Saturday 25 July 2009

Woollongong Pelagic

I joined the SOSSA team this weekend for my first pelagic trip. We travelled 20 nautical miles out from Woollongong to the continental shelf and back again. Here's a few of the bits we chummed in along the way. NB The water was warm and there was not a breath of wind - bad conditions for albatross observation apparently. I still came away with 7 lifers (9 if you're separating your Campbell from your Black-browed Albatross and White-capped from your Shy Albatross).

Yellow-nosed Albatross

Black-browed Albatross (left) with Campbell Albatross. Not yet split. Note the pale iris on the Campbell.

Brown Skua (conspecific with Great Skua)

Campbell Alatross

One of the girls from Toronga zoo plays the Yellow-nosed Albetross

White-capped Albatross (not yet split from Shy) in Lindsay's capable hands.

Brown Skua, ringed and dispatched.

A 'big cow' Humpback cruised right under the boat.

Others included: Fluttering Shearwater, Northern Giant-Petrel, Shy Albatross, Wandering Albatross (type undefined), White-fronted Tern and a Striated Heron in the Harbour.

Later, accomplished Aussie birder and shipmate, Martin Cachard kindly took me to Barren Grounds in search of Eastern Bristlebirds and Ground Parrots. We didn't see any but did hear 5 Ground Parrots calling as the sun went down.

Sunday 19 July 2009

Yellow-faced Honeyeater, RNP, Sydney

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Others noted during a quick walk along the Curra Moors track this afternoon were my first White-naped Honeyeaters (6), 3 Eastern Whipbirds and the magnificent sight of 200+ Yellow-tailed Black-cocktoos flying low, over the heath.

Saturday 18 July 2009

Seawatching, The Gap, Sydney

Black-browed Albatross

Giant-Petrel sp. (juv)

Fluttering Shearwater

A storm rolled in off the ocean today with lots of white dots flying around in front of it so grabbed my scope for a quick seawatch. Twenty minutes passed before rain stopped play but here's what I managed to record.

10+ Black-browed Albatross
10+ Fluttering Shearwater
1 juv Giant-Petrel
10+ Australian Gannet
2 Whiskered Tern
6 Silver Gull

And a sunbathing seal.

Thursday 16 July 2009

Painted Lady - Star Lane

Sunday 12 July 2009

White Admirals

I saw 2 and a bit White Admirals in Belfairs Woods today.
Here's a photo of the bit.

Saturday 11 July 2009

Tempe, NSW

Nutmeg Mannikin Lonchura punctulata

Blue-tongue Tiliqua scincoides

I stumbld across a couple of new ones today whilst out charity shopping. The first were three Horsfield's Bushlarks, or Singing Bushlarks if you prefer, singing in the empty lot next to Tempe Tip (Salvation Army).

The second addition to my list was Nutmeg Mannikin. Sixteen birds were feeding around the park at the end of Tempe's Smith Street, up near the driving range.

Others of note included two large Blue-tongues.

See map for pinpointed locations (will take a moment to load).

Thursday 9 July 2009

Six spot burnet

Star Lane was awash with freshly hatched Six Spot Burnet Moths today.
Among the hundreds of red ones there was this solitary yellow one!
Other new insects today were Gatekeepers, a Comma and a Common Darter.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Javan Myna, Changi Airport

Javan Myna Acridotheres javanicus

I know photographing through binoculars at the airport is a dicey game, especially with Singapore's constabulary watching your every move, but I had to capture the one and only entry to my Singapore bird list, the Javan Myna.

These birds were hopping around my plane before setting off for Sydney (a Boeing 777 for all you plane spotters out there).

Monday 6 July 2009

Lakenheath and Beyond

Stone Curlew, Reed Bunting

Comma, Brown Hawker

We're both in England for a brief moment so took the chance to pursue one of our most eagerly anticipated ticks, the Golden Oriole. And so, Lakenheath RSPB was the only place to go. After much calling what we did see, however fleeting, was the male looking for all the world like Bananaman and two recently fledged young.

Other birds included two Bitterns (one booming, one flying), three Bearded Tits, Common Cranes and, a short drive away to an undisclosed site, one Stone Curlew (with 6 more reported but apparently not on show).