Monday, October 24, 2011

Barossa Birding

Sunday morning I headed up to the Barossa Valley to do some birding. First stop was Tanunda water treatment works. This series of ponds usually holds a good selection of ducks, often with some less common ducks mixed in. Straight away I noticed a small group of Pink-eared Ducks. There were also Blue-billed Ducks there, but true to form with Oxyura ducks, they spent the whole time asleep on the far side of the pond so no photos. On the way out there was a Masked Lapwing by the track. The back road from Tanunda to the Barossa resort is a favourite of mine, and it didn't disappoint. Lots of Yellow-rumped Thornbills (colloquially known as "Butter Bum") and a pair of Cockatiels were the highlights. Also a single male Red-rumped Parrot. Last stop was the Landcare Reserve at Altona. By this time it was warming up, so the birds were not so easy to photograph. This female Hooded Robin was inquisitive enough to investigate my poor imitation! There were quite few flowers out, including some huge Artichoke Thistles (they will bloom purple in a few weeks), some Black Anther Flax-Lily, Tall Yellow-eye, and Tangier Pea.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Spotted Marsh Frog

I heard frogs callong from my yard this evening, and armed with flashlight and camera found a couple of Spotted Marsh Frogs.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Short visit to Greenfields Wetlands

This morning I made a quick visit to Greenfields Wetlands to check out any migrants. There were a few Whiskered Terns around, but I didn't manage any decent photos. The rest of the birds there were all pretty common. As usual, Black Swan, Purple Swamphen and Coot were everywhere.
There were also a few Great Egrets there, but as usual they were pretty flighty. I did manage a couple of shots of this one. When I zoomed back a bit it made an interesting shot with the Australian Ibis.
Then a small flock of White-headed Stilts flew in, and just as quickly flew off again. But they had disturbed this Australian Spotted Crake.
As usual, pelicans were flying around, and as usual I couldn't resist firing off a few shots!
Little Grassbirds ans Australian Reed Warblers were singing from every suitable spot, and with patience I managed a few shots of each, though from a distance.
Grebes were in evidence, with plenty of Hoary-headed and Australian Little Grebes feeding busily in the deeper channels.
Finally, this little fellow was happily munching on the verge.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Whyalla Conservation Park

This weekend was the last public holiday before Christmas, and we went across to Whyalla to spend it with family. On Sunday I spent some time at Whyalla Conservation Park. On the way I noticed a bird silhouetted against the sky. As I approached, he began to sing. Unfortunately there was no cover between him and me so I couldn't get any closer.
At the base of Wild Dog Hill I heard the quiet trill of a grasswren, and after sitting still for a few minutes a Thick-billed Grasswren popped up for a second.
As I walked the track to the top of the hill, I saw Singing Honeyeater. This pretty flower was all over the top, which is mainly rock. It appeared to be growing out of crevices. Also looking at crevices was this small lizard.
On the way out of the park I noticed this Australian Pipit by the side of the track. Further along I stopped for this young Shingleback to cross. On a whim, I followed one of the tracks along a line of pylons. There were hundreds of small blue butterflies here, along with at least three Rufous Whistlers. Just before I got to the exit, a flash of green crossed, Mulga Parrot!, but try as I could, the brightly coloured male eluded me. I managed a couple of shots of the female