Monday, February 23, 2009

Inskip Point doesn't disappoint.

Yesterday afternoon I went out to Inskip Point in the late afternoon. A walk through the bush track leading out to the Point is always interesting and this time I got good clear views and photos of White-cheeked Honeyeaters. I find photos interesting because they freeze the bird in poses often very different from the stiff side views found in most birding books. These photos show the white cheeks quite differently from anything in my books.
We had been told that other birders had seen a Kelp Gull here a few days ago. This is a very rare vagrant up here and we hoped that maybe it had stayed around for a few days. We were lucky! I was intent on a large flock of little shorebirds that kept flying in and roosting in the car tracks out on the point but fortunately 'Neil' from Out and About in Cooloola wandered a bit further on and then beckoned to me to come quickly. The gull was sitting quietly at the edge of the sea - and what was even better it let us walk quite close to get some good photos. It only flew off when a couple of people with a dog running loose came walking along between us and the bird!
The Tern count we did as the sun set and darkness came down was not nearly so interesting. Last time we were out here (2 and a half weeks ago) we counted a little less than 7,000 terns. This time there were less than 2,000. Where had they gone and why?
The sky is always beautiful looking out across the water and this evening it was particularly spectacular as we watched very dark storm clouds moving from east to west some distance south from us.

14 comments:

  1. Hi Mick
    That top image of the Honeyeater is great. Beautiful detail in the cheek feathers.
    I lose track of the names of Gulls - Kelp, and Dominican? I think those two names are for the same bird. I know the Pacific has a different beak - huge, with big red spot on it.
    Good work all around.
    Your knee must be improving, by the sound so fit.
    Denis

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  2. Hi Denis, I have set the camera to take multiple shots while the shutter button is depressed and am getting some interesting photos this way. Many more photos to 'junk' of course but I also catch movements that I would not do otherwise. Yesterday morning I should have been out in the kayak doing a count on an area that only has access by water - unfortunately I am not fit enough yet - more patience required!

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  3. Isn't the white-cheeked a spectacular bird Mick. The Kelp Gull is one I haven't caught up with, only Pacifics around here.

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  4. Hi Duncan, I agree about the honeyeater - its very spectacular when you can see its 'cheek' feathers like that. As to the gull - we don't see Pacific Gulls up this way either.

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  5. Hi Mick,

    Spectacular images of the White-cheeked Honeyeater! At first I thought "Wow! This New Holland guy must be wearing some very special breeding costume!" Then I read the post and had a look in my field guide. Beautiful fluffy cheeks.

    The Gull is definitely what I call Kelp. There are quite many of them here, and there's a family with a young just five minutes away from where I live. Every time I stop to have a look at the youngster the parents do aerobatic tricks to scare me or attract my attention. Kelps have the most beautiful gull call that you could hear. I think it is this archetypical high-pitched seagull sound they use in many movies.

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  6. Thanks Tilcheff, and that's very interesting about the Kelp Gull. Do you have photos of the chick that you could share? Wish it were easier to record and post sounds then we could share them also.

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  7. Hi again, Mick!
    Using the occasion I just posted a long entry on Kelp and Pacific Gulls with many photos in it.
    Have a look.

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  8. Thanks Nickolay that's great.

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  9. Now that's a really stunning bird and what a lovely name - White Cheeked Honeyeater!

    Congrats on your rare Gull - I have great difficulty identifying those we get here - there's soooo many of them and their plumage varies so much with their age too.

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  10. Thanks Tricia. The Gull was easy as we had already been told it was there - plus we usually only have one kind of gull up this way - the Silver Gull.

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  11. Your photos of the white-cheeked honeyeater are beautiful. What a spectacular bird. I so agree about the different poses. I learn so much from the less that book-perfect photos I take.

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  12. Hi Vickie, I wonder if all bird photographers are like this. At first I even wondered if the birds I was photographing were in some way different because so few of them looked like the birding books!

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  13. Wow, love the captures of the honeyeaters, Mick! Those flaring white cheeks are fantastic!

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