Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Water Sports

This post is for Watery Wednesday.

They both look as if they are having fun! Taken on the Noosa River. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

White-faced Heron.

These birds are very difficult to get close to in my area but down on the Noosa River they are much less wary. This one came walking over to see if we had any fish scraps it could take.
Later we watched a fisherman come in and pull his boat up on the bank. As soon as he turned his back this White-faced Heron hopped right into the boat and began looking for any scraps on the bottom of the boat. It only moved off when the fisherman came right back to his boat.
For more Bird Photographs visit the Bird Photography Weekly.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Birds and Habitat

These vehicle tracks were made on a part of the sand banks that is supposed to be closed to all traffic. A variety of small shorebirds use this area and need cover to be safe. Without any other cover these Double-banded Plovers were crouched down in the wheel tracks until I came by. I did not even see them until they started moving. (Click on the images to see a larger size where the birds can be seen hidden down on the sand.)
I moved away and then came in from a different angle. With the sun behind me I hoped to get some closer photos but there were too many people around. Double-banded Plovers breed on braided river channels in South New Zealand and spend the winter here in Eastern Australia.
When the person walking down beside the water got too close they flew off. As they lifted off I got a couple of blurred photos of some in flight. When I have disturbed them before they have just run off and I do not remember seeing them in flight up close like this. The wings seem so small to take them on a return journey from New Zealand to Australia every year.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crested Tern

I love watching Terns flying over the ocean. I keep taking more photos hoping some day to catch the perfect moment! Watery Wednesday seemed like a good excuse to post another photo of one.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Field Day to Poona

I went out with the Gympie Field Naturalists Club on Sunday for an outing to Poona. Poona is on the bay north of here and looks directly over to Fraser Island. We went for a wildflower walk in the morning and some of us looked for birds at the same time. We then went down to the picnic area right on the bay to sit and enjoy our lunch. The tide was out. I took photos and then came back to the same place a few hours later and took photos again with most of the sand flats covered by the incoming tide. Quite a difference!
Looking SE directly out to Inskip point and the channel out to sea.
I was looking at the far view and forgot about getting the Silver Gull in the close view in focus.
Looking E directly over to Fraser Island
This sign is placed prominently beside the boat ramp. Similar signs have been put in a number of places since a large crocodile was sighted over from here on Fraser Island. Up until that time most people thought that crocodiles were not this far south. Now I'm wondering how much I should change my kayaking and shorebird watching habits?
As soon as the local birds saw all these people sitting and eating they quickly came over and started looking for scraps. Some folks couldn't resist tossing out a few bits and I caught this Spangled Drongo both holding a piece with its 'foot' and also catching a piece in its beak.
In the afternoon we went off to another site where there is a well-made walk of 1.8kms that takes a circle around a piece of land that has a mangrove tidal flat on one side and a paperbark swamp on the other.
Paperbark Swamp
The birds were much more visible here than they had been in the morning and I got a photo of a male Rufous Whistler - a new bird for me.
I also got clear photos of a Silvereye. I had seen these birds before but never managed a clear photo.
A very good day! Nice company and good birds!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brahminy Kite

This handsome bird was sitting high in a tree close to the car park at Mullens Creek picnic area yesterday. A pair have nested in this area for many years now. Maybe they are planning to do so again this year. I shall have to go down and check the nest site more often.
For more bird photographs visit Bird Photography Weekly

