Tuesday 28 June 2011

Bush Stone-curlews, Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is infested with Bush Stone-curlews! They're outside the super-market, walking the streets, begging for food at your alfresco dinner - there's one sitting next to me now. It's mesmerising!

The five or six gardens adjacent to the country club hosted about 50 Bush Stone-curlews. One driveway had 15 odd birds standing together.

Monday 27 June 2011

Lord Howe Island

Australasian Grebe, the first since 1975.

Lord Howe Woodhen. This species almost went the way of the other, now extinct, endemics of LHI. If it wasn't for a rescue team plucking the last remaining pairs off the island's highest point in the eighties they wouldn't be roaming around the settlement today. If you're visiting the island and hoping to see one you shouldn't have any trouble, but I'd start with an early morning walk around the golf course. I guess I saw about 15 of the 200 population during our stay.

Golden Whistler. Not officially split from its mainland cousins but worth keeping a record of just in case.

Pied Currawong. Again not split and I'm sure with good reason. They definitely sounded different than their mainland relatives.

Silvereye. Or Lord Howe Silvereye depending on which list you subscribe to. I'm sticking to Walter's list so no extra tick... yet.

Whimbrel. There were two hanging around the airstrip and golf course for the whole week - a regular winter migrant to LHI.

Pacific Golden Plover. Again another visitor. Seven were hanging about the strip with a few Double-banded Plovers.

Bar-tailed Godwit. 7 migrants passing through.

Providence Petrels. The entire world's population of this species come home to roost on this peak every night (apart from a few on Norfolk Island). I'd seen Providence Petrels on the Wollongong boat before but this was quite a sight and sound to behold.

Providence Petrel

Red-tailed Tropicbird. I was happy to see a few of these beauties still hanging around before they disappear for a month or so.

Masked Booby. This was about as close as I got - close enough for a new tick but ay!

Black Noddy. There is a small group hanging around the Norfolk Island Pines at North Bay Beach.

Grey Ternlets. You have to get on a boat to see these little gems - something I only managed on the morning before we departed. Jack will take you. And if you like fishing, as I do, you can combine two loves on one boat (oo er). The fishing was so good I had to drop the camera.

Emerald Dove. The LHI resident population is notoriously confiding, and so it proved.

Song Thrush. Declining everywhere it seems. Even aussie birders don't seem to mind seeing this introduction. Reminded me of the old patch hearing these songsters repeating their phrases around the cemetery (not the old cemetry on Lagoon road - the one up near Ned's Beach). Counted five in all.

Buff-banded Rail. Amazing how many there are on the island. I still got a little buzz everytime I saw one - like getting ridiculously good views of a waterrail.

Sacred Kingfisher. Everywhere in numbers from the airstrip to the footy field to all the beaches and rocky outcrops.
Local bird expert, Ian Hutton, was very helpful with the gen for many of these birds, both in person and through his literature. Ian's books can be picked up at Joy's shop and the museum and well worth grabbing a copy if you're staying on the island.

Monday 13 June 2011

Salvin's Albatross, The Gap

After a prolonged period of onshore winds this Salvin's blew in close to the Gap (within 200 meters of my front door!). Thanks Lindsay, Martin and Nick for confirming ID.

Saturday 11 June 2011


I was too late for the Red-backed Shrike that was at Vange earlier in the day but I did add Garganey, Hobby and this Spoonbill (who eventually showed me that spoon) to my local year list (134).

Swift Parrots, Chain Valley Bay

Swift Parrot, Chain Valley Bay
There's been a nice flock of Swift Parrots and some Regent Honeyeaters knocking about the Central Coast for the last couple of weeks now so I had to go up and have a look.
There were c.20 swifties at Chain Valley Bay along with good numbers of Scaly-breasted Lorikeets (both lifers for me). And, at Morisset, there were two Regents, numerous Little Lorikeets and my well-overdue first encounter with Varied Sitella.

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Chain Valley Bay

White-naped Honeyeater, Morisset

Little Lorikeet, Morisset

Varied Sitella, Morisset

Varied Sitella, Morisset

Sunday 5 June 2011

Tawny Frogmouth, Vaucluse

Tawny Frogmouth (click to enlarge)
This Frogmouth's been using our washing line as a hunting perch for the last few nights. Magic!