Tag Archives: Noisy Miner

The Intense gaze…

On  a recent walk across to the lakes in my area I took several photos of the usual birds in the late afternoon light. On processing I noticed that a few seemed to have an intense gaze.

The Willie Wagtail had just finished a dip into the water and grooming and after this shot took off to catch insects above the lake’s surface.

Willie Wagtail, Elsternwick Park, Victoria, 3 May 2015

Willie Wagtail, Elsternwick Park

The Noisy Miner had just gate crashed into a large group of Swallows grooming on the dead tree at the lake. He was staring intensely at a swallow that seemed to be ignoring him.

Noisy Miner, Elsternwick Park, Victoria, 3 May 2015

Noisy Miner, Elsternwick Park

The Swallows soon came back to the tree and continued their grooming with one keeping a keen lookout and watching the miner which had flown to another nearby tree.

Welcome Swallows, Elsternwick Park, Victoria, 3 May 2015

Welcome Swallows, Elsternwick Park

Welcome Swallow, Elsternwick Park, Victoria, 3 May 2015

Welcome Swallow landing back onto the tree branch after being chased off by the Noisy Miner.

White Plumed Honeyeaters, Elsternwick Park, Victoria, 3 May 2015

A pair of White Plumed Honeyeaters grooming after a dip in the lake.

 

Elster Creek’s surprise visitor: a Pallid Cuckoo

Yesterday was hot and humid and after a lazy day I decided on a late afternoon walk along the creek at my back fence. I took my camera and 1.4 Extender to see what I could find up at the Elster Creek lake inside the Golf Course. At the lake, I ran into a young local birder/naturalist –  Gio F and we explored the creek up to a dense section looking for roosting Nankeen Night Herons but instead spotted a Pallid Cuckoo. It flushed a few times from high in the trees and we followed it around a few large Conifers trying to get a better angle for a picture. We ran into another local birder – David E (my birding mate from the Lake Tutchewop Twitch), who suggested that it was a young female Cuckoo probably starting the migration north and just passing through our area. They are quite rare in our part of the urban landscape.

Pallid Cuckoo, Elster Creek

Pallid Cuckoo, Elster Creek

Pallid Cuckoo, Elster Creek

Pallid Cuckoo II

Pallid Cuckoo, Elster Creek

Pallid Cuckoo III

 

Noisy Miners are native honeyeaters that have adapted extremely well to urban locations. They are a communal bird that are very aggressive and push out other species from areas. Some councils around Australia have started culling programs to reduce their numbers and it has worked – other species are making a come back.  The Miners, while being a pest are actually interesting to watch and study as they have 11 known warning calls for predators and a specific one for “raptors above”. We heard it used while standing at the lake and soon spotted a Brown Goshawk flying over.

The one below came over to have look at what we were up to – had it seen the Cuckoo, it would have put out a challenge call and brought the rest of the pack over. It seemed quite hot and was panting while it watched us.

Noisy Miner, Elster Creek

Noisy Miner, Elster Creek

Noisy Miner, Elster Creek

Noisy Miner II

Eastern Rosella

Eastern Rosella – this immature bird also came over to see what I was up to at the lake’s edge  – I was trying to entice a Little Grassbird out of the reeds by doing a bad impression.

Eastern Rosella

Eastern Rosella – I tried to mimic the Rosella’s calls ( a wide variety of piping chimes) and after a bit of a chat, the look he gave me suggested that I was a bit “special” and he took off…

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant in the evening light

Australian Reed Warbler

Australian Reed Warbler – I did entice this guy out with a call.

Australian Reed Warbler

Australian Reed Warbler II