Sunday, January 29, 2012

Birding around Adelaide

Some good friends of mine have been staying for a few days, so I've been showing them some of the birding spots around Adelaide. We took another trip down to Goolwa, where we birded along the barrage road, on the beach and from the bird hide. Most of the birds were the same as on my last visit, but we did see Red-Avocet and Pink-eared Duck which were both new birds for my friends. Lunch, as usual in Goolwa, was fish and chips by the river. This time we watched the Milang to Goolwa boat race, and were kept company by a flock of Little Corellas. There were Plenty of birds on the river, and I snapped a Whiskered Tern, a Great Cormorant (with a fishing weight tangled on it, and the ever present Australian Pelican. Next day we went up through the Adelaide Hills to Laratinga Wetlands at Mount Barker. We had lunch on the way at a small park in Nairne. There were lots of pale blue dragonflies here, and an interesting rock with a snake carved onto it. There was also a Coot family with some very late chicks. When we got to Laratinga, it was in great shape with lots of mud for waders and crakes. We saw Black-fronted Plovers, Yellow-billed Spoonbills, Australian White Ibis and this very inquisitive young Superb Fairywren. In a couple of hours here we counted over twenty Spotted Crakes and a single Baillons Crake.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Skywatch Friday

A fine crescent, just a couple og days before the new moon.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

St Kilda Saltfields

This morning I had a couple of hours in the Saltfields. There were thousands of stilts there, both White-headed and Banded.
Other waders (shorebirds) included Red-necked Stint and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.
There were also good numbers of fairywrens there, but this female White-winged was the only one I photographed. Fours species of Cormorant were seen, and only Little Pied was snapped.
I caught this Whiskered Tern plucking insects from the bushes, and also got long range shots of Red-kneed Dotterel and Sacred Kingfisher.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Paiwalla Wetlands

At the weekend I went to Paiwalla Wetlands in the Murraylands with Birds SA. This privately owned wetlands is being restored from a cattle station, and consists of flooded pools alongside the River Murray. Before we met up, I went down to the river. There were a number of Mallee Ringnecks feeding here. While we were planning the route, there were Tree Martins and Welcome Swallows flying around. I managed this shot of a young swallow, and also another when some Little Black Cormorants flew over. As we walked around the wetland, a couple of Purple Swamphens crossed the path. There are lots of nestboxes put up, and some have been commandeered by Possums. The thistles are all just coming into full flower. The most common wader here is Red-kneed Dotterel, but they moved away from any disturbance. Welcome Swallows were using the perches, and Tree Martins perching in the bushes. Further along the river, three Yellow-billed Spoonbills were perched until they were flushed by a Swamp Harrier. Heading back to the car, we spotted this young Fan-tailed Cuckoo, and a fully occupied Willie Wagtail nest right over the path. We took lunch in another section of the reserve where this Soldier Wasp was busy burying its prey. In a small area of swamp, there were up to 4 Spotted and 4 Baillon's Crakes, giving good opportunities to compare the two, picking up on the definitive field marks. The barred undertail of the Baillons and White undertail of the Spotted. Finally, a Little Eagle kept us company as we ate lunch.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Yesterday we took a trip to Goolwa on the Fleurieu Peninsular, just south of Adelaide. We took the car onto the beach and drove towards the mouth of the Murray River. I stopped a couple of times. First for a some Sooty Oystercatchers, and then a small group of Banded Stilts. The stilts were all sub-adult, with some just beginning to show the chest band. Lunch was Fish and Chips by the River, and as usual a group of Silver Gulls turned up to share, but there was an interloper in this group. He's pretty easy to spot A Little Corella We then headed down the coast road towards Coorong National Park. I saw some Sharp=tailed Sandpipers, a Little Raven, ever present Australian Pelicans and Great Egrets, and a group of terns. Highlight for me was watching this young Royal Spoonbill chasing after Mum for a feed, which he eventually got. Finally, it was really windy on the beach, with sand and seedheads blowing everywhere. I new some debris was blowing across while I was photographing the oystercatchers, but didn't realise I had got this shot until I got home.