Tuesday, April 8, 2014

New Experiences

Well a lot has happened since my last post. I spent a week and a half in Victor Harbour in October last year (missed the whales by a week), managed a few lifers while down there, and got to see a few species I hadn't seen in many years. A real treat. I visited the Goolwa barrage and poo ponds, Hindmarsh Island, and for the first time in my life, the Murray Mouth. It was fantastic to see it flowing out to sea with all those waders present. My fiance and I also took a boat ride with Big Duck Boat Tours and had a fantastic time, highly recommended.

 Eastern Reef Egret, Egretta sacra, Encounter Bay, SA

Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) savouring a fishy morsel, Encounter Bay, SA

View of the Murray River Mouth

Cape Barren Geese (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) and their friend, a White-fronted Chat on Hindmarsh Island

November saw me camping down near Naracoorte at a friend's property. I was confused by possible Forest Ravens, but was lucky enough to see a pair of endangered Red-tailed Black Cockatoos (about 30 minutes before we left to head home). While down there we also visited Bool Lagoon which is a stunning site. Such an expanse of water and so many birds, Magpie Geese and Australasian Bittern were new birds for me there.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus banksii ssp. graptogyne, near Naracoorte, SA

I've had a bit of a slow start to 2014. While out on an owling trip in January with some friends, I managed to roll my ankle jumping out the back of the ute. Despite the injury, I pushed on to get a nice image of a Stubble Quail, first time I had seen the species. We also saw plenty of Barn Owls, a Southern Boobook, Brown Goshawk, Tawny Frogmouth and a couple of Owlet-nightjars.

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) with a mouse

Male Stubble Quail (Coturnix pectoralis) near Owen, SA.

Barn Owl, Tyto delicatula

The ankle injury left me out of action (except for a couple of outings to a wetland I only just discovered existed which probably made the injury worse). This was also well worth the effort as I managed to finally see Pectoral Sandpiper and Long-toed Stint, along with getting some amazing shots of White-winged Fairy-wrens. I'm hoping to write up a proper entry describing this location at some point, as it's somewhat a part of the Greenfields network I've previously posted about.

Female White-winged Fairy-wren

Pectoral Sandpipers, Calidris melanotos, at Whicker Road (Magazine Creek) Wetlands, SA

Male White-winged Fairy-wren, Malurus leucopterus

Female White-winged Fairy-wren

So after a couple of expeditions, I kept off of my foot as much as possible and only now, 3 months later, am I finally getting out and about again. It's a great feeling to be seeing and photographing birds again. I've been going a bit crazy, but who am I kidding, it was far too hot to be out looking for birds anyway. While I love summer, 45 degrees is not my ideal weather for tramping through the bush.

The past couple of weeks have seen me revisiting my local patches and on a few outings with the Birds SA group where I got to reconnect with a few species that I haven't seen/photographed in some time.

Male Chestnut Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma castanotum) calling, at Swan Reach Conservation Park, SA

Here's hoping for a bird-filled 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome images Bec. The Quail-thrush is my favourite. The few times I've seen them they're on the ground. Nice to see you back in the loop!