Tag Archives: Bird Photography

Flinders Birding Minute (or two)

I drove down to the Flinders Ocean Beach today, also called Mushroom Reef due to the shape of the exposed reef at low tide. It is part of the Mornington Peninsula National Park. It was high tide and I walked along the sand looking for Hooded Plovers and other waders.

 

A birding minute or two at Flinders Ocean Beach

 

Singing Honeyeater, Flinders Ocean Beach, Flinders, Vic

Singing Honeyeater in the strong wind, Flinders Ocean Beach, Flinders, Vic

Singing Honeyeater, Flinders Ocean Beach, Flinders, Vic

II

Singing Honeyeater, Flinders Ocean Beach, Flinders, Vic

III

Flinders Ocean Beach, Flinders, Vic

Flinders Ocean Beach, Flinders, Vic

Flinders Ocean Beach, Flinders, Vic

II

Second Cove, Flinders Ocean Beach, Flinders, Vic

Second Cove, Flinders Ocean Beach

Juvenile Hooded Plover, Flinders Ocean Beach, Flinders, Vic

Juvenile Hooded Plover (without the signature black hood)

Double Banded Plover, Red-necked Stints, Flinders Ocean Beach, Flinders, Vic

Double Banded Plover, Red-necked Stints

Elster Creek Birding Minute

My second recorded birding minute took place today at Elster Creek Wetlands. I walked through the local golf course and into the wetlands. (Photos taken with my small Canon Powershot)

A Birding Minute:

 

Juvenile Nankeen Night Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

Juvenile Nankeen Night Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick

Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick

Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick

II

Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick

III

 

A new bird drops by…

I walked along Elster Creek and into the wetlands a few weeks ago and watched a large Heron circle the wetlands and land in the shallow water. It attracted my attention as it was larger than usual and had a different flight shape – I had first thought it was a white-faced heron, but it did not look right. I moved along the edge of the wetlands until I could get a better view and was surprised to find a White-necked Heron. The first I have seen locally. I have usually seen them much further inland. While watching the heron two more came from behind the reeds and were immediately harassed by the roosting Silver Gulls. The local birds are not used to this large Heron and were dive bombing the herons when they moved around the wetlands hunting. When spooked the Heron raises its neck feathers in an aggressive display to make it look bigger and meaner. The three herons hunted around the small lake for the day and then moved on. I have not seem them since. There are many reports of this species around Melbourne at the moment and I believe that after a good breeding season further inland to the north they are now moving around as the inland wetlands dry out in late summer.

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

Silver Gulls were harassing the Heron as it hunted in the shallows

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

III

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

A Juvenile White-necked Heron

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

V

White-necked Heron, Elster Creek Wetlands, Elsternwick, Vic

VI

 

Serendip Sanctuary

Serendip Sanctuary at the base of the You Yangs, South-West of Melbourne,  is a good place to practice your bird and animal photography. I like to visit the sanctuary a few times a year and see what wild birds have turned up. The Bush Stone Curlew and the Scarlet chested Parrot were in a walk through aviary along with many other species that are quite used to people. The Bush Stone Curlew uses it stillness and camouflaged plumage and freezes when threatened or nervous. While walking through the aviary we had to wait for the bird to stop freezing and move out of the way. It had to be hunting insects as it did not have to walk on the track we were on. The Scarlet-chested Parrot is rare in Victoria and usually found in inland Australia. The Magpie Geese are actually wild and are often found at Serendip especially when the water levels are higher. They are not the prettiest bird around – remind me more of a vulture than goose. Apparently they are very good eating in Northern Territory.

Bush Stone Curlew, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Bush Stone Curlew, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Bush Stone Curlew, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

II

Bush Stone Curlew, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

III

Scarlet chested Parrot, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Scarlet chested Parrot

Scarlet chested Parrot, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

II

Swamp Wallaby, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Swamp Wallaby

Magpie Goose, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Magpie Goose, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

Magpie Goose, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

II

Magpie Goose, Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, Victoria

III

They are here somewhere…

When I visit Braeside Park I always look in a few key spots for one of my favourite birds – the Tawny Frogmouth. Around the carpark there is open area and plenty of medium sized trees that the frogmouths like to roost in during the day. They can be hard to find due to the habit of staying very still and elongating their body to look like a dead branch stump. I have been seeing a pair in the carpark for the last 5 years so knew they were here somewhere. It was hot and I was standing in small grove of Wattles in the shade while I was trying to figure out where the pair could be when I looked straight into the eyes of a frogmouth. I found 2 roosting at head height in front of me and when I turned around to move away so I wouldnt be so close I found another. These were the grown chicks from the pair that I usually see in this area. ( I photographed a parent sitting on the nest last year. )

Tawny Frogmouths, Braeside Park, Victoria 5 Jan 2017

Tawny Frogmouth

Tawny Frogmouths, Braeside Park, Victoria 5 Jan 2017

Tawny Frogmouths

Tawny Frogmouths, Braeside Park, Victoria 5 Jan 2017

In the action no-action pose

Tawny Frogmouths, Braeside Park, Victoria 5 Jan 2017

Blending right in

Tawny Frogmouths, Braeside Park, Victoria 5 Jan 2017

The 3rd frogmouth and I would guess a parent as it just ignored me as I almost stumbled into it at head height while moving away from the other two – the breeding pair in this area of the Park are used to people and their cars.

Its all in the name

Rename a native rodent from water-rat to its aboriginal name “Rakali”, and you can change the public view on an ignored animal. A family of Rakalis on the St Kilda break water has been semi-tamed via a local fisherman feeding them bait, fish and little cheese snacks. The Rakali has a varied diet and can be quite aggressive in its hunting. I have seen one kill an injured Pink-eared duck at the Werribee Treatment Plant.

St Kilda pier and break water is a good place to get up close and personal with the Rakali family as well as the nesting and roosting Little Penguins. On this visit most were still out hunting and I only found one Penguin down a rock crevice burrow.

Little Penguin, St Kilda break water, Victoria 27 Dec 2016

Little Penguin, St Kilda break water, Victoria

Rakali, St Kilda break water, Victoria 27 Dec 2016

Rakali, St Kilda break water, being fed a snack (notice the rear web feet)

Rakali, St Kilda break water, Victoria 27 Dec 2016

II

Rakali, St Kilda break water, Victoria 27 Dec 2016

III

Karbeethong Regulars

One of the areas to explore when staying in Mallacoota is around Karbeethong Ave and Road. It is a small enclave of lovely houses and BnBs. One of the bnbs is Adobe Mudbrick houses. While I have not stayed overnight I often pass through the grounds looking for one of the regulars to be found there – the White-headed Pigeon. I showed a fellow birder who was new to the area where Adobe was and what to expect and while talking to one of the staff about the birdlife, we watched the antics of the local Rainbow Lorikeets. We also found one of the target birds for the day – The White-headed Pigeon.

Rainbow Lorikeet,  Karbeethong, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

Rainbow Lorikeets, Karbeethong

Rainbow Lorikeet,  Karbeethong, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

II

Rainbow Lorikeet,  Karbeethong, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

III

White-headed Pigeon, Karbeethong, Victoria, 20 Dec 2016

White-headed Pigeon, Adobe Mudbrick Flats