Sunday, 28 December 2008

Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, Melbourne

Nankeen Night Heron  Nycticorax caledonicus
Australian White Ibis  Threskiornis molucca

Sacred Kingfisher  Todiramphus sancta

White-faced Heron  Ardea novaehollandiae

Others seen: Australian Grebe, Little Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Dusky Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Kookaburra, Welcome Swallow, Eastern Rosella, Rainbow Lorikeet, Red Wattlebird, White-plumed Honeyeater, Noisy Miner, Common Myna, Common Bronzewing, Spotted Turtledove, Feral Pigeon, White-browed Scrubwren, Brown Thornbill, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike, Australian Magpie, Grey Currawong.

More about Blackburn Lake Sanctuary.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Ferntree Gully/Dandenong Ranges

The Belview track back to Ferntree Gully is far less populated with runners than some of the other Dandenong tracks and much more conducive to birdwatching.

Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltria australis

We encountered two, big feeding parties along the way including Eastern Yellow Robin, Scarlet Robin, Spotted Pardalote (Yellow-rumped form), Brown Thornbill, Grey Fantail, White-throated Treecreeper and my first encounters with Red-browed Treecreeper (Climacteris erythrops) and a female Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris). Most proved too restless to digiscope so here's some shots of their slower, fatter friends.

Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae

Crimson Rosella chick Platycercus elegans

Echidna's bum

Waxwings - Pitsea

Not the usual picture of waxwings eating berries on a sunny day, but waxwings and a lifer for me none-the-less (4 birds were present between 7.50 and 8.30 around the Pitsea Tile Centre and down Parkhurst Road).

Friday, 26 December 2008

Brown Snake, Eltham

Eastern Brown Snake Pseudonaja textilis

I was just watching some fish feeding along the Yarra, thinking about grabbing my rod and reel, when this Brown Snake swam across and changed my mind. I'm a bit wet behind the ears when it comes to snake identification so asked a local:

'are you any good with snakes?'
'What colour was it?'
'It's a Brown Snake.'

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Rosanna, Victoria

Australian Darter Anhinga melanogaster

Common Bronzewing Phaps chalcoptera
Just after we arrived in Australia I got chatting with some old 'grogan' about the birds. He told me about some Powerful Owls in Rosanna, Victoria. I went to check it out today but only had an hour to cover several hectares of prime bush. Needless to say I dipped but saw some nice others along the way.

Little Raven, Eltham

Little Raven Corvus mellori

We're back in Melbourne for Christmas. This raven and its young were feeding on apples in Tash's backyard. I never noticed the thin blue ring around the adult's pupil before, fascinating!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Centennial Park, Sydney

Long-billed Corella Cacatua tenuirostris

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio

Feeding the ducks has never looked so good. Click for captions.

If I ever settle down to a routine after two months of immigration disruption then Centennial Park might well be my new patch. A recent report of Brown Quail and White-necked Heron drew me here and, although I found nothing of the sort, I enjoyed my brief visit. Here's what I saw in order of appearance: Australian White Ibis, Feral Pigeon, Crested Pigeon, Purple Swamphen, Pacific Duck, Little Pied Cormorant, Eurasian Coot, Dusky Moorhen, Black Swan, Silver Gull, Common Myna, Fairy Martin, Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian Pelican, Muscovy Duck, Chestnut Teal, Long-billed Corella Corella, Willy Wagtail, Australian Darter, Great Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant (right), Masked Lapwing, Hardhead, Magpie Lark, Australian Grey Teal, Australian Raven, Laughing Kookaburra, Spotted Turtle-Dove, Superb Wren, Australian Magpie and some Macquarie Turtles eating a dead Ibis!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Hawfinches - Braxted Park

Due to their shy nature, and scarce status I have been fascinated with Hawfinches since I started birding. I've only seen 1 before (at Hockley Woods) and that wasn't the most fulfilling view (through dodgy binoculars in bad light).
I must admit, I didn't expect to see Hawfinches in December (they only ever seem to be reported during Spring), so imagine my delight when I bumped into a local birder (thanks Glyn) who told me he's seen a couple recently. Glyn spotted the first bird then I had at least another 4 sightings with a minimum of 2 different birds. All sightings were in the mistletoe covered tall trees north of the park wall and near the house. Christmas has definitely come early for me.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

We only popped into the gardens for lunch but here's a few of the conspicuous and common species we encountered along the way.

Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca), Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Sulpher-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

Monday, 1 December 2008

Skinks, Dee Why, Sydney

Lizards, Dee Why Lagoon
There's not much birdwatching going on at the moment while we look for somewhere to live in Sydney. In the meantime here's a rock full of Eastern Striped Skinks (I think) that we found around Dee Why Lagoon.