30 April 2014

Yarramalong Valley - Round Four

Continuing with the little series of the past few days, and, as luck would have it ..after finishing off lunch in the round-house, someone sang out "raptors!".

 'way out there', one of a pair of White-bellied Sea Eagles.  Original/cropped.  

here is where I stood for that first photo.  There's a 'dot' top right-hand side of photo, one of the w.b.s.eagles. 

Walking then over to the wooden fence, because they had landed in the trees, about 3/4 way up that tall light post high, and to the right of it. Soooo far away.  

which explains this shot, though I'm amazed to have gotten that even.

and the other, was higher up.  

You kind of reflect and wonder why did you bother to even take a photo when so far away, but it's the thrill of the chase thing happening.  There's a lot of adrenalin out there when the raptors are about. 

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

29 April 2014

Yarramalong Valley - Round Three

following on from previous post (Round Two)...

way in the distance, a White-necked, or Pacific Heron, has flown high into the trees

At some point around now we'd ventured back to the round-house (previous post) for lunch break.  It was the right time to take a quick peak that none had picked up any leeches, and with a casual glance to the concrete floor as I put down my backpack --- one big leech was noted taking a quick hike near to my foot!  

One valiant male sprayed it with repellant, while a female member sitting alongside of me, dropped a pinch of salt on it.  That seemed to work like a general anaesthesia; goodnight leech.  Sorry leech, but somehow they're not the kind of thing you can really feel justified about 'just letting be'.  If it'd been a butterfly I'd have taken a photo to share.

Out in the field, a tall tree, and a Coucal Pheasant  was seen sitting in there.  I hadn't been able to pick it up though, but while I'd walked away to observe the lichen, that's when the Coucal Pheasant flew OUT of the tree, giving all that were watching a great sighting.  You win some, you lose some.

 one of the Stringy-Barks I expect

Like I said on the first of this series, it's not always the birds you see when birding, of course

....and yes, there's more

28 April 2014

Yarramalong Valley - Round Two

This is continued on from previous post here

Our (locals) team leaders, have already picked up keys to gate to allow our entry

was hoping might've seen a platypus, but no.  For overseas readers 'yabby traps prohibited' is all about people not being allowed to drop traps for yabbies (small freshwater crayfish),  in the Wyong River.  

Black Angus

it's cuppa time before the group start the next little trek; thermos' are unpacked, and tea, coffees, and mini-snacks enjoyed.  

I wasn't exactly relaxed about trudging through the long grasses, you can't help but think s-n-a-k-e territory, but am easily swayed, by the 'safety in numbers' senario.  

Looking out over the water-hole.  

you can just make out, ducks over the other side, centre.  An Australasian Grebe reported there also.

Pacific Black Duck

Walking further along, a beautiful red fox was seen hot-footing it up the hillside.  Too fast though to grab a shot at it :(; we just enjoyed watching it.

Golden-headed Cisticola,  Superb Fairy Wrens and Red-brow finches/firetails, were sighted, oh, and Brown Quail, were heard loudly (I thought ... a horse!) as they lifted off out of the grasses behind us.
The group walked further beyond the waterhole next, with intent to follow the fence-line beside the waterhole, however after the recent heavy rains, that was going to be very tricky navigation .. for all but the very adventurous.  Half the group took that option, while the other half (including myself), were to follow the long-grasses route back to the other side, and meet up  again ...with the adventurers.

However, finding the same location as we'd walked through earlier didn't happen and, the walk back we were even deeper in the sodden grasses....yikes.  Was glad to have gotten through that lot.  All in the name of 'birding'; you've got to love it.

By the way, Yarramalong is an Aboriginal word, meaning the place of cedar.

yes; there's more, next post.....

27 April 2014

it's not always birds you see when birding, of course...

After a deluge of rain in thunderstorms the day before, yesterday was diaried for a group birding excursion down the coast.  Thankfully, the weather was calm, though mostly overcast.

Though I hope to come home with a camera bulging with fantastic photographs of birds, it doesn't often happen that way.  Since there are few 'bird' photographs and more location and other photographs to share, I wondered for a while - should I split them between Snap Happy Online, and Snap Happy Birding? I'd even started this post in Snap Happy Online. Then I thought.........no, I'll show you the sequence of the little venture, right here, over several posts instead.

The group were to meet opposite this quaint little church in the Yarramalong Valley, with lots of chit-chat as we sign our names on the clipboard and wait for others to arrive.

We walked across to the church from 1885 -  history is here

native Maiden-hair fern

along this mossy carpet pathway beside the church

the group had been looking at some bird/s in the tall trees here 

it wasn't until we'd returned to the cars that this Lewins Honeyeater obligingly perched itself on the Honeysuckle growing on the opposite/church side, of the road.  Over there, where we'd been!   Glad I was able to pick up my first catch-of-the-day, my record-shots, in the lens.   

Birdlife Australia fact-sheet here  has taught me that not only is it a honeyeater, but is [sometimes referred to as the 'Bananabird or 'Orange-bird' since is is renowned for its appetite for fruit]

to be continued...as we journey on to a new spot

26 April 2014

Java Finch (Java Sparrow)

Resident of Indonesia, Java and Bali, and photographed in the wetlands exhibit, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

24 April 2014

Noisy Miner - it's bath time

 you don't want to get on the wrong side of a Noisy Miner

they really do look to be feeling sorry for themselves after a splash

oh gosh ..  Noisy Miner on right is making me feel it must be all MY fault!  Too cold; too deep?

22 April 2014

Kookaburra, and family

I can't be sure, but I thought this might be the juvenile

I haven't moved --- but the Kookaburra seems to be watching any little birds that fly overhead

here's the family, high in the Angophora tree yesterday morning

Here's the Birds in Backyards Fact Sheet where you can hear the Kookaburra's loud song, which it says is not a laugh, but rather, a territorial call to warn other birds to stay away.

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

20 April 2014

Kookaburra. Little Wattle Bird, and Noisy Miner

Yesterday morning, Laughing Kookaburra must've been feeling a little cool sitting in the shadows

Kooka' was sitting 'in the square', and I was on my tippee-toes with camera peering over the back fence, into the bush-corridor

full zoom x 50

these Little Wattlebirds are very timid - I need to be sitting, no movement, incognito with my hat on, outside the back door when I hear them about, anticipating they're going to come back for a splash.

If I open the door slowly and then step out, when they're already at the water-dish ....they're OFF.  Me and my camera there. is no doubt an intrusion on their bath-time.

and then a Noisy Miner; many of them visit often, especially loving the Camellias (nectar), that are flowering so nicely right now, in our Autumn. 

I've a current post dedicated to a little time in the garden, and these Camellias, on my non-birding blog, Snap Happy Online, here.

Sharing with The Bird D'Pot

17 April 2014

Pied Heron

great to see this handsome Heron, the first time I'd seen one of these ...

at Taronga Zoo, Sydney

from the fact sheet added at bottom of post, it tells that distribution is in Northern Australia, and parts of Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia

 Fact sheet here, from Perth Zoo, W.A.