Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Quick Trip to Bribie Island

Last Saturday a friend and I called in at Bribie Island on our way down to Brisbane and Ipswich. I was hoping to see the Oriental Plover in particular but I knew it was unlikely as we arrived too late to see the shore birds when they are most active. We were late leaving the house and didn't arrive at Bribie until about 9 o'clock. We had a look at Buckley's Hole Lagoon to begin with and we saw several birds in this area. I was pleased as I actually got the first photos of a bird that I have only seen once before, which was the Mangrove Gerygone. I also got the first photos I have taken of a Little Egret.

A few Little Egrets were here along with many Mangrove Gerygones, Intermediate and Great Egrets, Whimbrels, Black-winged Stilts plus all the usual bush birds in the surrounding area like Noisy Miners,  Grey Fantails, Willie Wagtails, Noisy Friarbirds plus a few others.

Several Black-winged Stilts were present at Buckley's Hole Lagoon

One of the many Mangrove Gerygones sighted

Some of the Mangrove Gerygones were quite approachable

A Little Egret hunting

The Little Egret preening

Little Egret

The Little Egret ready for take off

The Little Egret in flight

A couple of Gull-billed Terns were doing laps around the tidal zone and were collecting small crabs and other small prey from the mud each time they flew around.

Gull-billed Tern in flight

One of the Gull-billed Terns collecting some food while flying

The Gull-billed Tern with some food, which was eaten while flying

Just as we made our way back to the car, a Pheasant Coucal flew past and landed at the top of a shrub in the distance. I see these birds regularly but have few photos of them due to not having a camera or, because I usually see them while driving or they land in long grass. This one gave me an opportunity to get a few better shots. I love their advertising calls. What impressed me most of all was the fact that he did several calls while we watched him and the whole time he had a large bug in his mouth!!

Pheasant Coucal

The same Pheasant Coucal

The Pheasant Coucal just before he flew

The Pheasant Coucal in flight (still with his meal)

After this we headed around to Kakadu Beach. This area had a few species visible still even though it was getting late. There were heaps of Pied Oystercatchers and Silver Gulls plus several Whimbrels and a trio of Chestnut Teal. This is the first time that I have seen the Chestnut Teal in the wild too! A couple of other bush birds were also sighted around the gardens near the hides and along the path. While we were here, we did hear the Beach Stone-curlews calling from within the protected area. Unfortunately we didn't see them though.

Maybe the Oriental Plover was present but I was unable to locate it from the walkway or hides and I do not have a scope. Maybe I was just too late too. As much as I would have loved to see the Beach Stone-curlews as well as the Oriental Plover, it is important that people keep out of this area and allow these birds to rest and feed in this protected zone. If people keep/start going into this area for there own selfish reasons, just to obtain a photograph it would upset the birds. We noticed a large number of footprints going into the protected area. I'm sure more footprints than rangers that may be entering!! I noticed that many of the Pied Oystercatchers had bands on their legs too.

Pied Oystercatcher

A Pied Oystercatcher feeding

The same Pied Oystercatcher

These were the best few photos I could obtain of the Chestnut Teal as they were inside the protected area. These have been zoomed in and cropped, hence why they are so blurred.

A trio of Chestnut Teal

The same trio of Chestnut Teal in the ocean

The Chestnut Teal on the sand

Two of the Chestnut Teal in flight


One of the many Silver Gulls

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

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Few Birds Around My Coles Creek Property

Over the last month I haven't had many opportunities to get out and do much bird watching at all. Not even around my own property. Work and the farm have been keeping me very busy plus I have had a lot of family visiting of late.

I have probably been bird watching only 2 or 3 times for short periods over the last 5 weeks or so. One of the outings on the property I focussed on the Spectacled Monarch. Here are a few of the shots that I have managed to get over the last month or more.

I often get brief glimpses of the Nankeen Night Herons around the property but I haven't photographed them here before. This one showed quite well but the quality of the shots isn't what I had hoped for. It was a long way from me when all these shots were taken.

Nankeen Night Heron

The same Nankeen Night Heron

The Nankeen Night Heron again

The Nankeen Night Heron was close to the top of one of the highest trees on the property

Heaps of Golden Whistlers have been seen on the property when I have got out to have a look. Heaps more females have been seen lately compared to males. Usually the males are more obvious and sighted more. Nearly every female I have sighted over the last month or so has a caterpillar in its mouth too.

Female Golden Whistler

I have attempted to obtain decent photos of the Spectacled Monarchs on the property a few times before. For the first time I had a couple that came down very close to me. These are the best photos and the closest I have ever been to these birds.

Spectacled Monarch

The Spectacled Monarch in the lantana

While I was photographing the Spectacled Monarchs I had a few Little Shrike-thrushes come in as well. They also landed very close to me, which allowed me to obtain some decent shots.

Little Shrike-thrush

Another Little Shrike-thrush

Spectacled Monarch

Another Spectacled Monarch

The Spectacled Monarch again

Spectacled Monarch

The Spectacled Monarch displaying

Spectacled Monarch

The Spectacled Monarch watching me

A few minutes after leaving the area where the Spectacled Monarchs were an antechinus ran out from the grass, across the big track and up a tree on the other side. They are common here some of the time, but I have never seen one moving around during the day.

An Antechinus

Just around the corner we saw a few more female Golden Whistlers with caterpillars. This is one of the most common sights involving birds over the last month or more, female Golden Whistlers with a caterpillar their mouth.

Female Golden Whistler

This is a bird that arrived a few days after the Channel-billed Cuckoos. Both of these birds arrived about three to four weeks ago. The Channel-billed Cuckoos are a regular here this time of year but are not approachable, so I'm yet to obtain a decent photo of them on the property. This is the first time in the three years I have lived at the property that I have seen or heard the Pallid Cuckoo. The day it arrived I knew it was a bird that I hadn't seen before. I have seen or heard it everyday since it arrived. A very distinct sound. The chickens were unsure to begin with as well. In flight it looks a lot like a bird of prey and it comes in and lands on the ground, which freaked out the free roaming poultry for a few weeks.

Pallid Cuckoo with a type of hairy caterpillar

Pallid Cuckoo (Down the hatch with that caterpillar)

The Pallid Cuckoo with another hairy caterpillar

The Pallid Cuckoo again

The main roosting treet for the Pallid Cuckoo

Australian White Ibis and Straw necked Ibis often fly over the property in large numbers in formation. Often many smaller groups will fly in formation following each other.

Australian White Ibis flying in formation

The Mistletoebirds can be seen and heard in large numbers again now the mistletoe is in flower again. This is the only photo I have taken since they have all arrived. I apologise for the quality!!

A female Mistletoebird

Another summer visitor is the Dollarbird. They arrived about two weeks ago. The first one that I hear and see every year and the main place they are found is around the big dead tree near the main dam. As usual they perch at the top which makes it very difficult to obtain a good photo. This is one of the tallest trees on the property.

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