Saturday, 17 November 2012

More birds in the garden

It was a wet November day, but the King Parrots didn't seem to mind too much, in fact they seemed to be happy to be out in the weather. We've seen them occasionally fly by or land in a tree but this time they stayed for a munch on the old seeds. They are lovely looking birds. I'm so glad we had them around. Here is a photograph of the male, the female was nearby, the females  have green heads.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Our Trip to Southbank

On our recent trip to Southbank, Brisbane in November, the weather was overcast and clearing to a hot sunny day, we saw some interesting birds and some common birds. The bird on the left is Buff-banded Rail. They like to live in well hidden grass in dense vegetation and are common in south-western, northern, eastern, south-eastern mainland Australia and Tasmania.

One of my favorites when I go to Brisbane is the Australian Brush-turkey, they cause havoc in the garden, but I still like them. When disturbed they like to hide in trees and look like strange vultures. Interestly, the Australian Brush-turkey has a lilac wattle (the colour around their neck) when found in Cape York whereas the we found was yellow.

Not far from the Australian Brush-turkey I found the Australian White Ibis. This white Ibis with black naked head and neck and with black plumes and feathers near tail. Sometimes shows scarlet naked skill on under-wing in flight.

The Pied Butcherbird is common in woodland, farms, roadside,towns, plains where there are enough trees for cover. Their voice is like a fluting piping and mimicry, loud 'zwit' of alarm. 

Sourced The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, second edition.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Figbird in the garden

At the end of November I noticed two birds in the back of our garden. I'd seen them before, often in larger groups but since I've been so ignorant of birds I didn't know what they were. The two birds looked identical except for the colour around the head. Especially around the eye. The picture is of the male the other was a female as it lacked the red colour around the eye.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Eastern Rosellas feeding in Lismore

The end of a very warm late October day in Lismore and some Eastern Rosellas (Platycercus eximius) turn up at the bird feeder. They are very pretty birds but they have a very awkward and harsh sounding squawk especially in flight but then they land on the bird feeder they have a much nicer sound. They always seem to be around Lismore during spring and love eating large seeds. I've never seen them eating in the wild though I assume that grasses and small fruits would be their diet.

The last few weeks have been very dry with alternating periods of hot and cool weather. Since the dry has developed I have noticed that the Rosellas seem to be more frequent visitors at the bird feeder, maybe the weather has been affecting their food supply? Either way the birds were not very happy about my presence and although I kept a good distance they always kept an eye on what I was doing. These two look a little different, I understand that the one with a patchy appearance on the head is immature.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The weekends Pied Cormorants in Lennox Head

I don't know what it is about Cormorants but they always feel like an imposing and respectable bird. The cool, windy, choppy and overcast day probably meant that the Pied Cormorants Phalacrocorox varius were having a bit of a rest from their diving. They seemed quite happy on the rocks.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Crested Terns at Lennox Head

A cool windy and overcast October afternoon in 2012 at Lennox Head, I watched many Crested Terns Thalasseus bergii sitting around on the beach and on semi-submerged rocks. There was probably about 20-25 or so in total with several smaller, probably juvenile ones in that number (though having discussed this with a colleague, the smaller ones may actually be Little Terns, a different species). The size of the crest apparently indicates that it is breeding time and indeed some were seen 'dancing' and spreading their folded wings, I assume this is to impress their potential mate. What was a little humorous was that the terns were sitting around on rocks almost totally submerged by the tide, as the waves would come in they would often have to fly up and land again. I guess the security of the rock was worth the effort! Other than that the birds seemed happy with not much evidence of feeding. Maybe they'd already had their fill of something, or found it a little hard to find food in the windy and choppy conditions. Having said that I don't even know what their usual food is.


I'm not very good at birds (I'm actually a geologist) so as I learn about them I will post them on this blog to remind me what they are, where I found them and when they were there.  Though I won't double up on common birds unless I see them in slightly odd places or times.

I use the Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds 2nd Edition to identify them.

I live in the northern rivers of the New England region of New South Wales and my main blog is on the geology of our region, it can be found here. Therefore many of the birds I get the best chance to photograph are from this region. You probably won't find too may rare birds here but mostly common ones since they are the ones I can photograph easily. Hopefully, this will interest other people too, though expert ornithologists probably might see this blog as a little too basic.

Posting might be intermittent but hopefully regular enough to keep people interested.