Thursday, January 28, 2016

Port Wakefield and Yorke Peninsula birding in South Australia

Australia Day is a public holiday which for many Australian's means a sleep in followed by a BBQ and a trip to the beach dressed in nothing but a pair of Speedo's and running into the waves carrying an inflatable THONG!

Not  for me! A day off means I have time to go birding!

Heading north with my friend Teresa first stop was Port Wakefield for food, coffee and a walk through the mangroves and Samphire at low tide to check out the local Slender-billed Thornbill population. These little birds can be tricky, but, sometimes they can be obliging and pop up long enough to snap a few photos.

Slender-billed Thornbill

They don't stick around long so ya gotta be quick!

Slender-billed Thornbill

Black Kites are ever present in Port Wakefield and didn't disappoint, coming over to check us out.

Black Kite

Next stop was Port Clinton Conservation Park which provided nice views of about a dozen Banded Lapwing. A very cool bird!

Banded Lapwing

Later in the day over 1000 Red-necked Stint and Red-capped Plovers came in to roost providing a wonderful sight of them flying in formation together.


Elegant Parrots teased us out the back of Price with only a few posing long enough for photo opportunities although they were there in good numbers.

Elegant Parrot

Yep, birding is a much better option than the inflatable thong...

Silver Gull

Me dressed totally appropriately in protective clothing to avoid sun burn and snake bite; oh and  it is totally necessary to be in full camouflage to be able to sneak up on the birds without being detected!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Red-necked Phalarope - a 24 hour round trip to the poo ponds!

Well, it's happened again! I was at work on my lunch break when I received a message that a Red-necked Phalarope had arrived at the Western Treatment Plant in Victoria. I immediately rang my friend Vik and advised him to drop everything and get down there with his camera to find this rare bird which seldom visits southern Australia. Thankfully he did and we were able to get a photo for our website

I however was still in South Australia and could not get a day off until Sunday! AAAGGGHH I cried! What if it leaves before then?

So, I made daily enquiries and by Friday evening bit the bullet and booked my flights for after work on Saturday. My friend Dave very kindly dropped me at the airport and Vik kindly collected me from Tullamarine.

I was hoping my Lucky Birding Shirt would deliver the goods!

That evening we checked the days sightings, it had been seen that morning so things were still looking hopeful!

Sunday morning we were up and out early, armed with coffee, we arrived at the Plant by 7.40am.

By 7.41am we had the bird, thanks to my many birding friends who had already arrived armed with massive camera lenses and scopes.

I was surprised at how small this bird is, it was dwarfed, by even the dainty Marsh Sandpipers! We could not get near it though, although it did fly a bit closer to us at one stage, so the photos are not great, but hey, I'm just extremely grateful to have seen it  at all! We had extended views before it flew off, not to be seen again during our time at the plant.

Red-necked Phalarope


TICK! Red-necked Phalarope has become 717 for my Australian Life List. Oh happy day!

After THE sighting, the pressure was off and the day became a reunion, being able to catch up with friends who I rarely get to see while enjoying the wonderful birding.

Me waving, with Ruth (left) Paul to my right and Vik (dutifully photographing the Phalarope) behind Paul. Selfie courtesy of Ruth Woodrow!

Paul, Ruth and me - our annual Selfie!

Great-crested Grebe

Spotless Crake
Curlew Sandpiper

Australian Shelduck

Brolga on the move

Curlew Sandpiper

It was definitely worth the trip!  Thank you Vik for taking such great care of me, yet again!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Spotless Crakes to bring in 2016

Well, 2016 is now upon us. I'm amazed to think that I've been writing this blog now for over 5 years. Time flies when your having fun.

With the festive season now behind us it's time to update this blog with a new post including some of the local birds photographed over the past month at my local wetland.

I wish you all a happy and safe 2016 and hope you continue to enjoy the photos.

Spotless Crake






Australian Spotted Crake

Eurasian Coot

Little Grassbird

Nankeen Night Heron

Superb Fairy-wren

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Tawny Frogmouth - Juveniles



You don't need to be clad in camouflage to take bird photos!