Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Wild Bird Wednesday 459 - Singing Honeyeater

The Singing Honeyeater (Lichenostomus virescens) is one of Australia's most widespread honeyeaters - although the in the south-east corner of the country it is restricted to coastal areas.  This means it is not one of the birds I see on a daily basis.

At about 20cm long it is a medium sized honeyeater that can be found in a range of habitats.  All of these pictures were taken near Patchewollock in the North East of Victoria a couple of weekends ago.

The pictures of the birds on the sticks were taken from two hides that overlooked watering points.  This was one of my first 'build for photography' hide experiences, and I have to say I rather enjoyed it.  The birds in the bushes were taken as I was eating breakfast!








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Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Wild Bird Wednesday 458 - Pink Cockatoo/ Major Mitchell's Cockatoo

The Pink Cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri) was one of the birds I was hoping to see when I went up to the Mallee in NW Victoria a little while ago.  They are a bird of inland, arid Australia and they are not found in my neck of the woods.

Six hours in the car fixed all that.  I had not long been at my accommodation nr. Patchewollock when my hosts detected the calls of a flock of these birds in some nearby pine trees.  I could not believe my luck - but it was the start of one of the better weekends of birding I have had in a very long time.

There was a small flock - maybe six or seven birds - in the trees and while they did not really cooperate on the photographic front, I got some wonderful views, and some pictures I am happy to share.

This pair of birds were doing some allopreening and also seemed to be sharing food.

This flock of birds (presumably) where in the area for most of the weekend - and although I never got any better views or pictures I often saw the birds on the middle distance.  We also found 2 or maybe three birds roosting when we went out looking for owls.

The last picture in this post is not great, but it actually shows a bird perched on my hosts house! That's a heck of a garden bird!  This bird dropped in to say a pre-dawn good morning before I set off for a (excellent) early morning session at a hide. It was a remarkable way to start the day. 

You can see why Pink Cockatoo is an obvious name, and in the final image you can see the colour banding on the crest.












The name 'Major Mitchell's Cockatoo' may not be all that appropriate, given that they bird was not first seen by him and that there was some very poor (but predictable for the time) interactions between some of Mitchell's men and Aboriginal people during his expeditions. 

I hope at least one of my regular readers is sat down when you read this (you know who you are!)

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Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Stubble and Open Spaces.

As I was driving towards the North West of Victoria - to the part of the state called The Mallee - I could not fail to notice that the land became more and more open.  The long views were dominated by distant patches of trees, the fields were often bare except for lines of stubble and the agricultural buildings.

These are some of the pictures  I took from the side of the road.  Somehow, black and white seems appropriate.







You can find more pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday and image-in-ing Cheers:  SM


Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Wild Bird Wednesday 457 - Crested Pigeon

Finally, I manged to get away for a birding trip last weekend.  I took the long drive to the NW of Victoria and visited the Mallee region of Victoria.  I stayed near a town called Patchewallock (!) and had a great time.  The area is very dry, and even has red sand soil that reminded me of Central Australia.

There will be more details to follow: but these are some Crested Pigeons (Ocyphaps lophotes) that I photographed around a watering point just outside the front door of my accommodation.  Not at unusual bird, but nice to see them in an area which was more like their natural environment - at home I tend to see them on sports ovals!






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Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Wild Bird Wednesday 456 - White-bellied Sea Eagle

When I was down at Werribee Sewage Works a few weeks ago I happened upon this White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) sitting on a post.  Unfortunately, it did not do much but fly off in all the time I watched it!  Later in the day there were two individuals at the same spot.  Wonderful birds, and the first ones I have photographed in my neck of the woods.

This eagle has a wingspan of up to 2m and can weigh up to 3.7 kg, making it only slightly smaller than the Wedge-Tailed Eagle, which is Australia's largest bird of prey.

All things considered, the White-bellied Sea Eagle is an impressive bird.






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Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Wild Bird Wednesday 455 - Little Black Cormorant

The Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) is a reasonably common species found over all of Australia - most typically in freshwater habitats.  This individual was no exception, and was drying / thermo-regulating om a log at my local wetland.

As you can see it a classically black cormorant, but it does have wonderful green eyes.







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Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Wild Bird Wednesday 454 - White-headed Stilt

This is another bird that has undergone a number of taxonomical revisions, but at present I think its called the White-headed Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus) which separates into into a full species away from a number of other similar birds.

These birds were feeding in the area of Werribee Treatment Plant where the treated water is released into the bay.  Due to somewhat elevated nutrient levels in the water this area can be a bit of a hot spot, there were a number of other waders (too distant to identify with much confidence) and a couple of a very small terms (Fairy/ Little?) feeding in the area as well.











The birds with the pale heads are younger birds.  This species really does have remarkably long legs!

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