Tag Archives: Silver Gull

The Robins and the Owl

There is a walk along the inlet from Captain Stevenson’s Lookout around the coast to Bastion Point. It runs along the edge of the camp grounds through tall banksia trees and coastal scrub and into a Pittosporum forest. The track leads on to the new Bastion Point boat ramp facility and the nearby swimming beaches now protected by the new sea wall. I met a couple who were going for stroll along the path who said that a large Caspian tern was fishing with the Silver Gulls in the shallows at the beach. Not having photographed a Caspian Tern before I headed down to find and hopefully photograph the tern. While walking through one of the deeper darker patches of Pittosporum Forest I came across a family of Rose Robins in quite a fluster. Several pink chested males and a number of females and juveniles seemed to flying back and forth across the path and into various low trees and bushes. I stopped to watch for a while and take a few photographs of these elusive tiny birds and noticed a pile of feathers at my feet. It took me a few moments to figure out what they were from – a juvenile Kookaburra. I looked straight up and into the eyes of a large Powerful Owl. This type of Owl prefers a daytime roost in trees located in cool, dark forest gullies. If it makes a kill during the night it hangs onto the kill all day and feeds at the start of the following night. Hanging from the Owl’s talons was the previous night’s kill.

Rose Robin, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Rose Robin, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Rose Robin, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Rose Robin, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Powerful Owl, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Powerful Owl, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

After taking a few shots of the Owl I walked down to the beach and watched the Caspian Tern dive into the water and catch a good sized bait fish and fly off across the inlet. That left me with the hunting Silver Gulls to photograph. It was a nice change to watch them hunting for fish rather than begging for potato fries and digging through rubbish.

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

looking for bait fish in the shallows

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

whoops, cut that a bit fine

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

shaking off the water…

Silver Gull, Bastion Point, Mallacoota

finally scored a fish…

I found another Antechinus in the forest but I am not sure what sort it is, I think a Brown Antechinus but I will have to research it…going by the girth I am guessing that this is a pregnant female. By this time of year the males have mostly died off after a vigorous mating season.

Antechinus, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

Antechinus, Pittosporum Walk, Mallacoota

An autumn evening along the Rosebud Foreshore

As the final site of a weekend of birding down the coast a few weeks ago, I walked along the Rosebud foreshore beach just enjoying the company of friends and a nice Autumn evening. I took the camera along just in case something interesting was discovered. I practiced shooting on several birds and tried to sneak up on a few others ( a bit tricky with friends, kids and dogs everywhere)

Rosebud Foreshore, Victoria 12 April 2015

Rosebud Pier, Victoria

Silver Gulls, Rosebud Foreshore, Victoria 12 April 2015

Silver Gulls, Rosebud Foreshore

A White Faced Heron was hunting in the water with a technique that I had seen Silver gulls use in a similar way – it would lift its leg out of the water, slowly move it forward and down and then wiggle it agitating the sand. It would then pounce on anything that moved.

White Faced Heron, Rosebud Foreshore, Victoria 12 April 2015

White Faced Heron

White Faced Heron, Rosebud Foreshore, Victoria 12 April 2015

II

White Faced Heron, Rosebud Foreshore, Victoria 12 April 2015

III

White Faced Heron IV, Rosebud Foreshore, Victoria 12 April 2015

IV

I noticed a Black Shouldered Kite patrolling the beach and the nearby scrub looking for mice. A large Silver Gull took a dislike to the Kite and tried to chase it off. The Gull is a master of flying in all conditions and I expected it to move the Kite away from the area but the Kite just kept turning at the last second and the gull would over-shoot. The Silver Gull did not give up easily and it was beautiful to watch the unconcerned Kite twist and turn away from the chasing Gull. It made the larger Gull look clumsy.

Gull and Black Shouldered Kite, Rosebud Foreshore, Victoria 12 April 2015

Silver Gull and Black Shouldered Kite, Rosebud Foreshore

Gull and Black Shouldered Kite, Rosebud Foreshore, Victoria 12 April 2015

GII

Gull and Black Shouldered Kite, Rosebud Foreshore, Victoria 12 April 2015

III

Little Wattlebird, Rosebud Foreshore, Victoria 12 April 2015

Little Wattlebird feeding on the nectar of a Banskia flower. 

Dinner and a Show at Elster Creek

An evening walk last week took me to the edge of the local pond along Elster Creek. A few regulars were taking their own evening strolls, having late snacks, preening and bathing and I stopped to have a bit of a look…..

