Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pengilly Scrub- after the bushfire

Pengilly Scrub is a small reserve to the north of Adelaide. It was almost totally burned out in the Pinery bushfire in November 2015. Over seven days the Pinery bushfire burned over 65,000 Hectares (210,000 Acres). Adelaide has had exceptional rainfall this winter so I decided to go and see how Pengilly was recovering after the fire.

The understory was growing well, and there were signs of the gum trees sprouting new leaves, but many of the larger trees were down.

There were plenty of birds though, and two Western Grey Kangaroos.

The most common bird by far was the Rainbow Bee-eater, a summer visitor to South Australia. I found a favoured perch and this chap was happy to keep returning until I had enough photos.

There were also plenty of Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters, Red-rumped Parrots, and, of course, Willy Wagtails.


I did notice that there were very few small birds, no finches or thornbills, and only a single pair of Dusky Woodswallows.

The only raptor was a distant Brown Falcon.

I'll try to get back there in a few weeks time to see how things are going.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Wet Kaurna Wetlands Park

We have had a very wet end to winter in South Australia, and the wetlands has been steadily filling. So I took my "point and shoot" along for Kobe's regular Saturday morning walk around the park to see what we could find.

Around 9 months ago a Fluker Post appeared at the wetland. The Fluker Post Project is a "citizen science" project where members of the public put their camera or smartphone on the post and take a photo.  These photos are then used to track how the environment changes with time. More details on the project can be found here. This is what a post looks like, along with my contribution.

Recently, the council also replace some of the bridges here with new bridges. All of the new bridges are underwater at the moment.

The wetland is full to overflowing at the moment so there are lots of opportunities for photographing reflections, and the wildflowers are really starting to show their beauty.


On the bird front, the summer visitors are beginning to arrive, and in the last week I have heard Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo, Rufous Songlark and Australian Reed Warbler. No chance of photos with my point and shoot, though I did manage a photo of Pacific Black Duck and a female Superb Fairy-wren (100% crop).

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Semaphore kite Festival

Today we spent a pleasant afternoon at the Semaphore Kite Festival. When we arrived, it was pretty much calm, and there were very few kites flying, but the afternoon sea breeze soon started to blow, and the sky filled with more and more kites.

There were specially shaped kites as well as more traditionally shaped ones.

There seemed to be a bit of a maritime theme going on with many of the special shapes.

Here are a few more shots from the festival.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Perth Aviation Heritage Museum

While in Perth I also visited the Heritage Aviation Museum which is run by the Royal Australian Air Force Association (RAAFA).  I would recommend a visit.  At only $10 entry for adults it is outstanding value.  More information about the museum can be found here.

Here are some of the aircraft on display:

Mounted outside the museum is a Supermarine Spitfire Mk22 (Replica)

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Bell UH-1 Huey

Macchi MB-326 H

CAC CA-5 Wirraway

Avro Anson

Avro Lancaster

English Electric Canberra

This is a great little museum, with knowledgeable, helpful volunteers. I recommend a visit if you are in Perth and have a spare hour or two!

Christmas in Perth

This year we visited family in Perth for Christmas.  I managed to do a little birding while I was there, and added two "lifers" (bird species seen for the first time). It was very warm there, with every day over 30C (86F) and a couple of days over 40C (104F), so birding wasn't easy. I had made contact with a couple of local birders through a birdwatching e-mail list so I had some local spots to try.

One of the most common birds around Perth's northern suburbs is the local variant of the Australian Ringneck, "Twenty-eight Parrot". These were seen in the garden everyday
The local park was also "birdy" with many common species. They are also used to people so gave good opportunities to get close. Australian White Ibis and Pacific Black Duck were plentiful, and tucked in amongst them was a Female Musk Duck.

Further along the lake edge were some Little Black Cormorants, Maned duck, lots of Little Corellas and Straw-necked Ibis.

One of my target species was Western Wattlebird, but every Wattlebird I got my binoculars on to was a Red Wattlebird.

I had a day trip out with a local birder, but it was very hot and tough going.  At one little waterhole we did find a couple of endemic Baudin's Cockatoos, along with some Red-tailed Black Cockatoos.

One spot I wanted to try was Victoria Dam. It held two of my target species, as well as two other endemic species.  There were a few gum trees in blossom, and both Singing and Brown Honeyeaters took full advantage. The local Golden Whistler was in good voice letting everyone know he was there.

Splendid Fairywren is by far the most common of the fairywrens here, I even saw them in a reserve only metres from dense housing. At Victoria Dam I was almost tripping over them! While photographing them, I saw a small movement out of the corner of my eye, and got a nice surprise! A Western Rosella, my first lifer of the trip.


Other common birds here were Yellow-rumped Thornbill and Laughing Dove. While checking through the fairywrens and thornbills I almost missed lifer number two, Red-eared Firetail.

all in all a great trip, and a lovely finish to 2015.