Thursday, February 10, 2011

First blog & Kaiserstuhl Cons. Park

Hello, and welcome to my birding blog. I'm hoping to keep this fairly updated, as I do go birdwatching quite frequently, and I don't keep track of it as much as I should. So this is here to help me keep track and to share it with anyone who's interested. If anyone is actually interested... :P There's a lot of experiences I've had birdwatching in the past that I would probably like to share, so I might add those every now and then in between other updates, perhaps if I haven't been birding in a while. But enough about that, time to get on with the first birding blog ;)

-Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park Feb 11th 2011.
One of my favourite parks in the barossa region, the single looped trail provides a great diversity of habitat and the recommended 1hr walking time often extends to 3 hours when I'm photographing birds, or at least trying to. My visit was restricted to an hour due to the rain that set in and the conditions all the while were overcast, it was sunny when I left home ;)

I was hoping to see the resident Sacred Kingfishers, as I'm quite fond of them, however they were nowhere to be found. The first species to find its way into my viewfinder was the lovely Striated Thornbill (Acanthiza lineata). Most thornbills are a challenge at the best of times, so what resulted was one or two record shots. Thornbill ID is also a challenge at the best of times without an image or clear view.

Despite the fact that it was after 10am when I arrived, the birds were very active and I found myself only entereing a small distance into the park and being surrounded by superb fairy-wrens, striated thornbills, striated pardalotes, adelaide roselllas, grey fantails, willy wagtails and a very curious white-throated treecreeper. The treecreeper was foraging on a tree in front of me and took off, heading straight for me, only to dodge at the last moment and perch on a branch only a couple of meters behind me. Unfortunately, for fear of scaring the bird, I only turned my torso and with my slow shutter speed and un-steady posture, the image came out quite blurry and is now just a sad reminder of a great opportunity that I missed. But I guess you can't win them all!

There was a beautiful male scarlet robin perched some distance away, but he was not inclined to be obliging for a photo. It seemed to be one of those days, where there was a lot of action, but nothing wanted its photo taken. The overcast conditions didn't help with that of course. This lovely lady fairy wren was just one of the unco-operative many.

One of my fun subjects for the walk, was this immature willy wagtail who seemed intent on checking out his little feet. He tilted his head this way, that way, all to get a better look.

There was a small flock of dusky woodswallows in the park, flying about an open area amongst a small flock of tree martins. The dusky woodswallows were a treat, as I don't see them often and there were quite a few immature birds present, but my record shots aren't worth sharing. Fortunately, I managed to make up for it to myself with some shots of brown-headed honeyeaters which were feeding quite low in the canopy and were quite inquisitive of me. A couple of individuals came quite close and I was able to snag a few shots, good lighting would have made me happy, but I was simply pleased to have seen them so close. It was when I was photographing them that the rain set in.

The trip was finished off nicely with a sighting of a couple of buff-rumped thornbills, foraging in some shrubs. I heard, but didn't see, rainbow bee-eaters and crescent honeyeaters. But for about an hour and only walking at most 100m, a list of 20 birds is decent and I had a good time :)

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