Australian Wood-duck

Australian Wood-duck – also called a Maned Duck due to their short black mane running down their necks

Australian Wood-duck

Australian Wood-duck – the Wood-Duck has very large families and often Aunts will help look after the brood – I have seen 28 ducks in a single family flock

Eastern Rosella

Eastern Rosella – an adult and an immature Rosella were feeding on the flower buds and seed heads on the edge of the lake. They are usually quite flighty but allowed me to get closer than usual.

Eastern Rosella

Eastern Rosella – it was a bit windy and a gust came a long at the right time.

Eastern Rosella

Immature Eastern Rosella having a look back at me while he chews on a flower head.

Eastern Rosella

Eastern Rosella  – I find this bokeh a little weird.

Eastern Rosella

Eastern Rosella

Dusky Moorhen,

Dusky Moorhen

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck – bath time

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck – water off a duck’s back

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck III

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck – the series of photos showed the duck’s head and body staying in place while the wings shook off the water – he flapped 3 or 4 times

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Black Duck – all done , nothing to see, move along

Australian Wood-duck

A young Australian Wood-duck – last minute feed

Hastings Harbour Mudflats: Flames, Wrecks and Pelicans

Coming back from spending some time at the family farm, I stopped at Hastings to have a look at the mudflats at low tide. Hastings has a popular fishing harbour as well as a mixed industry site. A good amount of work has been done to turn it into a seaside town with a growing tourism market. There is a nice tree lined walk right along the edge of the mudflats and mangroves. Pelican Pier has a cafe with great views of the harbour. I have not been there for a long time and I was surprised to find that it is a pretty interesting place with a lot of scope for bird and general photography. There is a pier with lots of fishermen in action at low tide, many birds (Ibis, Egrets, Spoonbills, Swans & Pelicans) out on the mudflats that move up closer to the shore when the tide comes in and at least a dozen Pelicans hanging around looking for a free feed from the fishermen as they fillet and clean their catch.

Hasting Harbour

Hastings Harbour – heavy industry amongst the mangroves and Great Egrets

Hasting Harbour

An old fishing boat wreck out on the mudflat island. I did not notice the hovercraft in the background until I processed the image.

Pied Cormorant

Pied Cormorant – it took a bit effort to get the fish down. The cormorant kept juggling the fish trying to get it down head first. He got it in the end….

Pacific Gull

Pacific Gull

Pacific and Silver Gulls

Silver vs Pacific Gull – to see the two together gives you an idea of the size difference – the Pacific Gull is a big bird.

Pelican

Pelican – stretching and drying, and maybe telling stories about the one that got away….

Pelican

Pelican – everything gets a stretch.

Pelican

Pelican – with a long neck and bill you can pretty much reach anywhere….

Pelican

Pelican in the mangroves

The pelicans did not mind me too much as I got in close while they waddled in to the fish cleaning tables. I took a number of close shots of their feathers, eyes and beak throat pouch skin

Pelican

Pelican close-up

Image

Mallacoota Birding

Mallacoota is a great place for birders…maybe not so great for non-birding wives…there are many good places to explore and look for birds that are not very common in Victoria. The town is close to the NSW border and has a different climate to the rest of Victoria (warmer and more humid). It is a quiet town most of the year but becomes very crowded over the summer period due to being in the middle of a wilderness area and on the coast.

Southern Emu Wren along Shipwreck Creek to Seal Creek trail

Southern Emu Wren along Shipwreck Creek to Seal Creek trail  – 15 Dec, 2014

Silver Gull Bastian Pt Mallacoota Dec 2014

Silver Gull Bastian Pt Mallacoota –  13 Dec, 2014

Juvenile Easter Yellow Robin, Shady Gully Reserve, Mallacoota  - 14 Dec, 2014

Juvenile Eastern Yellow Robin, Shady Gully Reserve, Mallacoota – 14 Dec, 2014

Superb Fairy Wren, Gypsy Point, Victoria -  14 Dec, 2014

Superb Fairy Wren, Gypsy Point, Victoria – 14 Dec, 2014

Black Faced Monarch, Double Creek Nature Trail, Mallacoota, Victoria -  15 Dec, 2014

Black Faced Monarch, Double Creek Nature Trail, Mallacoota, Victoria – 15 Dec, 2014

White Headed Pigeon, Karbeethong, 16 Dec, 2014

White Headed Pigeon, Karbeethong, 16 Dec, 2014