Tuesday 24 November 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 435 - New Holland Honeyeater

While I was out at Bushy Park last week, I spent some time leaning on part of a bridge waiting for some New Holland Honeyeaters (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) to come and feed in a flowering bush.   I think that the bush is a Bottlebrush - or Callistemon.  I think that the Honeyeaters don't care what its called - its a wonderful source of food for them what ever its name is!

Although New Holland Honeyeaters are not an unusual bird to see, I did not have any decent pictures of them.  I think I may have fixed that issue!

As I said yesterday, its great to be back in the outdoors.

Safe safe, keep your distance, wear a mask and link up to WBW.  SM

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Monday 23 November 2020

Out and About

This lockdown nearly broke me, but my loved ones are still here and we are healthy.  

So, it is with considerable relief that I was able to go for a walk today without a mask.  On the weekend I will be driving an hour and half from home to go on a fly fishing course.  And last Friday I met up with a friend from work to go birding.

When I was out and about on Friday evening I heard a commotion behind me and turned to see this icon of Australia being harassed by a Grey Fantail.

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

It was good to be out.

It's good to be back.


Tuesday 17 November 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 434 - Scarlet Honeyeater

Well, I finally made it out of lockdown this weekend, and following some tips from local birders I went in search of Scarlet Honeyeater (Myzomela sanguinolenta) at Bushy Park, about 25 minutes from my house. You can tell what kind of year I (we) have had since COVID arrived in that this is about the longest journey I have been able to do in many months!

I was helped out by two birders on site who pointed me in the right direction to find the birds - although I think I may have found them anyway as they were calling loudly and feeding on flowering bushes - ie behaving in the way the field guides say they do!  (This is a novelty)

The Scarlet Honeyeater is 9 to 11 centimetres (3.5 to 4.3 in) long, and is the smallest honeyeater in Australia. It also flies rapidly, spends a lot of its time with its head in flowers and generally spends most of its time inside bushes, rather than on the nicely illuminated flowers on the edge of the bushes!

In other words, I did not get a lot of 'keepers' in the photographic sense.

This is a pretty unusual bird for my part of the world, and this year there have been a much higher number of sightings than usual.  This species does move south in spring/ summer, but this year it seems to have come much further south (and in greater numbers) than normal.  This is good news for me, but maybe not good news for the bird.

These pictures look much better larger - so please click away.

(Also, is anybody having problems uploading images from their computer to Blogger?)

It feels great to be able to post some current birds, and to have a chance to restore some form of normal service!  So, as ever, stay safe and link up with WBW.

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Tuesday 10 November 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 433 - Green Pygmy-Goose

There was a small flock of birds have a bit of a wash and brush up just off the end of the jetty when we started a boat tour of Yellow Waters in Kakadu National Park last year.

The birds were ..... and now I have a problem.  They are called the Green Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus pulchellus), but I assume that a group of them are not called Green Pygmy-Geese, and I am also not keen to write Green Pygmy-Gooses!  Anybody who knows about these things, please leave a comment.

Anyway, the birds were busily cleaning themselves as we sailed away.  

Of course, these birds are not geese at all - they are ducks - but they are not very large!  These were the first pictures I managed to get of this species.

The coming weekend is the first weekend in a very long time where I may be able to get out of the area I live in and go for a walk.  I hope this goes some way to pressing the 're-set' button in my brain - and then normal service can be resumed.

It's been a long year - and I will be glad when I can get back to being me.

Stay safe, link up and if you live in the US and voted the right way, thank you very much.  SM

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Tuesday 3 November 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 432 - Dusky Moorhen

While I was at a local pond recently I was visited by this Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa).  This individual swam up towards me, seemed to check me out and then went back into the reeds.

While this is a very common bird, I rather liked this interaction as I have been rather denied such meetings for a while.

Things are slowly returning to a more normal footing here - all I need now is for my brain to catch up with this news!

Stay well, and keep posting.  SM

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