Monday, November 28, 2005

A Piece of Self Indulgence

Marion Bay Monday 28/11/05

I came across the flock of c70 Bar-tailed Godwit alluded to by Bill W. in the pelagic blog. They were feeding at the mouth of Blackman Bay as the tide receded and I have appended a few of the photos taken.

I was able to approach within 20metres or less to take these. Ironically I had gone to Marion Bay to photograph Hooded Plovers, but I didn't even manage to find a single bird. I have always been able to find them in the past and have caught and banded adults and juveniles here . Was I just unlucky or have numbers declined here?

Marion Bay Pelagic Trip

Last Sunday's (27/11) pelagic trip left from Dunnalley rather than the usual Eaglehawk Neck and was a pretty quiet and comfortable trip for the participants. However the absence of wind was the probable cause of the relatively few birds being sighted.
The one bird that bears comment was a single Golden Plover seen circling the boat while they were 15km offshore. Bill W. at first thought that someone was imitating the GPs call, until someone saw a wader that gave excellent views and allowed positive ID.

Observations included: 1 Southern Giant Petrel, 1 Northern Giant Petrel, 1 White-chinned Petrel, 3 Southern Royal Albatross, 2 imm & 1 ad. Black-browed Albatross, c50 Shy Albatross, c3 Yellow-nosed Albatross, 2 Buller's Albatross as well as Gannets, Short-tailed Shearwater, Crested Tern, Kelp Gull and Black-faced Cormorant. Inshore species included Pelican and c70 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Risdon Brook Dam

I can't say that I'm a great fan of Risdon Brook Dam reserve. I don't really like "sharing" my birding with runners, power walkers, and mothers with strollers, to name a few. But recently, in the USA, I have seen the merits of "multi use preserves". One benefit is that the birds become used to the presence of humans and are more approachable--well some are. So, on Thursday,25/11, armed with a camera I made a trip to Risdon. A few photos are shown here. My total species list was 36, although conceivably I've missed a few. Although it has a largish body of water, the only water related species I recorded were Hoary-headed Grebe, Black Duck and White-faced Heron. Flame, Scarlet and Dusky Robins were present as were Pallid, Fantailed and Horsfield Bronze Cuckoos. Sulphur crested, Swift Parrot, Green and Eastern Rosellas were also there. A small group of Dusky Woodswallows and the only honeyeaters were Little and Yellow Wattlebirds, Yellow throats and the inevitable Noisy Miners. There was also abundant Yellow rumped Thornbills and more modest numbers of Browns. Large numbers of Welcome swallows, mostly juveniles, were hawking over the water and surrounds.

This White-faced Heron sat on the dam fence and allowed close approach. Well I did have to coax it to get up on the fence! The whole walk took only one and a half hours. Risdon brook Dam is situated near Risdon Vale opposite the prison. It's open from 8.30am to 9.00pm, although this will vary with time of year.

One of a few pipits seen on the western shore of the dam.

One of many swallows around perimeter of lake.

'Bigfoot'--Tasmanian Native Hen rampant!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Trip to Spectacle Island

Bill and Els took a boat trip to Spectacle Island on the 23rd Nov--Spectacle Island is just off Dodges Ferry. While having lunch on the boat anchored near the island there was an almighty commotion with great clouds of birds, mostly Crested Terns and Silver Gulls, wheeling above the island. Looking around they found the culprit--a Sea Eagle floating past having come from the direction of Woody Island, where there is an eyrie. The eagle passed over and drifted off toward Primrose Sands without taking any great interest in Spectacle. Large numbers of chicks are present on the island, the oldest being about 2 weeks old and keeping well under cover!!

The "offending" Sea Eagle

Saturday, November 12, 2005

White-winged Tern

Bill W's W/w Tern at Barilla Bay. Apparently now moved on.