Tag Archives: Tawny Frogmouth

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…

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Tawny Frogmouth, Braeside Park, Victoria

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White-faced Heron

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Black-shouldered Kite

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Australian Wood duck

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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, 

The Roost Tree

While heading downstream along my local creek I noticed a lump on a dead branch of a Willow Tree that did not quite look right. Moving closer I realised it was one of the local nocturnal Tawny Frogmouths on a daytime roost. It was difficult to photograph but I found a way to get closer by walking into the parking area of one of the apartment blocks nearby. As I moved around the tree I found the partner of the Frogmouth that I had seen from across the creek. It was tucked into a little branch shelter and just about invisible. This species are masters of camouflage and often roost in the open. They are rarely noticed and survive well in an urban space. Even when discovered that can just watch you or move into their camouflaged pose (I am just a branch stump) or just go back to sleep. They are territorial and will roost in a close-by series of trees in a neighbourhood.  It is surprising how many pairs there are in Elwood considering it is an inner city suburb. Always a welcome find…

Elster Creek Tawny Frogmouth, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria

An football sized object in the tree that did not quite blend in…

Elster Creek Tawny Frogmouth, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria

Elongated branch stump pose

Elster Creek Tawny Frogmouth, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria

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Elster Creek Tawny Frogmouth, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria

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Elster Creek Tawny Frogmouth, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria

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Elster Creek Tawny Frogmouth, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria

Expressive and curious eyes

Elster Creek Tawny Frogmouth, Elster Creek, Elwood, Victoria

The partner on the other side of the tree. 

Frogmouth, Whipbirds and a Pure White Raptor

Whenever I visit Mallacoota I try to get to the Double Creek area several times a day. There is always a good variety of bird species (local and migrating through) and several vegetation types to explore from creek side vegetation, wetlands, woodlands, rain-forest and ridge-lines with tall forests. It is a compact site with four paths to wander down.

Along one of the creek sides I found a pair of Leaden Flycatchers singing away declaring their territory while above I spotted a white morph Grey Goshawk. The white/grey Goshawk is the only pure white raptor in the world. I knew that a raptor was cruising above by the danger calls of all the nearby birds. The bird alarm gave me just enough time to get the camera pointed skywards and set for a bright sky. The Goshawk cruised just above the trees.

Male Leaden Flycatcher, Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

Male Leaden Flycatcher, Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

Female Leaden Flycatcher, Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

Female Leaden Flycatcher

Grey Goshawk, Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoot

Grey Goshawk (white Morph), Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

I found the Tawny Frogmouth when I stopped at the small carpark to have some lunch and was staring into the trees when I noticed someone staring back….

Tawny Frogmouth, Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

Tawny Frogmouth, Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

White Browed Scrubwren Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

White Browed Scrubwren Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

White Browed Scrubwren Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

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Lewin's Honeyeater, Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

Lewin’s Honeyeater, trying to stay cool along the creek on a very hot day

Eastern Whipbird, Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

Eastern Whipbird working hard to feed two chicks that were following closely

As I watched the Whipbirds move around the undergrowth I spotted the little Antechinus hunting. It is a fearless tiny marsupial hunter, and given its mouselike size I am always surprised to see them out and about hunting in daylight.

Antechinus, Double Creek Nature walk, Mallacoota

Antechinus, I have not worked out the local species yet  – could be Shy, Brown or Swamp. 

Elwood Tawny Frogmouths

I heard about this pair of Tawny Frogmouths last week and had a chance to look for them late last Sunday evening – I found them but it was too dark to take any pictures. After a week at work and a morning of rain I finally just got back from observing them again and taking a few pics. They are still one of my favourite birds to photograph. This pair is a bit unusual in that they are roosting in an exposed spot over the road near a suburban intersection in a large plane tree without any leaves. They still have decent camouflage with their colouring but just stick out a bit to a keen observer. I have added these guys to my local birds  page.

Tawny Frogmouths, Elwood

Tawny Frogmouths, Elwood

Tawny Frogmouths, Elwood

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Tawny Frogmouths, Elwood

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Tawny Frogmouths, Elwood

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Tawny Frogmouths, Elwood

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