Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 513 - Spiny-cheeked honeyeater

This is probably the last of the 'water tank' posts (at least for a while)

These birds are Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters, which are far more common in the dry, inland parts of Victoria than in my neck of the woods.  When I was in the Mallee I saw them every day, but I rarely see them around Melbourne.

The Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis) is the only species in the genus Acanthagenys. It is large, for a honeyeater, ranging from 22 to 27 centimetres and weighing around 52 grams. 








'Covid-normal' is a very strange time - and I am not back up to full speed yet.  Thank you for the support and comments.  I will resume normal service as soon as possible.

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Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 512 - Singing Honeyeater

More birds from the water trough again this week.

These birds are Singing Honeyeaters (Gavicalis virescens) a small and common honeyeater.  There are also guest appearances by a large wasp and a White Plumed Honeyeater.







We seem to have beaten COVID (for the time being - but the family is pretty tired, as is common with this virus)

I was wondering if anybody would like to do a 'guest appearance' as a contributor to WBW in the next few weeks? Simplest way would be to contact me, and I can set up a way to get text and images shared and published - thought it would be nice to have some content here other than mine.  It may also give a chance for people to say to fellow bloggers 'why dont you have a look at this?'  - Anyway, contact me if you are interested.  SM

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Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 511 - White-plumed Honeyeater

Well, Covid19 has found us, so this will be a very brief post.

More birds from around the water-tank I mentioned last week.  These birds are White-plumed Honeyeaters (Lichenostomus penicillatus).  This is a medium sized honeyeater, found in  open forests and woodlands, often near water and wetlands.  I smiled when I found this note about its distribution: "It is scarce or absent in arid regions unless water artificially supplied (e.g. water troughs for stock)".

Its nice when the birds do what they are supposed to do!







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Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 510 - White-browed Woodswallow

The White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus) is a summer breeding visitor to my part of Australia.

This pair of birds came down to drink from an agricultural tank when I as in the Mallee this January.  It was one of those chance encounters where you think 'some birds may land here'. So, I just parked the car and waited.

The bird with the more visible eye-stripe is the male. This species hunts insects on the wing and can form large flocks.  But not this time!







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Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 509 - Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata) is a common (sort of) small wader that migrates to Australia in its out-of-breeding season.  That means it is with during 'our' summer, and in the high Arctic in 'our' winter.  It's one of the more remarkable things to think about - that this bird is probably now in Siberia.

It will come as no surprise that this bird was photographed at Werribee Sewage works.  However, it (and some of its friends, as there are at least 4 different birds in these pictures) seemed a lot less nervous than usual, and I was able to get these images while I was stood at the bottom of a bank.











 I rather like the images with the reflections.

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Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 508 - Silver Gulls

Well, for only the second time in two years we are away on a family holiday.  I had hoped to bring you some birds from 'our' new garden, but we have had two days of persistent rain so far!  As we are near the sea I thought I would give you a collection of Silver Gull images.

The Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) is the default gull in Australia, and probably accounts for over 95% of the gulls that I see.  Anything that is not a Silver Gull is cause for a least a little excitement! 








I hope for better weather in the very near future!  And more than that, I hope to have enough space in my head to allow me to start visiting your blogs again.  Its been a strange kind of time.  SM

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Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 507 - Pink Cockatoo / Major Mitchell's cockatoo

I took these pictures earlier this year when I was in the North West of Victoria in the area called The Mallee.  The Pink Cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri) is generally a bird of the arid or semi-arid parts of Australia, and The Mallee is the closest Victoria gets to having a classic 'outback' kind of environment.

I took these pictures on a very grey day, and if there was ever a time when I have enjoyed being able to see the images I am taking straight away it was on that day.  I was able to mess with the exposure until I could get it more or less right.  I also was surprised how close I got to the birds - using the car as a hide - and in fact I ended up with 'too much' lens.  That is a situation I am not used to!

So, the Pink Cockatoo is about the same size as the more familiar Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, and also much less vocal.  

They are truely wonderful birds.







There is a visiting Galah in two of these images.

This final image relies on a bit more manipulation than normal.  These two birds would not look off to one side at the same time, so I took the chance to try a method of blending two images.  I like it, as it does look as 'over-cooked' as some photoshopped images.  Would you have known it was a blended image?


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Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Wild Bird Wednesday 506 - House Sparrow

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is probably not the most popular bird in Australia.  This largish finch is not native to these shores and in much of the country is technically a pest species.

Well, I can understand all that — and if they had never been brought here from Europe it would have been a good thing, but here they are, and I still like them for their robust familiarity and the memory inducing sound of their calls.

They were all around me as a kid, and I still like to catch up with them.  This is a male of the species that I found at (believe it or not) Werribee Sewage Works. 









Hope everyone is well - and I really will try to visit your blogs this week.  

As ever, to join in with WBW click on the link below.  SM

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