Tag Archives: Tawny Frogmouth

Wait…..what??

After failing to find the Tawny Frogmouth’s nest, I got a few more directions and went back the next night to Elsternwick Park (North) and found it. It was in an obvious position and quite visible when you knew where to look and what to look for. The nest was more robust using more materials than I seem this species use before. I photographed the Frogmouth from a few angles, waiting to see whether the nesting parent would open its eyes. I moved to the front of the nest and took a few images and checked the back of the camera looking for clear shots and exposure when I noticed two yellow eyes looking out at me from the parent’s belly. Turns out the chicks had already hatched and were quite large. I only saw one chick moving about and it was quite curious about me. At one point it even had a good stretch of its wings. After a few shots I left them in peace to enjoy the late afternoon and get ready for evening’s hunting.

Tawny Frogmouth on nest, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth on nest, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth and chick, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth and chick

Tawny Frogmouth and chick, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth with chick stretching its wings.

Nesting Tawnys at the new Elster Creek Wetlands

I heard from a friend that there were nesting Tawny Frogmouths at the old Elsternwick Golf Course, now formerly called Elsternwick Park North (and wetlands). I spent some time looking for the nest with no luck. But I did find one of the pair roosting nearby. He was very relaxed and wasn’t by bothered by me at all. He did open his eyes and watch me for a minute while I stumbled around a bit trying to get a clearer shot below him. As it was dusk the sun was right in the worst possible position.  These are one of my favourite birds, nocturnal, unafraid, and sit still for a photography to go nuts. They are also invisible to most eyes unless you are looking for the grey coloured lump in a tree that does not quite belong.

Tawny Frogmouth, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

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Tawny Frogmouth, Elsternwick Park North, Elsternwick, Vic

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Old Faithful…

Recently I stopped by Braeside Park to look for the reported Long Toed Stint, a tiny, rare, migratory shorebird.  It was fairly easy to find with the help of other birders all  lined up with their scopes looking for it as well. Eventually we found it working the mudflat on the main lagoon with a few Sharp-tailed sandpipers, a Pectoral sandpiper (another rare shorebird) and a bunch of Red-kneed dotterells. The Stint became my 350th Lifer and 348th Vic Tick.

On the way back to my car I checked the car park area looking for the pair of Tawny Frogmouths that can usually be found in the trees around the cars. I found them on a low branch taking a bit of late afternoon sunshine. Always a favourite find in any location and a nice way to finish the successful twitch.

Tawny Frogmouth, Braeside Park, Vic

Tawny Frogmouth, practicing its “just a branch, nothing to see here” pose,

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.

Braeside Birding

On the weekend I went for a walk around Braeside Park. I wanted to see if I could find any of the resident Tawny Frogmouths. I know quite a few of their regular roosting trees but with the breeding season well underway it can be a bit more difficult to find them. I only found one Tawny and it happened to be a large one sitting on a well made nest. The nests I have previously seen have been quite flimsy but this one looked more robust. Along with the Rainbow Lorikeets, and the nesting Tawny Frogmouth, I found a White-faced Heron, a wind-blown Black Shouldered Kite and a Wood Duck that seemed confused by my antics – I was standing on the walking path with my binoculars looking up into the trees looking for Tawny’s. I heard a squawk and just above me was the duck. It must have had a nest in the tree hollow or  it would not have stayed on the branch so close to me…

tawny-frogmouth-braeside-park-braeside-victoria

Tawny Frogmouth, Braeside Park, Victoria

tawny-frogmouth-braeside-park-braeside-victoria

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white-faced-heron-braeside-park-braeside-victoria

White-faced Heron

black-shouldered-kite-braeside-park-braeside-victoria

Black-shouldered Kite

black-shouldered-kite-braeside-park-braeside-victoria

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australian-wood-duck-braeside-park-braeside-victoria

Australian Wood duck

australian-wood-duck-braeside-park-braeside-victoria

trying to figure out what I was doing…

 

Lifer 332 – Australian Owlet-nightjar

I have been looking for this bird species since I started birding a few years back. It can be found in most old growth and mature new growth forests with lots of tree hollows. It is often reported first thing in the morning sun-baking on the edge of its hollow. Over the last several years I have looked into every hollow in just about every tree I have walked past…while I have found many possums and one Boobook owl I have never found an Owlet-nightjar. On a recent trip to the You Yangs (about 45 mins west of Melbourne), I was exploring  the woodlands section below the ranger station with a friend when a nightjar burst out of an old dead tree stump and flew to a nearby branch.  It allowed us to get close and photograph it…it was much tinier than I expected  – probably a third the size of the other Nightjar species that I photograph quite frequently – the Tawny Frogmouth. The Owlet Nightjar has superb camouflage and huge black eyes for great night vision.

Australian Owlet-nightjar, You Yangs Regional Park, Victoria

Australian Owlet-nightjar, You Yangs Regional Park, Victoria

Australian Owlet-nightjar, You Yangs Regional Park, Victoria

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Australian Owlet-nightjar, You Yangs Regional Park, Victoria

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Australian Owlet-nightjar, You Yangs Regional Park, Victoria

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Australian Owlet-nightjar, You Yangs Regional Park, Victoria

Australian Owlet-nightjar, You Yangs Regional Park, Victoria

The local Botanic Gardens

St Kilda is an old sea-side holiday destination of Melbourne city. Tourists would travel all day by horse and buggy and coach to go to St Kilda and areas of Elwood for a holiday at the beach. It had many old residential mansions and private hotels that are now sub-divided into units. As an old area that was a thriving holiday resort and had a vibrant local business scene, it was lucky enough to create and retain a beautiful Botanic Garden that is still going strong today. It has a good range of mature trees and enough feeding opportunities to maintain a local and resident population of bird species. As usual one of my favourites is a small family of Tawny Frogmouths.

Rain Man, St Kilda Botanic Gardens

Rain Man, St Kilda Botanic Gardens

Red Flowering Gum, St Kilda Botanic Gardens

Red Flowering Gum, St Kilda Botanic Gardens

Tawny Forgmouths, St Kilda Botanic Gardens

Tawny Forgmouths, in the native section of the gardens

Tawny Forgmouths, St Kilda Botanic Gardens

Keeping an eye on the watchers…

Flowers around the Rose Garden Rotunda, St KIlda Botanic Gardens 1

Flowers around the Rose Garden Rotunda,