Wednesday 27 September 2023

Wild Bird Wednesday 583 - All at Sea.

I was back in Tasmania this weekend for another couple of pelagic trips from Eaglehawk Neck.  The distance out from shore to the drop off at the edge of the continental shelf is not great in this part of Tasmania, so it's a good location for seeing sea birds.

I went out on two trip over the weekend that were rather contrasting in terms of weather, birds and the amount of seasickenss I suffered! 

Anyway, theses are some of the birds I/we saw.

Black-faced Cormorants 

Bullers Albatross

Bullers Albatross

Bullers Albatross

Campbells Albatross  

Campbells Albatross

Great Albatross (one of the wandering types)

Kelp Gulls

Salvin's Albatross 

Salvin's Albatross (Shy in foreground)

White-bellied Sea Eagle

Northern Giant Petrel

Shy Albatross (and Kelp Gull)

Shy Albatross

Shy Albatross

Crested Tern

Indian Yellow-Nosed Albatross

 I have to say I did not enjoy the return trip on the second day, but I managed to keep my act together, and the celebratory ice-cream on dry land was a delight.

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Wednesday 20 September 2023

Wild Bird Wednesday 582 - Down by the Bay.

On Monday of this week I caught up with some other photographers for a morning of birding and pictures at Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary.  After almost suffering a heart attack at the price of the parking - and moving to a nearby street - I located my companions and off we went.

It's reasonable to say that the birding was not that great really, and as it was the first day of the school holidays, maybe that was a bit predictable.

But I have to say that walking along the beach with a group of like-minded Nikon users more than made up for the lack of action from our feathered friends.

Most of the birds we say were common ones, but that's the way it goes.  As normal the Rainbow Lorikeets were the stars of the show.

I ended my walk with a coffee and a caramel slice!

Hope everyone is well and that the birds are cooperating!  SM

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Wednesday 13 September 2023

Wild Bird Wednesday 581 - Australian Wood Duck

There are clear signs of spring here now - lighter evenings and mornings, some (strangely early) warm days, and also some your birds.

I went to Jells Park a few weeks ago in search of Blue Billed Ducks, but they were not to be see.  

However, at least one pair of Australian Wood Ducks (Chenonetta jubata) had a duckling.  I have to say this posed more than a few questions.  Firstly, it was early to see a duckling, and secondly I wondered where the rest of the brood was.  I don't know if it was just a single, early egg, or if the rest of the brood had succumbed to some fate of weather or predation.

Whatever the answers to these questions, the ducky stayed close to the female duck as it swam towards the middle of the lake.

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Wednesday 6 September 2023

Wild Bird Wednesday 580 - Tawny Frogmouth

If the White Headed Stilt is a bird I enjoy seeing for its elegance, then the Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is a bird I enjoying seeing for its strangeness.  Often mistaken for an Owl, Frogmouths actually form a small cluster of species that are more closely related to Nightjars than other birds (and even that simplification is not really true!)

Basically, Frogmouths are Frogmouths!

As you can see, they have wonderful camouflage, and when sitting still - which is what they do for most of the daylight hours - they resemble a stick or a broken tree branch.  They do seem to have favourite trees to roost in, and once you find them they can be seen much more reliably.  The key difficulty is finding them in the first place.

These may not be the clearest portrait pictures, but I do think that they show the character of the bird.

 Next time I may take some more distance images, and we could play 'where's the Tawny'!

As ever, to join in click on the link below.  Hope everyone is well.  SM

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