Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 419 - Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo

These birds are Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus).  The pictures were taken a month or so ago when Victoria had a brief period when the C19 restrictions were lifted a little.  We are back in a solid lockdown here and I am not a happy chap!

These birds were feeding in a wattle tree, and the first picture is the closest I have got so far to capturing their classic 'bark shredding' behaviour when they are searching for grubs.  This flock of birds was flushed by the rather heavy footed approach of another birder - but I was able to get the picture of the birds with the blue sky as a result.











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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 418 - Tawny Frogmouth

The Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is a great looking bird - assuming you can defeat their cryptic camouflage and find them!

These birds - there are two in these pictures - were sitting in a tree near the car park at Banuyle Flats a few weeks ago.  This was one of the trips I took before we headed back into lock-down!

It's a bit of a puzzle to work out which parts of the second bird are which!






These birds are nocturnal hunters - and ad you can see, they don't do much during the day!

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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 417 - 10 Parrots

Due to the restrictions of C19 I am only allowed to take 'exercise' walks outside at present - I am not sure if that really includes bird watching!  I could mount the argument that if I am carrying my longest lens and a tripod I really am doing some exercise!

However, I had no camera equipment with me yesterday when I went for a walk - but I still managed to see 10 species of parrot between leaving my front door and coming home.

These are the species I saw - although I did not take these picture yesterday, they have been gleaned from the archives!

Crimson Rosella
Eastern Rosella
Galah
Gang Gang Cockatoo
King Parrot
Little Corella
Rainbow Lorikeet
Musk Lorikeet
Red-rumped Parrot
Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo
It would be reasonable to say that this does not happen every day - and it may not really happen in many places in the world really.

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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 416 - Silver Gulls

The Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) is the most common gull in Australia.  It is the default gull of beaches, swamps, chip shops and pretty much everywhere you find gulls.

Silver Gulls are not a large gull - being about the same size (more or less) as a Black-Headed Gull in the UK.

These birds were loafing about on the beach at Waratah Bay in Victoria last week.  I like the emptiness of these pictures, and the stillness, which somehow seems to fit my current mood.





We were lucky enough to be able to go away for a few days last week, hence the trip to Waratah Bay, but we are now back in a 'soft lock-down' - which basically means that birding trips are not really possible.  I should have showing a friend of mine the wonders of Victorian birds at this time - but clearly not.

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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 415 - Little Pied Cormorant

Hi there - this weeks WBW is brought to you by the Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) and the number 415.  I took these pictures during a walk on a windy day in one of my local parks.  The whole C19 things is really starting to get me down - but WBW continues on!

This Little Pied Cormorant is doing the classic wing drying / heat regualtion pose shown by many birds from this group.  I am rather fond of the sharp 'hair cut' that this species of bird shows.






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Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 414 - Black Swan

I went for an afternoon walk around Jells Park today, and encountered this Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) maintaining its feathers and generally being grumpy at passing coots.

Although common, I always like seeing these swans close up as I can't help but think how shocking they must have been to the first Europeans who saw them. This bird scientific name means 'swans in mourning", which (as it says in one favourite books) is a reference to its 'colour rather than state of mind'!  (Those of you who have come to understand my sense of humour will also understand that I find that rather funny!)










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

This has been a week of C19 uncertainty - I'll visit your blogs in the next couple of days.  Stay Safe SM

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Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 413 - Powerful Owl

The Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) is Australia's largest owl with a weight of up to 2.2 kg and a wing span of of almost 1.5m.  It's a big and impressive bird!  The feed on possums, bats and other birds and can be sometimes be found roosting with the remains of the nights hunting in their claws (although I have not seen that in the flesh yet!)

This bird is one of a well known pair in the northern part of Melbourne, and for once I was able to find it when I visited the site.  I'm not as close to the bird as the picture look - it was at the top of a high tree and I used a long lens!

As is often the case for me, the bird took delight in hiding behind a small twig which rather obscures the view - but I still like the pictures.  I was going to go and have a look for the birds again today, but that part of Melbourne is having a bit of a C19 spike - so I stayed away!







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Monday, 22 June 2020

Bushrangers Bay

Went for a walk to Bushranger Bay and Cape Schanck today.  It would be reasonable to say that the weather was changeable.

I was greeted by a rainbow at Bushrangers Bay and was waved goodbye by heavy rain.  Just before I reached Cape Schanck it truly threw it down for about 10 minutes, I was impresses to say the least and to add novelty to the day, the rain contained pea sized hail.  I stood under a tree for a while just watching the rain, and realised I was smiling.  I'm not sure I was born to be indoors.

If you look closely at the third picture you can see a boat on the ocean, and around that boat are albatross.  Wonderful.





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

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 412 - Gang Gang Cockatoo

I went for a walk around Banuyle Flats (about 25 minutes from my house) this Sunday, which was great way to spend a few hours out of the house.  It seemed that a few other people had had the same idea as well, but it was nice to be able to chat (at a safe distance!) to a few other birders.

I quickly found a small flock of Gang Gang Cockatoos (Callocephalon fimbriatum) feeding noisily and messily on hawthorn berries.  From the sound of cracking seeds, I assume that the birds were actually eating the seeds rather than the flesh of the berries.

The Gang Gang can bee seen in the SE of Australia, and will even feed in gardens if there is ample food.

The males here have a red head - although I think the male here is an immature - while the females have a grey head.










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

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