Sunday, August 31, 2014

Gorgeous Golden whistler - Birds of Phillip Island

Golden whistler, Silverleaves, Phillip Island
I was treated to easily my best views ever of a male Golden whistler at Phillip Island yesterday. This species has often had me craning my neck looking into the canopy to try to find where that marvellous sound was coming from.

As you can see I had several minutes with this fellow as it fed in some smaller trees.





The bird was adept at detecting the presence of small grubs. This one was whacked repeatedly and wrapped one way then the other around this branch before being dispatched.



Bird on!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Black currawong & friends, Tahune Airwalk, Huon Valley

I was on the look out for those Tasmanian endemics during our April holiday. On this occasion a lifer flew right on to the outside tables of a cafe and said "Here I am, tick me off!"
Black currawong, Tahune airwalk,Tasmania, April 2014



The Tahune Airwalk is one of those elevated canopy walks. I walked another once in Western Australia. On both occasions I was enamoured with the possibility of some close-up shots of those little feathered creatures that always seem so distant in the upper most branches. Not to be!



I did however come across my first Bassian Thrush sighting for the year. Always a good bird for the year list!

Bassian thrush, Tahune Airwalk, Huon valley, Tasmania

I had caught a definite glimpse of a male Pink robin but only a female posed for photographs.

Pink robin, Tahune Airwalk, April 2014

This Crescent honeyeater had it's banksia feast interrupted
Bird on!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Birds of Sugarloaf Reservoir

Wedge-tailed eagle, Sugarloaf Reservoir Park (31 July 2013)
I think I have found a place close enough to home (which is in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne) that provides birding a little different from my immediate haunts. The bush around Sugarloaf Reservoir has sections of dry open forest and grassland. This provides for different birding from the tall forests and dense fern gullies of the Dandenongs for instance.

Here is a Park Guide. I have just visited for a second time. On both occasions the visit was in winter and I enjoyed walking the first 1km or so of the Chris Phillips Walk (leaving from the Saddle Dam Picnic area).

Pied currawong
White-winged chough have a great habit of nonchalantly wandering away from the observer - slow enough to get you interested but rarely presenting a favourable perspective! 
Missed the opportunity! Out-of-focus White-winged chough
Crimson rosella
White-eared honeyeater

Brown-headed honeyeater
Golden whistler
Superb fairy-wren 
Female Scarlet robin - the "insurance shot"
Managed to get a little closer to the male - Scarlet robin
"Bye!" Scarlet robin
Australian pelican

Great habitat for bush birds!
Eastern grey kangaroo

Bird on!