Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lakes Beach

There are always large groups of Australian Raven foraging on the off-leash dog beach, but if I’d thought about it at all, I would have assumed they were collecting bits of organic matter that had come in on the tide.

This morning I picked up after Dusty, and then left the bright blue bag to be picked up when we re-traced our steps. On the way back to the car, however, there were bird footprints around the bag, it was torn open and the contents were gone. Who knew?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Soldiers Point

I regularly see Australian Gannets out to sea from the rocks at Soldiers Point, but had the luck to have three circling above me as I waited for the red-capped plovers to forget about me and come closer. (They never did but that may have been because of my antics in capturing gannet images.)


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Soldiers Point


The Australian (or Nankeen) Kestrel is Australia's smallest falcon and probably the one most people are familiar with. It is often seen on roadside power lines or hovering above sports fields looking for mammals, insects and reptiles.  Once they have their prey in sight, they plunge head first toward the ground, pulling out of their dive at the last moment to strike with their feet.

Kestrels have specially adapted eyes which enable them to see ultra violet light.  This ability allows them to see scent and urine trails which are invisible to humans, and gives them the advantage when hunting to know where to expect to find their prey.



This bird was hovering off the side of the bluff at Soldiers Point. Fishermen had driven away all the shorebirds so I was headed home when I saw him from the carpark. Great to get shots from this point of view, rather than my usual belly shots.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chain Valley Bay


It was a day for the little birds when we walked along the firetrail in Chain Valley bay. A group of Varied Sitellas were peering under the branches looking for insects.


A Rose Robin kept lookout high in the trees, while Spotted Pardalotes dashed around in the canopy.


Golden Whistlers sang, Superb Fairywrens scolded from the shrubs and Eastern Spinebills chased each other and gleaned insects from the bark of the eucalypts.


Hunter Wetlands Centre


On my way back to Uni at lunchtime I stopped in at Nourish at the wetlands to kill two birds with one stone – if that is not an inappropriate expression to use here. While the facilities for humans continue to improve, and it is a very pleasant lunch spot for anyone wishing to re-charge before the afternoon onslaught, it seems to now be primarily a refuge for Australian White Ibis. The stupid birds took to the air in vast noisy flocks as I approached within 200m taking with them the birds I was hoping to see.

There were good numbers of ducks, including:




Pacific Black Duck


Wandering Whistling ducks and Chestnut Teal



Wandered along the new concrete path beside the lake on a beautiful evening, with just a sufficient chill in the air to make walking pleasant. I was mildly resentful of the “fair weather” walkers that now crowd the path – when it was a muddy goat track we had it to ourselves. Never mind, another week or two and they’ll all disappear indoors.

I didn’t take a lot of photos, but the pelicans always reward the effort. Most of the images I got are begging to be in a caption competition – “Your rejection gets me, right here!”

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Toukley, NSW


Having my cup of tea in the garden this morning with my camera in my lap I was surprised by a grey butcherbird who flew in to take some spiders from the bromeliads.  I don’t think of the broms as bird-attracting, but the noisy miners take nectar from the flowers and a friend who lives near the wetland has egrets regularly helping themselves to the frogs nestled in the fronds.

My target was the lorikeets – more to sharpen my reflexes than because I wanted more photos of them. They may be approaching pest proportions in the suburbs, but they certainly are colourful and highly entertaining.