Thursday, July 20, 2017

Onkaparinga

Today I spent the day birding in the Area around Old Noarlunga and the Onkaparinga River with local birder and fellow Pom Tony Bainbridge.

We met up in Old Noarlunga, at a local reserve that holds a well known roost of Rufous Night-herons. There were around half a dozen roosting there and some of them were quite cooperative.




There was also a White-faced Heron there, and some Feral Rock Doves.


A walk along the Onkaparinga brought the usual cormorants, with Little Black Cormorant and Little Pied Cormorant both sitting still and in the open. The Great Egret was a bit further away.



Australian Pelicans were always in view, and always make a photogenic subject.




At the wetlands, we saw a pair of Blue-billed Ducks in amongst their more common cousins, as well as Blackbirds and plenty of Eastern Rosellas. 



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Local Birding

This morning I was planning to head up onto the Adelaide Plains, looking for raptors taking advantage of the current mouse plague. but I called into the Gawler River on the way and got sidetracked by the Red-kneed Dotterels and Slender-billed Thornbills.  Before I knew it, it was time to head home!

Red-kneed Dotterels are pretty common, but usually wary.  These were happy to keep on feeding while I watched from the car.




Slender-billed Thornbills are very localised to the samphire salt marsh, and were posing in the sun, albeit at a distance.



There were also a few egrets around, both Great and Little.


Oh well, I guess I'll go looking for raptors another day!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Barossa Birding

This morning I made a quick trip to the Barossa Valley to cycle part of the Barossa Trail and also take in some birdwatching at the same time.

First stop was Tanunda water treatment ponds, and as usual the ponds were full of very flighty Pink-eared Ducks.

Along the trail by St Hallets winery there were plenty of common birds, including a male Superb Fairy-wren (in eclipse plumage) and White-plumed Honeyeaters.


After cycling for a few kilometres, I headed back to the car.  Just a few metres from the car I heard an unfamiliar call, and picked out a couple of Crested Shrike-tits high up in a River Red Gum.  After a while, they fed in a lower tree, but frustratingly, never gave any unobstructed views.  


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Browns Road and Laratinga Wetlands

Yesterday I took a drive through the Adelaide Hills to Browns Road at Monarto. This land has recently been added to the Monarto Woodlands Conservation Park.  I've not been here for about 8 years, and was well overdue for a return visit.

It was a very foggy drive, but the sun broke through as I arrived.  it was very quiet, but there were a few birds flitting around.  The only birds I managed decent shots of were Diamond Firetail, Peaceful Dove, White-winged Chough and Grey Currawong.




I called in to Laratinga Wetlands at Mount Barker on the way home, and as usual there were plenty of birds around.  On the ponds were Grey Teal and Freckled Duck with Purple Swamphen and Common Bronzewing on the margins.




On one pool was a mass of ducks in a feeding frenzy. There were Pacific Black Ducks, Grey Teal and Hardheads, but by far the most numerous were Australian Shovelers. 



Laratinga is one of the best spots to get up close and personal with crakes, and I got a selection of shots of one confiding Australian spotted Crake. 



Saturday, May 27, 2017

Oaklands Wetlands

There had been reports of a couple of Pink-eared ducks at Oaklands Wetlands, so I popped down there yesterday to see if I could get some photos. 

One of the first birds I saw was a Black-tailed Nativehen. These birds are an irruptive species, normally seen in large flocks, and are usually very wary.  As long as I stayed still, this one was happy to fossick around only a few metres from me.


I found the Pink-eared ducks on a small reed fringed pool, and again, they were quite happy as long as I kept my distance.


There were also plenty of more common species, including Purple Swamphen, Little Grebe, Maned Duck, Coot,  Pacific Black Duck and Little Pied Cormorant.