Saturday, February 27, 2010

Penang - Part 1

OK, I know I'm on honeymoon, but I have managed a little birding here and there. The gardens around the resort we are staying in are beautifully kept, and there are always a few birds around. The most common by far are Tree Sparrow and Common Mynah. Off to one side of the garden is a huge Flame of the Forest which is covered in large red flowers. One of the first birds I saw3 here was a Coppersmith Barbet, which was feeding young in a nesthole in the bottom of one of the lower branches. Also in the tree was Black-naped Oriole, Asian Glossy Starling and Yellow-vented Bulbul. In another tree was a single Common Tailorbird, and an Oriental Magpie-robin, and there is regularly a White-breasted Kingfisher around the garden. There were also lots of House Crows picking up any scraps they could find

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dawning of a new era

Saturday saw the dawning of a new era in my life as Maryann and I exchanged our wedding vows in front of family and friends in Whyalla.
Wedding photos courtesy of Rebecca Scharber.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Skywatch Friday

View towards Tassie Hill, Nr Port Augusta, South Australia

Monday, February 15, 2010


I have seen a couple of posts on frogmouths recently, so I was saving mine for a "rainy day". Well, this weekend I had no time for birding, so although we are basking in blue skies and temperatures in the high 30's C (90's F), today is that rainy day. There are three frogmouth species resident in Australia, Tawny is the most widespread, and Papuan and Marbled are both restricted to the North East. I have never seen Marbled, but only had the opportunity to look for them once, in marginal habitat so I'm not too disappointed. I have seen Papuan on every trip to far north Queensland, and here are a couple of typical shots. The main field mark to look for is the massive bill. I have seen Tawny Frogmouth quite a few times. sometimes single birds, but frequently in family groups. Frogmouths are crepuscular, in that they feed mainly at dawn and dusk. This means that they roost during the day, and frequently remain faithful to favoured spots. They will usually been seen roosting close to a tree trunk, imitating a broken branch. However, sometimes you can get lucky. On one occasion, whilst out with my local bird club, we had finished our walk when someone mentioned they had seen a Tawny Frogmouth in the local Caravan (Trailer) Park. We all decided to go and see if we could find it as we had two visiting birders (one Brit, and one from the US) with us, and neither of them had seen one before. Well we looked in all the likely spots, but to no avail. Then, as we were about to leave we found them, in the park manager's garden. Low down, in full view. This photo is not the best, but the fence in the background gives a great perspective on how low they were. They were a family group of two adults (from the left, birds 1 and 3) and two juveniles (birds 2 and 4). The juveniles were extremely entertaining, sitting still with necks stretched, but then not being able to resist looking to see what was going on!! Enjoy these photos!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Skywatch Friday

Sunset at Robe, on the Limestone Coast, South Australia This second photo is taken though my polarising sunglasses

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cleland Wildlife Park

Yesterday I went up to Cleland Wildlife Park for a couple of hours. I visit here four or five times a year to get up close and personal with the native "wildlife". Although it is a zoo, they are active in many local, national and international conservation programs. As I parked, I saw a movement and saw this Common Bronzewing making the most of the peace and quiet before many people had arrived.

It was still a few minutes before opening time, so I had a chance to look the fine, life sized bronze of a koala in the visitor precinct. The park is mainly open paddocks, with a few enclosures. You can walk in amongst the kangaroos and emus, and there are three large walk through aviaries. The aviaries are split between Riverside, Forest and Arid Land, and contain a mix of birds and flora reflecting that habitat. In addition, there is a lake which is home to a mix of wild and captive waterbirds. Here are a selection of photos from the morning.

This Red Kangaroo is showing how it supports it's weight on forelegs and tail when its browsing. Australian Shoveler Cattle Egret Glossy Ibis Turtle sp. Darter Red-browed Finch Australian Shelduck When I grow up I want to be a......... Masked Woodswallow Zebra Finch Diamond Dove Tawny Frogmouth Rainbow Lorikeet And when I got home, there were a couple of Spotted Doves on my yard fence.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Skywatch Friday

Mallee sunset over
Gluepot Reserve, Riverland, SA