Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 342 - Emerald Ground Dove.

The Emerald Ground Dove or just Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) is common on Lord Howe Island.  It lives up to it's longer common name as far as I am concerned, as I dont think I ever saw it more than a few feet above the ground.

These birds were busy in the bushes and undergrowth all over the place, but this tendency to like shady areas made them rather hard to photograph.  Too much movement, and not enough light!

As you can see they are rather splendid looking birds.










As ever, to join in with WBW click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  

Feel free to spread the word about our little birding community in 2019. SM.

(PS: I think that the process for linking in will be different from now on - there seem to have been a few changes in the way I have to create the link - and from what I can see the actual link up is a little different as well.  This blog post may help if you are having issues. SM)


Inlinkz Link Party

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 341 - Flesh-footed Shearwater

In the evenings on Lord Howe we would go and watch the sun set and have drink - a genuine sun-downer I suppose.

Most evenings there would be a few shearwaters or mutton-birds flying around.  Eventually I worked out that they were landing to enter their nest burrows in the dunes near to where we were sitting.

On one evening I sat near the edge of these dunes and took photographs of the Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes / Ardenna carneipes) flying around and landing.  Landing may be a bit of an exaggeration of the degree of control showed by the birds as the reached land - crashing may be a more accurate term.

The birds would often land rather near my feet and then run into the vegetation to calm down or hide!









I also took this as a chance to try out some new settings on the camera for birds in flight - more practice needed, and a shame about the background on one the shots (there were some erosion protection works being done).






As ever, to join in with WBW click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  

Feel free to spread the word about our little birding community in 2019. SM.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 340 - Buff Banded Rail

The Buff Banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis) is a pretty common bird on Lord Howe Island - it was pretty much the 'bird of the trip' in terms of it being seen almost everywhere, and certainly everyday.

They are fast, ground dwellers although they are not flightless.  Most evenings we could watch them dashing about in the garden beds outside of our room.

The scientific name of the bird refers to where the species was first described by western science - ie The Phillipines.  These birds always brought a smile (not that I was not smiling most of the time I was on LHI!) to my face with their high speed energy and their tendency to get upset with almost every living thing they saw!

I wish I had some in my garden!








As ever, to join in with WBW click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  

Feel free to spread the word about our little birding community in 2019. SM.


Monday, 28 January 2019

A hot walk on Mount Gower

Mount Gower (875 metres)is Lord Howe Island's  highest mountain. It's an impressively steep climb from sea level to the 'mist forests' on the summit plateau.

The last time I went up Mt. Gower it rained, and there was water dripping from my hat.  This time, it did not rain and there was sweat dripping from pretty much everywhere.  Darn I found it hot!

However, the views were spectacular.

The start - one of the few flat sections on the walk.

About 1/2 an hour into the walk - you start walking up hill at the small rocky island

The start of a section called 'The Low Road'

Near the end of 'The Low Road"

View from the end of "The Low Road"

Erskine Valley - where we saw the Woodhens

View towards Mt Lidgebird on the way up.

View towards Mt Lidgebird on the way up.

View over LHI from the top of Mount Gower

View over LHI from the top of Mount Gower

View towards Mt Lidgebird on the way down - people feeling pleased with themselves!

Start of the Low Road on the way back - afternoon sun and black rock - it was well hot! 
Its a remarkable walk and well worth the sore legs the next day.

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

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 339 - Wood Hen

Last week I was lucky enough to be back on Lord Howe Island.  LHI is about 800 km north-east of Sydney, and (in my opinion) is one of the most remarkable places I have ever seen.  Tiny, isolated, rich with wildlife and just flat out special.

If you even get a hint of a chance to visit, take it.

One of the special species on the island is the Wood Hen (Gallirallus sylvestris).  This species is endemic to LHI and was almost lost not that long ago when its population fell to very low levels, mostly due to being eaten - at first by settlers and then by the animals they brought with them.  Thankfully, the population has recovered somewhat thanks to a range of conservation efforts.

These pictures were taken as I was walking (very slowly) up Mt. Gower, the highest point on the island.  These birds were almost as interested in me as I was in them - which was a good job as I only had a 35mm lens!










As ever, to join in with WBW click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  

Feel free to spread the word about our little birding community in 2019. SM.


Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 338 - Red-necked Avocet

The Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae) is a wonderful bird that is endemic to Australia.  It can be found throughout much of Australia, but breeds (often in groups) on the edges of ephemeral lakes after heavy rain.  This means that they can 'disappear' from an area for a while when they are breeding else where.

I found this birds (surprise, surprise) at the Werribee Sewage works where there were very busily feeding.  I always find it strange just how well this species can swim.






As ever, to join in with WBW click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  

Feel free to spread the word about our little birding community in 2019. SM.