31 May 2014


Watching the Gannets circling over the ocean in the late afternoon was a treat.  With a lightning-bolt nose-dive they'd spear down into the ocean and that part was impossible to capture!  From where I stood you would see a long white streak underwater where they'd pushed through the surface.

According to Birds in Backyards these birds soar 10m or more above the surface of the water, herding fish into shoals, then fold their wings back and dive into the water to catch their prey.  The fish is normally swallowed before the bird reaches the surface.'

 re-surfacing after a catch

Fact Sheet on the Australasian Gannet from Birds in Backyards is here.

Take in the scenic surrounds and high view-points this location via Snap Happy Online post, right here.

Sharing with The Bird D'Pot

21 May 2014

Tawny Frogmouth

 ..it's 6.20 a.m. looking over the Wallamba River at Tuncurry, N.S.W.

and not far away, forty minutes later, up in this tree on left, were sighted a pair of....

 Tawny Frogmouths

Birds in Backyards Fact Sheet on the Tawny Frogmouth is here (also, hear its call)

Later addition:  According to this fact sheet, the Tawny Frogmouth are often confused with owls, but are actually more closely related to the nightjars.

19 May 2014

Pelican profiles

taken on a cool and windy morning ...

Sharing with The Bird D'Pot

16 May 2014

when a kookaburra is just out to impress you some....

smile for the camera ...

that's better

yep, nice

oh .. good one, hold that right there

Sharing with Saturday's Critters

14 May 2014

a row of White-breasted Woodswallows

 eight of us


and side-stepping for a moment; a location shot, just across the road some


...you've been checking my count? ... we're up to eleven now :)

seems there was enough body warmth happening up top; so let's start another row shall we?

At this point I couldn't stand back any further and capture well enough, so just shifted focus to the newcomers on the bottom line.  While standing and photographing these sweet little birds, on a very windy day .... I was missing out on three Sacred Kingfishers, some of the birding group were observing sitting on another wire, a little further up the road.

The sky and light wasn't good, so I had figured black/white might've been more successful capture anyway, though I would've liked to have tried with the Kingfishers of course, but they'd left by the time I'd walked away from the Woodswallows.

Birds in Backyards fact sheet on the White-breasted Woodswallows is here - you can hear them too.

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

12 May 2014

Spangled Drongo .. and others

You might think this bird would look a little more exotic ... touting such a name.  I've learnt it refers to 'metallic blue-green spots' though not visible on this bird/photograph, so maybe it's a juvenile?

More information is shown on the Birds in Backyards fact-sheet herewhere it is also suggested that the Spangled Drongo is often seen on telegraph wires.  Bingo!  That's where I captured this one recently, at Pacific Palms, on the mid north coast.

got the all important 'fish-tail' in this shot

 the birding group was 30+ strong, here's some looking out to a sandbar at Foster

Pelicans and Crested Terns were taking time out on the sandbar, in strong winds

while Corellas sat tight in trees by the carpark

 Pied Butcherbird

Sharing with The Bird D'Pot

06 May 2014


6.17 a.m., looking out over the Wallamba River, Tuncurry Nth/Darawank 

 how could the day not be a beauty ... starting with a view like this?

this Osprey was the winning ticket, at a location just a short drive away from the holiday park

The previous afternoon, the parent bird had been sitting under the struts; took flight ... did a big u-turn and came back to sit over this chick.  

cropped close-up 

a robust platform and nest; good to know it's well utilised

back at riverside for sunset, just after 5pm

05 May 2014

Yarramalong Valley - Final Round

On this part of the Yarramalong Valley outing, some of the remaining group after lunch-time had driven on for the final stop, to Linga-Longa Road, turning into the Jack Gear Reserve.

First sighting were Topknot Pigeons, sighted across the reserve,  high in a few tree canopies. Sporting a rather unusual head profile; my Birds of Australia reference reads "Large, drab grey pigeon with ginger crests."

Apart from the more obvious 'five', you can just pick up a sixth bird above them, it's facing left, and the profile of the 'topknot' that projects at the end of the head, is a little more noticeable.

This twining Morning Glory vine is an invasive threat to bushland in Australia where it will smother native plants (though I consider the flower itself really attractive, shame it has this trait)

was said to be nesting hole for Spotted Pardalote; there were a number of these along a dirt/clay ridge

 it was easy to 'see' a mythical creature in this mossy-twisted vine

and a pair of White-faced Grey Herons flirted with one another.  Later seen in a wonderful theatrical sky-dance, when my camera battery had phased out, just as we were leaving the reserve.

Note:  Am back today after a few days away with a great group of birders, explains my not showing at your recent blog posts.