Wednesday 29 September 2010

Hen Harrier, Wallasea

I'm in town for the dartfordwarbler AGM, so me and Matt took to the local birding sites to see how many we could get. Bird of the day was undoubtedly this cracking juv Hen Harrier which was working the ditches on Wallasea.

Sunday 26 September 2010

Whiskered and Tailless

Red-whiskered Bulbul
The local Red-whiskered Bulbuls are in the area all year but every spring they move into the neighbouring gardens, get vocal and presumably start nesting.

Spotted [and tailless] Dove
I caught a glimpse of this bird last night as it was flushed by the neighbour's dog. All I saw was a dumpy bird with no tail. What the...! I thought it was some kind of exotic Pitta but nothing in my library fitted the bill. All was answered this morning when this tailless Spotted Dove came in for a feed. Magic.

Saturday 25 September 2010

Cley and North Norfolk

Just been for a week long family Holiday to North Norfolk. Trip highlights included 2 Barn Owls that frequented the meadows opposite the cottage, a good view of a Tawny Owl in the middle of the road, and a trip to Cley (that never seems to disappoint). Cley was alive with Bearded Tits that were getting ready to disperse, with groups of up to 20 birds flying high above the reeds and showing really well when they came back down. I thought that was good but on my walk up to the shingle I got the news I was hoping for, there were still 9 Lapland Buntings there. I walked as fast as I could without running to the sea wall and got some great views. There was even a bonus early Snow Bunting in the mix. To round the day off I had my first (albeit distant) views of a Hooded Crow.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Wryneck - Gunners Park

After seeing this Wryneck's backside on Tuesday and dipping it on Friday I was chuffed to have such good views of it today. Much wanted lifer for me too.

Ground Parrot, Barren Grounds.

Ground Parrot, Barren Grounds - honestly. Click to enlarge.

This was only my second sighting of the elusive Ground Parrot. It flushed off the track at Barren Grounds, flew for a only a couple of meters before reappearing and walking along the track. It was great to have a proper look at one - red forehead patch and all. It was all too brief to compose a decent photograph but here is, at least, a record.

I started the day at Budderoo. Five Bristlebirds were calling this morning (one seen). There was also a pair of Flame Robins and numerous Fan-tailed Cuckoos.

Flame Robin, Budderoo

Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Budderoo

Snake, Barren Grounds (Highlands Copperhead?)

Saturday 11 September 2010

Magpie. Day Flash Test

I've been testing some daylight flash techniques today in preparation for a bigger project. Here's one of our local maggies standing in for what will hopefully be a far more elusive species in the future.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Powerful Owl, Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens

Powerful Owl
Powerful Owl

I've been hanging to get my peepers on a Powerful Owl for nigh on a decade. This one has been hanging around at Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens for a few weeks so it was rude not to.

Thanks to park volunteer, Philip, who took me straight to it (still in the Rainforest walk) and the Tawny Frogmouth Roost.

Tawny Frogmouths (another roosting higher in shot/tree)

Laughing Kookaburras

Buff-banded Rail