Thursday, April 30, 2009

Birds around the Ponds

I went out to a local wetland pond area with friends on Sunday - ( I am still trying to catch up with some posts!). Its a very interesting area as we see different waders here from the ones we commonly see out around the bay. Neil over at Out and About in Cooloola has already posted about some of the birds we saw.
We also often see raptors here - it must be an easy place for them to pick up a meal - but what usually happens is that everything gets frightened and then there are birds swirling everywhere in the air around us. This is what happened this time. I am still not really comfortable with photos of birds in flight. It is OK if I have time to think about camera settings and get them ready - but not so good if I have to just try to point and shoot! So the photos I took are not great but certainly good enough for ID. btw - I have the camera but my friends have the expertise to ID the birds! (Thanks Kel and Neil!) So this is a Swamp Harrier - a juvenile we think. This was definitely the first time I have ever seen this bird.
I also got my first ever photos of a Forest Kingfisher but although the photo is clear it does not show the beautiful blue color of the back feathers.
The other frustrating thing about this site is that even though it is easy to see small birds out on the sides of the ponds with a scope it is impossible to get very close and so any photos are for ID only. This bird is one of a small group of Black-fronted Dotterel. Its a very distinctive little bird and oh how I would like nice clear and close photos!


  1. ID spot on: juvenile Swamp Harrier. Top pic with light colouring toward rear outer underwing shows typical pattern.

    Coincidentally spotted first Swampy for months in Tyto today.

  2. Thanks Tony for the ID info - so that's another one I should know next time. One by one I am learning these 'bush' birds!

  3. Good catch, Mick!
    I had difficulty ID-ing a juv. Swamp Harrier a couple of months ago, but on my photos he was very high in the sky. Good people helped :) And now when I'm looking at your first image (which is quite cool) I can see all the typical colors and markings.

  4. Thanks Tilcheff, Birding is much more fun if I can go out with folks who know more about the locals than I do!

  5. We would all like to get better photos, but these are very good including the flight shots. Plus more new species for me to look at. Thanks, FAB

  6. Thanks for the encouragement, Frank.