While photographing the Beach Stone-curlew on Inverloch Beach at the weekend, a number of other birds flew by including flocks of Ibis, pelicans, cormorants, and gulls. Several Pacific Gulls flew near to have a look at what we were up to. Considering the sheer number of crabs available I am not sure why more birds weren’t feasting – I daresay that the soldier crab may have an acquired taste that the Stone-curlew has no problems with. Back at the carpark we also found a small flock of curious Brown Thornbills.
Australian White Ibis, Inverloch Beach, Victoria
Pacific Gull, Inverloch Beach, Victoria
Brown Thornbill, Inverloch Beach, Victoria
Posted in Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australia, Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Brown Thornbill, Inverloch Beach, Nature Photography, Pacific Gull, Photography, Victoria, White Ibis
With Spring in full swing, everywhere I go at the moment I am seeing signs of the change of season and birds well into a new breeding season. I watched for a while as Australian White Ibis started to claim spots on the roosting platforms at the Coolart Wetlands. Ibis would claim a spot and then defend it against new fly-ins with much show and bravado, leaping at each other and snapping away with their long bills. While I was watching at the bird hide a curious Yellow-Faced Honeyeater popped onto a stump in front of my viewing spot to investigate the strange object poking out of the hide and making all the clicking noise.
White Ibis, Coolart Wetlands
White Ibis defending his patch against interlopers
Curious Yellow Faced Honeyeater, Coolart Wetlands
Flowering Green She-Oak, Coolart Wetlands
Posted in Bird Behaviour, Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Coolart Wetlands, Green She-Oak, Nature Photography, Photography, Victoria, White Ibis, Yellow Faced Honeyeater
A late afternoon and evening walk around the Dandy Valley wetlands produced a good list of bird species (50+) and a few nice photo opportunities in the evening light. I met up with a birding mate, John, and we hunted for elusive Crakes and Rails. We did finally find two Spotted Crakes in a shaded patch of the reeds. While waiting for John to arrive I explored the Dandenong Creek for a few kilometres and found a good number of smaller birds and bushland species. Overhead the sky continually had birds flying into or around the wetlands: Swamp Harriers, Pelicans, Ibis and various species of Ducks. It is an impressive place that has only recently been created to help purify the creeks before they run into important wetlands at the coast and Port Phillip Bay. Well worth a repeat visit.
Black Faced Cuckoo-shrike
One of the lagoons of the Dandenong Valley Wetlands
Many of the lagoons are drying out and getting shallower which is perfect for the Sandpipers, Crakes and Rails.
Australian White Ibis
I practiced my flight shots with the Ibis and found on processing that there was a Royal Spoonbill in the mix (the bird with the straight bill below)
Australian White Ibis & Royal Spoonbill
Australian White Ibis II
Australian White Ibis III
Hundreds of Ibis flew in over the last 30 mins before dark. They came in large V formations and circled the park looking for appropriate landing areas to roost for the night.
Australian White Ibis IV
Wetland vegetation in late afternoon light
Posted in Dandenong Valley Wetlands, Victoria, Wetlands
Tagged Australian Birds, Australian Pelican, Bird Photography, Black faced Cuckoo Shrike, Dandenong Valley Wetlands, Nature Photography, Photography, Royal Spoonbill, Victoria, Wetlands, White Ibis, Wood Sandpiper
As a follow up to my high tide visit to the Flinders Ocean Beach. My second visit to Flinders was at low tide. There were many more people around, exploring the rock pools, walking on the beach and fishing off the exposed reef. I found the Hooded Plover again further along the beach where piles of seaweed and kelp had washed up. There was no sign of the juvenile Hooded Plover and I hope he was hiding up in the grasses on the sand dunes away from all the activity. A few more bird species were around at low tide.
The area looked incredibly different at low tide. The mushroom shape of Mushroom Reef was exposed. At high tide the waves can come right up to the wooded steps.
Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary – at low tide. At high tide the water comes up to the wooden steps
White Ibis feeding in the grasses along the beach edge – there was something they really liked as they just munched away on whatever was living in the grass.
Sooty Oystercatchers and a Little Pied Cormorant – one of the Oystercatchers was Banded (yellow and silver rings)
I noticed that one of the Plovers was banded. There is an extensive banding program to monitor the Plovers across Southern Australia
Hooded Plover pair
Keeping low into the wind and catching anything that the waves bring in..
Hooded Plover – keeping low and facing into a strong wind
I was surprised to see blokes fishing way out on the last set of rocks at the edge of the reef. The waves were getting bigger and starting to crash near them and we have had bad weather and ocean warnings all week. They were at least packing up as I watched them and took some pics.
Posted in Birds, Flinders Ocean Beach, Hooded Plover, Little Pied Cormorant, Mushroom Reef, Sooty Oystercatcher, White Ibis
Tagged Australian Birds, Crazy Fishermen, Flinders Ocean Beach, Hooded Plover, Mushroom Reef Marine Park, Sooty Oystercatcher, Victoria, White Ibis