The bush reserve below the Navigation Point at the beach along Elwood foreshore is full of small birds hunting the prolific insects currently available. The insect numbers have exploded due to the wet weather and perfect insect conditions. The local birds and a few migrating through are enjoying the bounty and are well under way with their breeding season. Both the species below seem to have an angry, annoyed expression when they look at you…
Grey Fantail, Point Ormond Coastal Reserve, Elwood
White-browed Scrubwren, Point Ormond Coastal Reserve, Elwood
Taking a mouthful of insects back to the nest…
Posted in Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Elwood, Grey Fantail, Nature Photography, Photography, Point Ormond, Point Ormond Coastal Reserve, Victoria, white browed scrubwren
Elster Creek runs through the local golf course. Over the last few years the number of local Eastern Rosellas has started to increase and now we actually have a pair nesting in a new breeding box built by a local naturalist Gio. So many mature trees with hollows have been cut down that the Rosellas and many other hollow nesters don’t have anywhere locally to breed. Gio has been building boxes for several years and has come up with designs to suit various species as well as stop the possums from taking the box for their own. He trials the possum proof designs on his own backyard fence. The rosella is a favourite for photographers but can be a challenge as they are quite timid and flighty around people. I found the one below acting as a lookout for a group feeding on pine cone seeds in a confer.
Eastern Rosella, Elster Creek, Elsternwick, Victoria
While I was paying a lot of attention to the Black-winged Stilts that were resting and preening on the rowing platforms on Albert Park Lake in inner Melbourne, a pair of swans cruised up to my side and waited patiently to be fed. These semi-tame swans are used to being fed by people at the local picnic tables. Being empty handed I took advantage of their tameness (and hunger) to practice my portrait shots.
Black Swan, Albert Park Lake, Melbourne
Where is my food?
Eye and bill markings are unique to each Swan
One of the stranger looking birds we have in our local area lists is the Black-winged Stilt. More normally found on open shallow wetlands it was a bit unusual to hear about a pair spending the winter at the Albert Park Lake (where Melbourne’s F1 street race is held). My birding mate Dave had mentioned how good the Lake was for birding and it wasn’t until recently that I actually visited with him for the first time to find and photograph birds. The Stilt is a delicate medium sized mostly white bird with long legs and black wings. The Stilt feeds using its long sensitive bill, in shallow water mostly plucking small insects on the surface of the water.
Picking up this pair was a nice addition to my local birds list.
Black Winged Stilt, Albert Park Lake, Victoria
I had not noticed the Stilts red eyes until I processed these images…
Makes the Silver Gull look short and dumpy
Black Winged Stilts resting after a feeding session…
Wearing his nice little mohawk hoodie…
On my recent to trip North, I walked along one of the edges of the Goschen Bushland Reserve looking for birds. The early morning colour and light breeze made the new wheat look interesting. While photographing the wheat, a Raven flew to a nearby tree and collected what seemed to be wasps or flying ants.
Wheat fields, Goschen
Australian Raven, Goschen Bushland Reserve
Posted in Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Australian Raven, Bird Photography, Goschen, Goschen Bushland Reserve, Nature Photography, Photography, Raven, Victoria
On my last day visiting the Goschen Bushland Reserve, I was exploring a section with a small grove of Mallee trees and I heard the unmistakable call of the small Striated Pardalote (about the size of a finger). It can be a difficult bird to photograph as it usually remains high in the canopy feeding on lerp and small insects so I froze and waited to see if it was as near as it sounded. I noticed the Pardalote fly down to the side of a Mallee with a small moth in its mouth. It disappeared into a tiny hole, quickly flew back out and took off across the grassy field to the brush on the other side. I found a position behind some close by trees and waited for it to return. Ten minutes later one of the parents turned up without any food squeezed into the holed and re-appeared with a faecal sack, flew to a nearby branch, discarded it and flew off to continue the hunt. Between feedings there are always house cleaning chores to keep the nest tidy.
Striated Pardalote at nest hole, Goschen Bushland Reserve, Goschen, Victoria, 2 Oct 2016
Striated Pardalote nest hole
Striated Pardalote at nest hole
Just dropped a faecal sack from the nest – this how many birds keep the nest clean and tidy, the chicks expel a sack of poo that the parent grabs and takes from the next and drops away from the area, leaving no indication of a nest.
Posted in Bird Behaviour, Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Goschen, Goschen Bushland Reserve, Mallee Trees, Nature Photography, Photography, Striated Pardalote, Victoria
Instead of watching the AFL Grand Final on a lazy Saturday afternoon at the pub in Lake Boga on my road trip to Goschen, I took off south to find an ebird reported duck species that I had never seen before – a Plumed Whistling Duck. Without a lot of expectations I drove south for a few hours, got bogged, got dirty, got lost but in the end I found my duck and after dancing my little victory shuffle I tried to get a few images as proof of bird 333. In the end I found 7 ducks across 2 dams including 3 flying over my head just to make sure. It is a strange looking duck with large wings, tiger stripes and makes a high pitch sound as it flies. It feeds at night and sleeps and preens during the day, resting in long grass around dams. I actually saw 2 Wood Ducks on a farm dam along Kow-Swamp Rd in Terrick Terrick and pulled over to check them out and on the bank close to me I found my Plumed Whistling Ducks. [This is actually my second time reporting Lifer 333, one of my previous bird species has been merged back into another related species…painful but it can happen both ways – merges and splits].
Plumed Whistling Duck, Mitiamo-Kow Swamp Road Dams, Terrick Terrick, Victoria
Nice big wings
Stripes under the wings
Australian Wood Duck – the reasons I found lifer 333
Posted in Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Australian Wood Duck, Bird Photography, Kow Swamp Road, Lifer 333, Nature Photography, Photography, Plumed Whistling Duck, Terrick Terrick, Victoria