Notes to readers of this Blog


NOTES TO READERS OF THIS BLOG

Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.
Cheers,
Richard

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A happy ending for "Blackie" - the Black Kite

Travelling towards work after dropping off one of the kids to school, I glanced down a side road and noticed a bird waddling that shouldn't have been on the road at all. I swung into the side road. The bird was still there. It should have flown off as a car drove past. I drove up towards it slowly. Definitely a bird of prey, unsure what sort at this stage. The bird opened its wings wide but seemed either reluctant or unable to get off the ground. It looked tired too. I pulled over to the opposite side of the road as it crept along the fenceline in the shorter grass towards a large clump of longer grass near the base of a tree. Still it didn't fly off. I could see now it was a Black Kite, but figured it was either a juvenile that had fallen from the nest, or was injured in some way. Lots of other Black Kites were circling above, but this one still didn't fly off. I took some shots from the car of it sitting in the grass. Unsure whether to approach it or not. It just wasn't behaving as I have seen Black Kites behaving previously (the non-flying was probably a dead give-away! :-) ). Approaching ever closer, it didn't seem able to move much from its little hide-away in the grasses. I decided it was injured, and quickly returned to the car and went and bought a blanket and a large bag from a shop nearby. Upon my return it had moved less than 2 metres from where I had left it. Again I stopped on the other side of the road, and grabbed the blanket and bag. It moved about half a metre as I approached and then quietly sat on the ground. I threw the blanket over it (it is really a large round cover for a wicker chair I think) and the bird stayed still underneath. Fearing the bird could well have died from fright at this approaching human, I picked the blanket up and put it into the bag and jumped back into the car. Desperate to find the phone number for the WildCare organisation in Alice Springs, I found their web site with no phone number. So if you live local, write down this number: 0419221128. I eventually found the number in the Local Directories. Called them and they suggested I take the kite to the Vet. I did this and left the kite with them. Thankfully, I returned to the Vet later and the kite had managed to wake up from the sedative they had given it. The issue had been some sort of oily substance on its wings that had stuck its feathers together so it wasn't able to fly. Hopefully a carer will be found and the kite will be back flying in the near future. I would also like to thank the ex-Alice Springs resident Chris Watson for his advice as to what I could possibly do.

Here are some shots of the bird in the grass:

Black Kite




Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A stunning sunrise at the Alice Springs airport, Long-billed Corellas, Black Kite etc

This morning one of my sons had to get up early and do some training, so my other son and I went out near the Alice Springs airport to see if there were any budgerigars around. Alas, no budgies, but we were treated to a sensational sunrise looking across the graveyard for planes at the airport, with some beautiful sun streams:

Sunrise at Alice Springs Airport




Long-billed Corella, one of two hiding amongst the Little Corellas

Black Kite above

Little Corellas

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Cockatiels, Little Corella, Pied Butcherbird and an unusual threesome - bird photos

All of these photos or either around or near Alice Springs. The birding is starting to hot up as the weather cools down and the water starts to disappear except for the main waterholes and larger creek beds and reserves. The budgerigar flocks are getting larger south of town and there are lots of juvenile birds of all sorts around the area at the moment.

If you have ever wanted to visit the region, now would be a great time, get here before the bulk of the tourists arrive and enjoy the wonderful local gorges without too many others.

Hope you enjoy the photos:

Cockatiel






Little Corella

Pied Butcherbird



Nankeen Kestrel, Galah and Magpie-lark

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Australian Ringneck - a display of colour

The Australian Ringneck, or Port Lincoln Parrot as I have called it in the past, has a rich variety of colour, especiallyin flight. I captured the following in the backyard recently:

Australian Ringneck






Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Bird, animal and scenery photos from west of Alice Springs

I've been travelling west of Alice Springs for work and have managed a few shots along the way.

Wedge-tailed Eagle - Papunya



Brown Falcon - Haasts Bluff

Cockatiel - Haasts Bluff

Dragonfly - Haasts Bluff

Mulga Parrots Tanami Rd


Sand Goanna - Papunya Rd

Glen Helen from 2 Mile

Mt Sonder from 2 Mile

Brown Falcons - Papunya Rd

Budgerigar and Zebra Finch - Papunya

Horse bath - Papunya

Red-capped Robin - Ochre Pits

Mistletoebird - Papunya

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Banded Lapwings disturb a nature stop and then others appeared!

Driving along my now favourite stretch of road, the Namatjira-Kintore Link Rd, which runs between Glen Helen and Haasts Bluff/Papunya, I pulled over to heed the call of nature. As I headed towards some trees a little off the road, I noticed there were others already in residence - 8 Banded Lapwings. I had only just been reading about their habitat the previous night as I was fairly sure they should be around somewhere, and sure enough, Pizzey and Knight stated they tended towards the small shrubs and trees during the day. Unfortunately for me, they had chosen my spot. I slowly walked back to the car, grabbed the camera and then took some photos:

Banded Lapwings

in flight

looked a secluded spot for a comfort stop except for the 8 incumbents!

I put the camera back in the car and headed across the road to another group of trees. This time Banded Whiteface were the initial culprits, again headed back to the car to grab the camera (was I ever going to get the relief I was now starting to need desperately?) but this time they had flown well back into the scrub, not to be seen again. This time, with camera around my neck I started the process I had originally intended when I heard the "chk chk" almost at my feet! Hands up to the camera and I saw a tail at the back of some spinifex. "What the...?" what was going on? I had seen the Bourke's Parrots early morning about 200 metres back down the road last week and now Banded Lapwings, Banded Whiteface and whatever this "chk chk" bird was. I stood still for about 5 minutes, being checked out by a Willie Wagtail who had a nest nearby, and a Grey-headed Honeyeater, followed closely by a Brown Honeyeater. I was determined to keep my gaze on the spinifex bush about 10metres ahead of me where I had seen the tail. Eventually I could stand it no longer. No, I didn't answer the call of nature, but instead moved forward to the spinifex bush. "Chk  chk" there it was again, but ahead and to the left about 5 metres this time. I was about to move again when up it popped! A Spinifexbird, sat beautifully on a fallen exposed branch. Camera up and ..... (zoom out... zoom in.... zoom out.... zoom in and focus, just as the bird moved. Oh I long for my new gear!

Not wanting to continue the chase and disturbing the poor thing, I decided to finally relieve my now over-extended bladder, and headed back to the car, kicking aside the Crimson Chats, Masked Woodswallows, Black-faced Woodswallows, Australasian Pipits and the ever-present Willie Wagtail who had all landed between me and the car.

As I sat in the car I wondered what the birding will be like in another month as everything dries out and they all start to congregate around the remaining water holes. I can't wait!

Red-backed Kingfisher with breakfast, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Mistletoebird and a strange couple

I took these photos this morning at Haasts Bluff of a Red-backed Kingfisher eating a large green insect.

Red-backed Kingfisher



Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

Mistletoebird

Unfortunately this photo isn't very good quality as it was almost dark when I took the shot. I had seen two Common Bronzewings fly in to a large watercourse, and followed one of them to the opposite bank from where I was sitting. I put the camera up to my eye and noticed a second bird sitting above the Bronzewing. I am fairly sure it is a Spotted Harrier, but the light wasn't good enough for a decent ID