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

Friday, 17 July 2015

Up close with the birds in the backyard

They may be fairly common, but some of the birds that come to my backyard have lots of character. Here are some photos I've taken recently.

Magpie-lark






Crested Pigeon


Galah




Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike


Australian Ringneck



White-plumed Honeyeater







Black-shouldered Kite juvenile in the late afternoon sun

I have been watching some Black-shouldered Kites on my walk with my dog in the Larapinta Hills for a couple of months now. The adult pair have raised a couple of chicks who are now hunting by themselves. The parents are still hanging around, but on the whole have left their young to fend for themselves. The colour has almost disappeared from the juvenile's, those beautiful rufous bands are disappearing, replaced by the pure white of adulthood.

Here are some photos of one of the juveniles with the afternoon sun behind:

Black-shouldered Kite Juvenile







Sunday, 12 July 2015

Sandstone Shrike-thrush at Gunlom, Kakadu National Park

During a recent trip to the Top End, the boys and I stayed at Gunlom in Kakadu. It is a lovely campground and there are a number of walks, including one to the top of the waterfall into the sandstone country. There are 4 endemic birds on this walk that can be seen at various times. The Black-Banded Fruit Dove supposedly sits in the trees on the way up the slopes, the Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon is seen coming down to the creek at the top of the waterfall, I did manage to see that a couple of years ago, the White-throated Grasswren supposedly comes down to drink about once an hour but despite a number of attempts to spot this bird I have yet to see it, and finally, the Sandstone Shrike-thrush.

I was sitting in the same area I had seen the Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon. The boys had wandered a little way up the creek to look for frogs and small fish. I was watching some Little Woodswallows huddle together on a branch in a dead tree across the creek, and Brown Honeyeaters flit amongst the creek-side shrubs. Suddenly a medium-sized brownish bird flew into the small fig tree opposite me and crept under the overhang of the large rock. I readied the camera, not really expecting to get decent photos. The bird was quiet. I could just make out its outline in the shadows. It then hopped across the ground and out into the sun. A Sandstone Shrike-thrush for sure. The camera clicked away. I looked upstream towards the boys but they were now out of earshot and I didn't want to disturb their play, or the bird. The bird then hopped around the rock and I thought that would be my rather fleeting experience. To my delight, it then hopped out onto the top of the rock, in full sun. Again the camera clicked away. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a second bird. This one had just come out from the base of the fig, still in the shadows. I wasn't sure which way to point the camera, then the bird on top of the rock made my choice simpler by flying off. I concentrated on the lower bird. This one was slightly paler. Eventually it too came out for a fleeting moment into the sun and then followed the first one's path around the rock and out of view. That was the last I saw of either. After checking the bird guides once they had both flown, I could see the first bird was the male, and the second a female. A lovely little lifer experience at the top of Waterfall Creek at Gunlom.

Sandstone Shrike-thrush



Saturday, 11 July 2015

Mistletoebird and a lot of Greys - Grey Honeyeater, Grey-fronted Honeyeater and Grey-headed Honeyeater

Spent the morning with Mark at a few of his favourite spots, and despite dipping on a few species, did manage to find a few of the ones we had targetted. One which wasn't a specific target was a Mistletoebird that was far too busy getting its daily intake of Mistletoe berries to worry about me:

Mistletoebird



Grey Honeyeater




Grey-fronted Honeyeater




Grey-headed Honeyeater


also saw a few other birds
Variegated Fairy-wren

Black-faced Woodswallow

Red-capped Robin

Western Gerygone

thanks Mark for a very enjoyable morning