Monday, April 25, 2011

Kangaroo Island

As a birder KI was certainly a great place to be. The other travelling families, bless 'em, insisted they didn't mind the convoy being halted while Pete checked out something that "might be new"! As usual the jewels in the crown were not easy to find (dips on glossy black cockatoo & diamond firetail for example) but a lot of birds I don't see much were really "in your face".

One place I returned to was Duck Lagoon - only about 11km from Kingscote. The 1st solo outing was nearly short-lived due to the size & voraciousness of the mozzies. It was saved by the discovery of the Aerogard Kath had planted in the "in-car picnic box" - what a woman!

I was hoping to tick Yellow-billed spoonbill at Duck Lagoon but dipped on this first visit (an evening). I had childhood memories of seeing yellow-billeds at farm-dams etc.  The return trip was at dawn revealing the spoonbills roosting in trees which was a little surprise for this nuff-nuff!

Duck Lagoon - the white specks are roosting spoonbills

Restless Flycatcher
Even with a borrowed scope, Murray Lagoon was altogether uninspiring, visually & birdially.

But it was good to get up close & personal to lots of old favourites:

Scarlet robin
That $#@! trophy belongs IN VICTORIA!!!

"Hmmm, wonder what's on?"

Lifers included the following:
Purple-crowned lorikeet
Crescent Honeyeater - this one trying to feed on honeycomb at Crawford's Honey Farm
And we are also very relieved to be able to post pictures of our namesake ....


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Raptor Domain

Ahhhh KI! where I nearly ticked Boobook, Barn & Barking Owl and Blue-winged kookaburra all in one day - not to mention close views of a wedgie & kestrel!

From the people that brought you the Alice Springs Desert Park bird show comes Kangaroo Island's Raptor Domain. This was a show with an intimate feeling which was really interactive. Anyone that wanted to was able to have close contact with the birds and the presenter was great as well.

Website: Raptor Domain

Ruby, Nankeen Kestrel
Ellen, with Boo, the Southern Boobook.

Kids from our group experience talons, courtesy Casper the Barn Owl.
Ellie, the Barking Owl

Like I said, the presenters were excellent (guess who got a Bronx cheer from our mob)!
From the holiday video.....

Monday, April 4, 2011

The plovers of Kitty Miller Bay - Help please!

In a rare joint sitting of the WFS twitch the Buff Budgies & Ruddy Turnstones find themselves needing help to confirm the identity of this small plover. This flock of about 20 birds was at Kitty Miller Bay at dead low tide yesterday. This bay is on the Southern Ocean coastline of Phillip Island in Victoria.

Expecting sanderling we soon realised that these little fellas were some sort of small plover. Book descriptions and illustrations had us trending towards lesser sand plover but habitat doesn't seem quite right (more prone to mudflats?) and there appear few Phillip Island sightings (none in eremaea).

Apart from the hooded plover, the local prominent small plover is the red-capped but I am wondering about double-banded?

The pictures are not great but may assist (clicking will enlarge). Can anyone help?: