27 November 2013

Rainbow Bee-eater

It was nice to just sit back and chat some, out in the bush, and under the shade of some tall eucalypts. Walking out in the hot sun earlier in various locations nearby, had warranted this welcome scheduled break around 11 am. While opening up a folding-chair, emptying out my backpack and lining up mug and thermos to pour a coffee, someone within the big circle of birding friends spotted this beautiful bird.

Some years have passed since I first saw a Rainbow Bee-Eater, and then it was up on a power-pole line.    Even though perched way up high, I loved that this one was in a natural setting, and right here where I could take some snaps.

..thinking this bird is pretty unique.  Well, it's pretty and it's unique.  Maybe I should say it's handsome and unique?

While I was looking up like that; it was looking up too.  How's your neck after a birding outing?

This was the last photo and I did get back to have my cuppa.  Not everyone in the birding-group is after photos, so most by now were way ahead of me, probably getting ready to pack up again! 

I still love that I got some photos for my memory-box and hope that another day I might get another opportunity to see the Rainbow Bee-eater again.

Location: Bingara, N.S.W.  Where is Bingara?  About 550 klms. north-west of Sydney.

Factsheet from Birds in Backyards website here

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

19 November 2013

a track with a difference

Maybe it's a universal announcement, and you might hear it too if you travel the rail system, that "the next train to arrive on Platform ...is going to .....

Don't bother waiting for the train here at Belmont though.  What had once been a coal and passenger line, is now a wonderfully innovative and useful track for cyclists and walkers alike.  This was my first visit to see the track, a 45 klms drive from home.

Belmont station is at one end of this 15 klm. track, a collaborative eight-year project between both Lake Macquarie, and Newcastle city councils.  Who wouldn't want to ride their bike along here?

Snipped from the Fernleigh Track brochure (because I couldn't have said it any better)

Such a welcome addition this must've been for local residents, to have such a fantastic recreational asset

so much green happening which is such a welcome addition if walking on a hot day to find sheltered spots along the way

Melaleucas (paperbarks) in their perfect swampy environment

Morning Glory, considered a weed because of its invasive, smothering nature.  Shame about that side of it because it does look good I think.

 looking over the open mesh fencing here from a timbered boardwalk section over Belmont Wetland State Park

what little Pacific Black Duck wouldn't want to live here?

Hello Purple Swamp Hen!  It has to be the closest I've ever gotten to one of these waterbirds.  Relaxed and obviously used to the passing parade; lucky for me.

During the relatively short walk on this day (must go back to do another section, another day), it was imperative to keep to the left and not to stray to the opposite side of the pathway without checking to see if a cyclist was nearing first.  

even the fencing has been modified to allow for the spreading girth  - just like adjusting your  belt another notch :) 

Enjoy the ride!

Lake Macquarie Council Fernleigh Track 2-page brochure is available here

18 November 2013

Dusky Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Pacific Black Duck

It was a grey skies day with a cool breeze blowing; really good to be out and enjoy a change of scenery in Sydney, at Centennial Park "the People's Park".

Dusky Moorhen

aren't their feet amazing?!

Purple Swamphen

Dusky Moorhens fraternizing with Pacfic Black Ducks

Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Coots, Pacific Black Duck

time out, Pacific Black Duck

17 November 2013

Four bird species at Centennial Park, Sydney, N.S.W.

White Ibis

a touch of Monet

Eurasian Coot

grand Melaleuca in the middle  (Paperbark)

Masked Lapwing (Plover)

White-faced Grey Heron

16 November 2013


It was just 8 am, well that's still the old 7 a.m. if you consider we're in daylight saving time for now. Some will remember previous bird photos taken way up high in the old Angophora tree out in the bush corridor; this Dollarbird was perched up there.  

it wasn't singing...

and it wasn't calling out

I watched the Dollarbird for a time and it was more like a wide-yawning action.  Not sure exactly what that meant for this insect catcher; maybe it was sifting some through the system?  

Here's a snap of the narrow bush-corridor beyond the back fence.  You can't see the Angophora tree in this photo, but it stands tall to the left of this photo, beyond the neighbouring property.  

Had you noted the special effects, gauze textured overlay for this photo? 

Surprise!  I had taken it through an upstairs window with fly-screen; I know, you knew that already.

If you've read this far, you deserve to share the fun part; well it was for me.  The four intro' photos of the Dollarbird have been captured on the longest zoom x 50, through that fly-screen. It seems that once I got past the close-up view, the lens lost sight of the gauze, and focussed instead, on the bird.  I was pretty rapt about that, even though they're not sharp images, they're a good enough record shot.  

This and the following were taken another time, outdoors, (i.e. not through the screened window upstairs), and I'm sharing this particular snap to show why it's called the Dollarbird.  It's to do with these silver-marks on the underside of the wings.

it only I could twist my neck like that, makes it too-easy for merging into oncoming traffic on the motorway