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Black-necked Stork

It was a beautiful morning - bright sunshine, crisp air, and the whole bay to myself - except for the birds. A large bird flying along the edge of the water caught my attention and the first photos I shot showed me a Black-necked Stork. It settled down in the water near some Little Egrets which looked very small by comparison. I walked out across the sand flats to get as close as possible but the bird only let me get about half way out before it took off and flew towards the other side of the bay. Even the closest photos I took were nowhere near as close and beautiful as those posted by bloggers further up north but they made my morning. We seldom see Black-necked Stork here. I have only seen three in the six years I have been here.
Click on the photos to enlarge them and see how beautiful the bird looked at the edge of the bay.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I was out photographing LBJ's the other day when this one perched high up in a rather open casuarina tree. It was only when I got home and put the photos up on the computer screen that I realized I had another photo of a bird I had not previously seen - this time a female Mistletoebird. Apart from the red undertail coverts it is indeed another Little Brown Bird.
These birds eat the fruits of mistletoe plants as well as nectar, insects, and other fruit/berries.
Mistletoe plant hanging from a tree
But! Uh-oh! I had read that these birds excrete the seeds of the mistletoe plants as a sticky 'package' - but I had certainly not expected to photograph this! That looks as if it would stick to anything!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Inskip Point

I was out at Inskip Point yesterday to look for birds but couldn't resist photographing some of the boats traveling down the channel between Inskip Point and Fraser Island. The wind was up and there was quite a swell out on the open ocean so too rough for small boats. The first photograph is of one of the car ferries that takes vehicles over to Fraser Island. (Click to enlarge all photos.)
This photo is taken looking east out to the open sea. The entrance to the channel is still a long way out but already the boats are hitting quite big swells.
This post is for Watery Wednesday.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Early Morning Beside the Bay.

Yesterday morning was nearly perfect. The sun was shining and the wind had dropped. I was walking along the southern end of the saltmarsh where last time I had found numbers of small birds feeding. There wasn't so much blossom out yesterday but I could still see numbers of small honeyeaters in the tops of the trees. Then I came upon a small group of "little brown birds" busily feeding on insects in one of the mangrove trees that edge the bush. I have had brief glimpses of similar "LBB's" before but never long enough to either ID them or to take photos. This time they stayed in the bushes and busily flew in and out. The occasional bird came out to the edge of the leaves and I could take some quick photos before it would quickly fly off again. All the time they were making soft chattering contact calls. The photos were clear enough that I could send them off to a friend and get an ID when I got home. They were Mangrove Gerygones - a bird I have heard before but never been close enough to ID. Photos of a new bird for me definitely made this a great morning!
For more bird photos visit the Bird Photography Weekly.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trees in the water.

Mangroves are trees that grow at the edge of the sea and like to have their 'feet' in the water for at least some of the time. Some mangroves grow into tall trees and some stay as small shrubs. The different root systems are seen when the tide is low. This one has stilts at the base of its trunk. It will eventually grow lots taller. It's called a Red Mangrove.
Another Watery Wednesday Post.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Noisy Friarbird

These birds are very common around my yard and since they are also very noisy they really can't be ignored. With their bare black head and strange knob on the bill they really can't be confused with any other bird. The feathers under the chin are rather beautiful when they put back their head and start their very noisy call.Thanks Larry for finding a good recording of the bird's call HERE.

For more bird photos visit the Bird Photography Weekly.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Gymea Lily

It's rather exciting when you wait over five years for a flower and it finally appears! A friend gave me this plant. She had it in a pot and it looked to have at least a year's growth on it then. So I guess the plant must be at least 6 years old. The flower spike has been slowly growing for months and it has taken ages for it to finally open. The spike is not fully open even now but I am not sure how much more it will open in the Queensland winter.
The Gymea Lily (Doryanthes escelsa) grows naturally in open forest and woodland along the New South Wales Coast around Sydney and Newcastle. It makes a splendid specimen plant in a garden and can be bought from nurseries and garden shops. The plant keeps growing after the flower spike dies and I am told that the next flower will be even larger. In ideal conditions the spike can grow up to 6 meters tall.
The base of the plant - this also will grow larger.
The plant showing the flower spike extending up above the surrounding trees and palms.
Gymea lilies have pleasant memories for me. We lived in Newcastle when I was in my teens and my Father showed me this flower growing in the bush. He called it a 'Mountain Lily'. Although it is sometimes called a 'Giant Lily' I cannot find Dad's name for it in the references I consulted.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

At the edge of the sea.

Another Watery Wednesday post.

This juvenile Silver Gull has just been caught by the wave - and my camera!