Sunday, July 28, 2013

Birding around Imbil and Stirlings Crossing Part II

Today I went with a friend to do some bird watching in the Imbil area again. The weather wasn't the best with cloudy and cool conditions and frequent showers. We decided to go out still as the birds on my property were very active so we were hoping they would be out there as well. We knew getting good quality shots would be more difficult with such poor lighting but we managed to get several good shots throughout the day. The sun came out occasionally for short periods during the day but not for long enough. We missed many good photo opportunities due to the changing light.

On the side of the road not far from the Kandanga turnoff we spotted this White-headed Pigeon. It was out in a great spot to photograph on the grass but as soon as I approached it flew into the tree. I was happy with the photos considering how dark it was, in amongst the branches.

White-headed Pigeon

The same White-headed Pigeon

Close up of the White-headed Pigeon

White-headed Pigeon again

While I was photographing the White-headed Pigeon I heard some other birds flying over. I didn't recognise their call in flight. It was three Pacific Bazas. I forgot to change the settings on my camera before attempting to get this photo, hence the poor quality.

Pacific Baza

White-headed Pigeon from behind

Not much further down the road two Pheasant Coucals flew from out of the long grass beside the road and nearly flew out in front of the car. Luckily I saw them flying out and they stopped flying in time. I went back quickly to try and get a photo but one had gone back into the grass and the other was high up in a gum tree.

Pheasant Coucal

When we got to the Kandanga turnoff off the Mary River Road we saw and heard heaps of honeyeaters in the bottlebrush and paperbark trees on the side of the road. We pulled up for a quick look but the birds were moving too quickly to get decent photos in the low light, plus it was starting to rain and I didn't want to get the camera wet. I managed to get a reasonable shot of the Scarlet Honeyeaters before we left.

The main birds seen were heaps of Brown Honeyeaters, several Scarlet Honeyeaters and Noisy Friarbirds.

Scarlet Honeyeater

Another Scarlet Honeyeater

After the shower of rain the Golden-headed Cisticolas came out to dry off in the sun while it was out for a brief moment.

Golden-headed Cisticola preening

Golden-headed Cisticola

Another Golden-headed Cisticola

A Golden-headed Cisticola just a little drier

Golden-headed Cisticola

Just after the Stirling Crossing turnoff we saw the Dusky Woodswallows in good numbers. They were not being very approachable though. Eventually they began to land in one tree just over the fence which allowed us to get a few shots.

Dusky Woodswallow

Another Dusky Woodswallow

Dusky Woodswallow again

The same Dusky Woodswallow as above

Only a short distance down the road the Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes were out collecting bugs from the paddocks. They were hovering just above the grass to catch the insects and then they would land on the fence again. Just as we approached them though it started raining again!!

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

Another Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Many White-throated Honeyeaters could be heard and seen in the trees as we past Stirlings Crossing but they were quite high and amongst them we saw several Yellow-faced Honeyeaters. I was unable to get a photo that wasn't blurred unfortunately. After a short period the sun came out again and stayed out for quite a while. Bell Miners and Noisy Miners were common throughout this area. In some places the gums seem to have been killed out in large numbers by the Bell Miners.

Noisy Miner

Jacky Winters were in huge numbers. We would have seen over 100 birds in a small area. The most I have seen in a small area before this would have been 5 -10 birds.

Jacky Winter

Jacky Winter from behind

The same Jacky Winter from above

A Jacky Winter feeding on the ground

Another Jacky Winter searching for food on the ground

Another Jacky Winter on the ground

A Jacky Winter

A Jacky Winter roosting

Jacky Winter

We saw a few Eastern Spinebills but they were not very keen to come out of the thick foliage. This one landed out in the open for a short period but it was still covered by twigs. A terrible photo but slightly better than the terrible photo I got of this species yesterday!

Eastern Spinebill

The same Eastern Spinebill

Little Lorikeets were out in the hundreds. This is the largest flock of them that I have seen anywhere. Due to their small size and the fact they feed on the flowers at the tops of the big gum trees, obtaining decent photos of them is very difficult. To be honest, even locating them is difficult. They can be heard easily at least. These are the best few shots I could get.

Little Lorikeets

The same Little Lorikeets from above

We managed to get some better shots of the New Holland Honeyeaters but even these shots are not as good as I hoped to get.

New Holland Honeyeater

The same New Holland Honeyeater from above

Lots of Large-billed Scrubwrens could be seen and heard in the whole area but they were not as approachable as they were in the last place I saw them. They all seem to be obsessed with feathers though. If there is a feather on the ground, they can't go past it without picking it up for flicking it.

Large-billed Scrubwren

New Holland Honeyeater

The best photo of the New Holland Honeyeater I obtained

Today I did mange to see the Noisy Pittas on several occasions, for a few seconds each time. One flew overhead once and then I saw another clearly on the ground in the bush on two occasions. It was behind lots of small shrubs and it was quite dark so I was unable to get a shot as I couldn't get the camera to focus quickly enough before he flew off. I saw it flying around and on the forest floor in the distance a few more times but I was unable to see him clearly.

This is definitely a place that I will be coming back to again. I am hoping to get much better quality shots of some of the species that I located this weekend. I wasn't happy with the many of the shots and lots of this was due to the dull lighting, the position of the birds in the trees and me not focussing on one bird at a time so I missed several opportunities.

More updates and pics coming soon.
If you're interested in my blog check out my site below by clicking on the link.

Australian Birds Photography: KEUNEA PHOTOGRAPHY

Birding around Imbil and Stirlings Crossing

Yesterday I went out to Imbil for a quick trip with my mate. We saw many birds while we were out there. It was a beautiful morning but within a few hours the light started to deteriorate due to the clouds coming in but that was ok as we couldn't stay for long anyway. I was surprised by the number of birds that we saw. Some of them I haven't seen often and/or I don't have decent photos of them. We saw a few Eastern Spinebills, New Holland Honeyeaters, Brown Honeyeaters, heaps of Grey Fantails and all the common garden type birds. I was very surprised to hear about six Noisy Pittas calling out in the area. We also heard many lorikeets, the most common of which were the Little Lorikeets. We managed to get a few photos for the morning but I wasn't happy with the quality at all. Most of the birds either didn't sit still once we sighted them or they were too high in the trees to be able to obtain a decent photograph.

Eastern Spinebill

New Holland Honeyeater

Grey Fantail

As I was turning off into my driveway I heard the resident Striated Pardalote that nests in the bank of the drain. Regularly he can be seen and heard calling out in the gum tree just above his burrow.

Striated Pardalote

The Striated Pardalote again

Coming down the drive I noticed this Whistling Kite circling the track. Even though they are common in the area I don't often see them on the property.

Whistling Kite

I decided to go back to have a look in the general area around Imbil last night for some night birds. I thought that due to it having many similarities to the Kenilworth area I might be lucky enough to spot a Marbled Frogmouth or a Masked Owl. That didn't eventuate but I did spot several Barn Owls and a few Tawny Frogmouths.

Barn Owl

The Barn Owl preening

The Barn Owl trying to ignore me

Tawny Frogmouth

Close up of a Tawny Frogmouth
More updates and pics coming soon.
If you're interested in my blog check out my site below by clicking on the link.