Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 360 - Southern Fulmar

While I was out on the ocean near Phillip Island, not seeing whales, but enjoying seeing lots of dolphins, a small pale bird started following the boat.

There had been a few gulls and terns around the boat, but this bird was not flying like either of these types of bird: too low to the water and not enough wing flaps.  There were a few Shy Albatross around as well, but even at distance you could see this bird was not large enough to be an Albatross.

Luckily, after about 10 minutes the bird came close enough to the boat for me to get a good look at it, and some (heavily cropped) pictures.

The bird was a Southern Fulmar or Antarctic Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialoides).  At almost any other time in the recent past finding this species would have been a real shock.  There have not be very many records in Victoria waters - and most (as far as I am aware) have been rather further off shore. According to some of my books most records on the 'mainland' coast of Australia are of bird driven ashore or 'wrecked'.

However, in recent weeks there has been a spate of records all along the Victorian coast - so it looks a much larger number of birds than normal have left Antartica and headed north.  Without the 'heads-up' that the records on social media had given I would have probably had no idea what this bird was.

As you can see its basically Silvery Grey in colour, but you can see the pale patch in the darker wing tips.  This bird flies with the same 'stiff wings' as the Fulmar from 'up north'.

All in all, a bit of a remarkable bird - and unsurprisingly, a new one for me!

















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


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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Short-beaked Common Dolphin

This weekend I went out on a whale watching trip from San Remo, a small coastal town about 1 1/2 hours from Melbourne.  San Remo is in fact on the 'mainland' end of the bridge that goes across to Phillip Island.

I was a bright, but kind of chilly day and the whales did not cooperate.  Maybe they were having a shy day.

However, we did get regular views of Short-beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) playing around the boat.  The dolphins were not really in much of a mood for jumping - but I rather like the shots through the water. In some ways there remind me of stained glass windows - or at least shots taken through glass.

Anybody who lives in my neck of the woods can find out about the tour / trip with a simple search - even though I did not see whales (this time) I can recommend the tour.










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

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 359 - Black Noddy

The Black Noddy (Anous minutus) is a medium-sized species of tern found on the northern sections of eastern Australia.  You may not be surprised to know that they occur on Lord Howe Island and this is where I took these pictures.

On one of the beaches at the northern end of the island there is a small colony of these birds nesting in some pine trees.  They seem reasonably calm when approach, but a long lens is always the best option for nesting birds.

What is not clear from these pictures is that it was actually rather windy when I was taking the pictures, and framing the shots was hard as the birds were being blown around a bit.

You can see that some of the birds in these pictures are well developed chicks rather than adult birds - and one is not that well developed at all.

It was great to spend a few minutes with these birds, but I soon left them to their rather wind tossed perches.
















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





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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 358 - Sooty Tern

WBW is still on Lord Howe Island this week, meanwhile, I am not!

The Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus) is probably one of the most noticeable birds on LHI - any walker by the sea is likely to accompanied by these birds, and in some places you have to swerve around them as they sit on the beach.

I took this pictures on a rather warm day and many of the birds were just loafing about on the beach.  You can tell what the weather was like from the colour of the skies in the flight pictures.

This tern is about 45cm long with a wing span that approaches 100cm.  They are splendid birds.  The brown bird in the final picture is a well grown fledgling.  Clearly the sun was making at least one bird a little itchy!










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Monday, 27 May 2019

Blue

Near the end of a snorkelling trip in the lagoon at Lord Howe Island we found this large patch of purple / lavender / blue coral.  I am not experienced in the ways of coral reefs, but I have say I found this most remarkable.

I like the colour in these pictures, but also the addition of a fish or two in each pictures.

If you get the chance to go to LHI, take it.





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

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 357 - Grey Ternlet

Back to Lord Howe Island for WBW this week.

On what was a very calm day, we went out to have a look at Balls Pyramid, which is a rock stack about 20km southeast of LHI.  It is a remarkable piece of rock sitting in the Pacific Ocean.

As we drew close to the Pyramid a small number of Grey Ternlets (Procelsterna albivitta) began to fly around the boat.  They never came very close, but against the clear blue sky I was able to get some nice images.  (I almost always prefer to give the birds a bit of space in my pictures.)






Once we got to the Pyramid itself the birds came closer, but the swell around the rocks made the whole photographic thing much harder.





The above sequence of threes pictures was taken as a bird was flying towards me - I rather like them.
The Grey Ternlet is a pelagic species which I think I was pretty lucky to be able to see without sea-sickness being involved!

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

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