Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 348 - Australasian Swamphen

Such are the tide of taxonomic change, that even in my time in Australia this bird has changed name. Once considered a subspecies of the Purple Swamphen, it is now considered a full species.  These days it goes by the name of Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus).

These birds were feeding in the grass near the same 'wetland' as the carp from yesterday - although I did take these pictures at the very start of the year.  I really like two parts of these pictures - firstly, the ones where the birds are behind the wire fence seem to say something about the power of the wild to exist even in contained areas.  Secondly, I really like the look of concentration as the birds remove grass seeds from the dry stalks of summer grass.  They are clearly more dexterous with their beak than its size would suggest.

I always like watching these birds.














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Monday, 18 March 2019

Carp

I went for a bit of a walk on Sunday around a local 'wetland'.  I say 'wetland' because it was only about half its normal size, with substantial areas of dry mud.

There were a few birds about, but what was most noticeable was the presence of some carp.  I have never seen any at this location before, but on Sunday I must have seen at least 10 - maybe more.

Carp are not a native species in Australia - and many people blame them for the degraded state of many of our waterways.  I suspect lack of water flows, abstraction, pollution and direct damage by canalisation and such like are also to blame, but the poor old carp get the brunt of the blame.




This fish was gulping in air at the surface - a sure sign that the oxygen levels in the water are low.

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

PS: my computer is now well again, and normal blogging services will resume! 



Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 347 - Masked Booby

A very brief post this week - I have a few technological issues here - basically I have a rather ill computer, which I hope to fix soon!

So, here are some pictures of Masked Boobies (Sula dactylatra) loafing about on some rock near Balls Pyramid, south of LHI.

I was not able to get are really close up images of these birds, but as I have never posted any pictures of this species, these are the best I have!





As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking on the link below - and also as ever, please feel free to share the love for WBW with other bloggers!  Cheers. SM

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday, 8 March 2019

Blue Sky / White Tern

The combination of a cloudless blue skies and White Terns was wonderful on Lord Howe.  I could have spent hours just watching the birds chase each other.  I assume this behaviour is either courtship or pair bonding.  What ever it was, it was wonderful to watch.











You will find lots more shots of the sky at SkyWatch Friday.  SM

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 346 - Red-tailed Tropicbirds

Of all the birds you can see on Lord Howe, the Red-tailed Tropicbirds (Phaethon rubricauda) have to be the most spectacular.   When you arrive by plane, you can see the cliffs at the northern end of the island, and you can see dozens - maybe hundreds - of white birds.  In most situations these birds would be gulls, but on Lord Howe they are Red-tailed Tropicbirds.

The walk up to the cliffs at Malabar takes about 1/2 an hour or so - longer if its hot - but its worth it.  The Tropic-birds display all along the cliff edge, and sometimes they are hanging in the air not that far below you.

It's one of the best places I have ever bird watched.

We also found a couple of nest locations - strangely close to the footpaths if the truth be told.  In one place, the bird was less than 50cm from the path! No need for long lenses in that case.














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Feel free to spread the word about our little birding community in 2019. SM.
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Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Green Turtles

The snorkelling around Lord Howe is wonderful.  My use of my little waterproof point and shoot does not really match the quality of the things you could see - which is a real shame as the fish and corals were really very colourful.

We were snorkelling off Old Settlement Beach when we found this Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)  - well, thats what I think it is!  This area of the island is well known for turtles, and by the end of the swim we had seen at least 3, and maybe four.

These are the best pictures I managed.











You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.