Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Shadows & Silhouettes, birding Phillip Island

Had some fun with the last low rays of sun at Phillip Island last weekend.

It is certainly the best time to photograph Hooded plover (and the only way of catching that red eye ring)!

Hooded plover (Silverleaves / Observation Point Beach, Phillip Island) casting an emu shadow!

Can you guess the silhouettes?

Another "Small bird, tall shadow" shot! Red-capped plover.
Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

Bird on!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Black honeyeater, Cockatiel in the wild, Goschen Reserve

Black honeyeater, Goschen Bushland Reserve (Dec 2013)
Goschen was gazetted to be a town. Streets were planned. A hall was built, a tennis court asphalted, a cricket oval marked out.

Goschen seems to be in the middle of nowhere, in the Victorian version of the outback, now miles and miles of wheat fields. The gazetted area is now a small bushland reserve, an oasis of dry country bush in a "desert" of wheat fields.

I visited Goschen for a few hours in December 2013 and was amazed at seeing birds I had not known you could see in Victoria. Highlights were "lifers" Black honeyeater and White-fronted honeyeater. While I "dipped" on Budgerigar and Pied honeyeater I was more than happy with other friends not often seen in Victoria (by me): Grey-crowned babbler, Rainbow bee-eater, Hooded robin, Spiny-cheeked honeyeater, Singing honeyeater and White-browed woodswallow.

Black honeyeater
The closest I have been to Cockatiel ever, Goschen (December 2013)
A slightly different angle and a little sun & blue sky … Cockatiel (Dec 2013, Goschen, Vic)
Another small group of cockatiel can be just made out in a dead branch, two thirds of the way up the picture centrally. 
and here's a close up!
Hooded robin can be vary obliging. This one seemed to follow me (it also seems to have a thing for cockatiel)!
Singing honeyeater
White-browed babbler
Distant view of a Rainbow bee-eater
Awful picture of a White-fronted honeyeater makes the post only because it was a LIFER!

Some Goschen scenes to put you in the picture:

The dilapidated hall

The old tennis court was surrounded by flowering gums
The edge of the reserve with adjacent wheat field
Same location as above looking out from the fence along the lines of stubble. 
I will definitely be back!

Bird on!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Curlew sandpiper - Phillip Island to Siberia

I'm still thinking about migratory birds this week.  Seeing these Curlew Sandpiper at Phillip Island's Observation Point late last month prompted to compare how they looked earlier in the southern hemisphere summer.

Curlew sandpiper among Red-necked stint, Observation Point, Phillip Island (November 2013)
Look at me now! All fat and coloured ready for the trip North! Curlew sandpiper, Observation Point, Phillip Island (March 2014)
Although we southerners are sending them off, any Northern hemisphere readers of this blog may feel that they are awaiting the return of birds home! ('Not that likely I guess considering readership numbers & the fact that I gather that these birds end up in the Siberian tundra!)

Another early summer view of  Curlew sandpiper (at right) in December (2012 actually), Western Treatment Plant, Werribee
Birdlife Australia are promoting awareness of the movements of migratory shorebirds currently:

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

Bird on!