Friday, October 24, 2014

Spring birding

I managed to find a couple of hours for a quick trip out today.  I birded between St Kilda and Port Gawler, just to the north of Adelaide.

It was very quiet to start with, but I did happen on this little story...... Once upon a time there were three White-winged Fairy-wrens, Daddy, Mummy and little baby.......

At Port Gawler things got better as there were a few waders about.  Resident Red-kneed Dotterels and a few migrant Sharp-tailed Sandpipers.

There was also a very confiding Red-necked Avocet which allowed me to get my best photos of this species yet.

As usual, the Pied Butcherbird was trying his luck along the edge of the samphire and there were plenty of Singing Honeyeaters doing what they do best.....singing!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Laratinga Wetlands

Today we had a quick walk around Laratinga Wetlands at Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills.

All the usual suspects were there. Most logs had ducks on them. This one had Maned Duck, Shoveler and Chestnut Teal on it.

The Pacific Black Ducks are not shy, and came too close at times!

The coots were all busy feeding, and there were lots of pairs of Shoveler here.

We had fun tracking down the Rosellas, but never quite got close enough for a good pic.  This one was almost straight into the sun, and so the colours are a bit odd.

There were also plenty of Turtles lounging in the sun, and, of course, The Australian Ibis' waiting to "mug" the picnickers!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Garden Visitors

We had a couple of welcome visitors to our garden recently.

First was an Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard in the back yard.

Then a Tawny Dragon in the front yard

Friday, October 10, 2014

Skywatch Friday - Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse over Adelaide, South Australia

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Innes National Park

At the end of last week, I went to Innes National Park as the South-western tip of the Yorke Peninsula. I drove the eastern then southern coastal roads, birding as I went.

First stop was Clinton Conservation Park. There were 9 Caspian Terns here, along with a lone Crested Tern, some Little Black Cormorants and about 150 Red-necked Avocets on the pool. A great start!

As I headed further south, a lone Little Egret was feeding close to a bridge and Welcome Swallows were busy collecting mud for their nests.

In Edithburgh, there were some Galahs feeding amongst bright yellow flowers, and nearby some Silver Gulls doing the same. (Or is this a new species - Yellow-breasted Gull???) 

The southern coast is very rugged and ideal for wind farms as it faces the prevailing wind.

As it warmed up lots of Shingleback Lizards started moving, and the Kestrels were about, alternating between soaring and perching.

Innes is stunning at the moment - full of amazing red Cockies Tongue (Templetonia retusa ), Emu's with stripey chicks, and Kangaroos. This Western Grey Kangaroo had this season's joey in the pouch, and last season's still tagging along behind.

One interesting spot is Ethel Beach near Cape Spencer where the wreck of the iron barque Ethel can still be seen on the beach. It ran aground in 1904.

The birdwatching is great here, with a good population of Malleefowl and the easternmost population of Western Whipbird (unfortunately I saw neither of these on this trip).  I found this pair of Sooty Oystercatcher with a nest at Cable Bay.  The park is overrun with Silvereyes at the moment, as well as White-browed Scrubwrens.

One bird I haven't seen in ages is Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, and a pair were very happy to pose for a few photos, as was this inquisitive Striated Pardalote.

On the way back, another stop at Clinton produced first one, then eventually 9 Great Egrets roosting in a small mangrove tree.

The last couple of pics were from a visit to Murray Mouth yesterday.  Pied Oystercatcher and Red-capped Plover - tagged on here as there is not enough for a post in its own right.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Local wetlands

After last night's storm, today dawned calm and sunny. But this was only to be a lull, as another front is forecast for tonight.

I decided to make the most of it and head to two local wetlands. The water was very high at Greenfields Wetlands so there were not many birds.  A Little Grassbird was very confiding though, alternating between feeding and singing in a bush right by the road.

This Purple Swamphen had a small family of chicks with it, but they all disappeared as soon as I touched the camera!

At Whites Road, the water was a little lower.  The Black Swans were feeding in one corner, with a single Australian Ibis and 100's of Black-tailed Nativehens in another.

On the way home I saw this White-faced Heron busily feeding in an old overgrown paddock.  He slowly stalked back and forth until he found lunch!