Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Queensland Visits: Ethan 01

Ethan and I did some shorebirdwatching in the Gladstone area for a few days last week. We had a great time. Here are some of Ethan's images using a Canon 5D and a Tamron 150-600 G1 lens. Rule number one is: get closer.

First off are some endemic Aussie birds.

Double-barred Finch
Leaden Flycatcher (female)
Leaden Flycatcher (male)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (almost fledged)(saw the adults)
Caspian Tern
Crested Tern (adult above; juvenile below)
Gull-billed Tern
Little Terns
Eastern Reef Egret (dark morph)
White-bellied Sea-eagle

Friday, 1 February 2019

Victoria Visits: Ethan 01

My grandson Ethan is visiting this week and it is 100% birding. Yesterday, Friday, we spent the first three hours at the Heart Morass where Ethan scored 3 ticks - Brown-headed Honeyeater, Yellow Thornbill and White-winged Black Tern. We saw a respectable 51 species. Ethan is a pretty keen photographer so all the images are his.

The Heart Morass is drying fast with many hectares of mudflat happily growing grass and other assorted vegetation. We saw a few Red-necked Stints, some Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and a small flock of Common Greenshank. There were quite a few hundred terns mostly Whiskered but the occasional White-winged Black (Ethan lifer) in non-breeding plumage with the "ear muffs". I ALWAYS find terns hard to photograph so full marks to Ethan.
Australian Hobby
Brown-headed Honeyeater
White-winged Black Tern
White-winged Black Tern
 We chanced upon a flock of mixed species giving some flowering bushes and trees a bit of stick. As well as Yellow (Ethan lifer) and Brown Thornbills there were Brown-headed (Ethan lifer) and White-naped Honeyeaters.
Yellow Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill
Next stop was the Macalister Wetlands Reserve at Maffra. Star of a relatively sparse showing was a Spotless Crake (Ethan lifer). The wetlands has just one pool with a reasonable amount of water in it. The growth of vegetation is prolific.
Spotless Crake
Stop 3 was Bullock Island at Lakes Entrance where Black-faced Cormorants did not fail us (Ethan lifer).
Black-faced Cormorants
Last stop for the day was Lake Tyers Beach where we expected to see Hooded Plovers. It did not let us down. The lake is very low. At the moment you can walk across to the first island behind the bar between the lake and the sea. We were ambling along and a Hoodie was spotted (Ethan lifer). Great. We approached a lit bit then sat down as it was walking towards us doing its own thing on the water's edge darting here and there but getting closer. Eventually it was about 10 metres away, Ethan taking photos, when we heard a bunch of Australian Pied Oystercatchers making a noise. We looked up and right in front of us was an Osprey that was loaded down with a fish in its talons being chased by the APOs!

Magic. f8 and be there!!

Ethan is a Queenslander where every power pole has an osprey nest on it so not a life tick but you don't often see them with a takeaway meal!

PS We also saw some breeding plumage Fairy Terns.
Hooded Plover
Hooded Plover
Eastern Osprey
Fairy Tern