to the lagoon, I spotted a male Regent Bowerbird and followed him, trying to get a decent photograph of him. I did manage to get a portrait of this obliging model.

Laughing Kookaburra
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Saltwater Bird List 6/8/09

Magpie Lark
Pied Butcherbird
Square-tailed Kite
Golden Whistler
Lewin’s Honeyeater
Spangled Drongo
Eastern Yellow Robin
Little Wattlebird
Grey Fantail
White-cheeked Honeyeater
Brush Turkey
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Regent Bowerbird
Laughing Kookaburra
Sooty Oystercatcher
Australasian Gannet
Australian Magpie
White-faced Heron
Australian Raven

July 4, 2009

Saltwater NP 090630

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — admin @ 6:04 am

Bird Photography at Saltwater National Park, 30th June, 2009.

I drove from Crowdy Bay to Laurieton. It was closer that way and I did not have to drive over too much of that horrible road. Laurieton is a nice quiet little town with a few trawlers at the wharf. At Saltwater the surf was pretty small, less than two foot and no-one was out, not even the malibu riders. I got my camera out and wandered around.

It was very quiet this morning – a few Lewin’s Honeyeaters, Brown Thornbills and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters. I met a lady from Taree with a 500mm Nikon lens and I had a chat to her. She said there were a couple of Regent Bowerbirds around here – a female and a male. Also, there were some at Wingham Brush and the Kattang Nature Reserve about three kilometres east of Laurieton.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae)

I went for a further walk around the camp and there was nothing much doing at all. A few little brown jobs and an Eastern Yellow Robin, but that was about it. It was cold and windy so maybe the birds were staying indoors today watching a DVD.

Saltwater NP Bird List 30/6/09

Australasian Gannet
Spangled Drongo
White-faced Heron
Eastern Yellow Robin
Grey Fantail
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Magpie-lark
Brown Thornbill
Whistling Kite

July 2, 2009

Saltwater NP 090626

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:11 am

Saltwater National Park Bird Photography, 26th June, 2009, am

I woke up about 6:15am and chucked my bed in the van, got breakfast at Maccas at Hexham and drove up the coast. This time I had my camera instead of my surfboard, doh! I turned right at the Taree Interchange towards Old Bar and just before town turned right to Saltwater National Park. The surf at Green Knob was very small but there was still a couple of guys on mals out.

I parked in the camping area, and the first thing that I spotted was a White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) sitting on a dead tree right in front of me. What a great start. I scrambled to get the camera out and set up and start firing away some shots. He was quite regal just sitting there like Lord Muck.

White-bellied Sea-eagle
White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

Over on the sandbar in the lagoon was a bunch of about half a dozen Red-capped Plovers(Charadrius ruficapillus). A few juveniles were amongst them as well. I haven’t seen any around for a few months now. I just noticed then that Little Wattlebirds have an interesting fan-shapped white markings on their tails. I saw some kids coming out of a track and I asked them how long the track went for, and then asked them have they seen any good birds, and the kid said, “Hey look, there’s an orange and black bird in that tree over there”. And it was a male Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus) up in the tree.

Regent Bowerbird
male Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)

I walked around the picnic area taking photos of the Little Wattlebirds, and there were heaps of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters around as per usual, as well as some Lewin’s Honeyeaters. A few Silvereye and some Scaly-breasted Lorikeet (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus) were around as well. A Golden Whistler made an appearance , and an Eastern Yellow Robin(Eopsaltria australis).

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus)

I walked out to the headland under the vines and this Brahminy Kite flew past when I stuck my head out of the undergrowth, but he was too quick for me, and I went back to the Picnic area and took some shots of the honeyeaters and various other things like this Noisy Friarbird.

Noisy Friarbird
Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus)

I also went along the track to Khappingatt Creek but there was not much along there. Just some Noisy Friarbirds and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters high up on a flowering eucalyptus tree. An Eastern Yellow Robin sat right next to me. They are really tame sometimes and come really close to you – I guess they might be curious. The Lewin’s Honeyeaters were quite approachable as well. They seem to be heaps less hyperactive than the Yellow-faced Honeyeaters – I wonder why?

Lewin's Honeyeater
Lewin’s Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii)

Saltwater NP Bird List 26/6/09

White-bellied Sea-eagle
Brahminy Kite
Little Wattlebird
Red-capped Plover
Regent Bowerbird
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Lewin’s Honeyeater
Noisy Friarbird
Silvereye
Golden Whistler
Red-browed Finch
Superb Fairy-wren
Eastern Yellow Robin

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