Tuesday, December 20, 2011


This robin is one of my favourite birds and we have one that inhabits the scrub in our backyard.
I call it the piper at the gates of dawn*, being the first one to start off the morning chorus.
It's also usually the last bird to call in the evening.     

Eastern Yellow Robin

Some fresh seed in the feeder brought in a couple of unusual visitors, a pair of King Parrots, which I've only seen fly over our place occasionally. These two weren't shy and I assume they may have utilized some other feeders in the neighbourhood. 

Australian King Parrots - males.

Another bird to drop in for the first time a few days later was this large pigeon. The news must be getting around that there's a free feed at the our place!

White-headed Pigeon

These are normally a shy, rain-forest dwelling, fruit eating species and it may be the case that these birds have also become more confiding around human habitation, especially with the destruction of their natural habitat and their reliance on the introduced Camphor Laurel tree.

This cousin of the above mentioned bird was spotted by Clare sitting on the roof of our van out front.
A beautiful, pure white racing (or feral) pigeon that on closer inspection was bleeding from wounds in it's breast and rump. Maybe a raptor attack? We have three species of Goshawks on our backyard list.A distinct possibility! But most probably a Peregrine Falcon, the bane of pigeon fanciers worldwide.   

This was one lucky bird and in an attempted rescue operation it flew off when I tried to throw a towel over it. It took off strongly and disappeared into the distance hopefully to survive another day. 

The culprit may have been one of these magnificent killers, a Brown Goshawk. This one I saw recently at the Cooroy wetlands scaring the wits out of the nearby feathered inhabitants.

Brown Goshawk - female.

This bird was also spotted at the wetlands, singing for all its worth and obviously not too worried about killer raptors!

Olive-backed Oriole

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Clare and I headed off to Lismore in northern New South Wales back in early October, for a family re-union with her rellies. We stayed in a local caravan park and in between the various family gatherings we were able to get out and about the local area for a bit of sightseeing.
On a drive out to New Italy via Coraki we stopped for some raptor watching among the rolling hills and farmlands. This kite very kindly flew on to a high perch close by and gave us stunning views through our binos. 

Black-shouldered Kite.
On the way back to Lismore that afternoon the weather became unsettled and we could see some activity ahead.

Our return route was leading us straight towards some decidedly unfriendly looking skies.

We were approaching the storm front at an angle and soon caught up to the towering face of the 
monster. In the end it was it was all show and not much blow, thank goodness! 


The morning of that same day we had stopped in for a walk in Rotary Park Rainforest Reserve at Lismore Heights, hoping to see some bush birds.There weren't too many feathered fliers but plenty of furry ones. It looked like a colony of fruit bats had taken over the area for their daytime roost and the noise and smell of hundreds of these much maligned creatures was quite overpowering. Nevertheless we did the circuit without any mishaps and even saw a few birds including some nesting White Ibises.
Grey-headed Flying Fox

Just hanging around.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Had a chance to spend a couple of nights away to try out our newly acquired caravan. We stayed at a little van park along the Tin Can Bay road about 25km from Gympie, in S.E.Queensland.

Our site at Standown Park, Goomboorian.

One of the locals gave us a good looking over not long after we pulled up. 


There was a small dam on the property with a pair of ducks loafing around and not too concerned about my presence.

Australian Wood Ducks

I have seen this species nesting high up in tree hollows and although having never witnessed it, marvel at the way the chicks survive their "parachuting" jump to the ground below.



They obviously weren't scared off by this other resident of the dam.

Crocodylus Plasticus

I went for a drive through the pine plantations of Toolara State Forest nearby and by following a mud map supplied by the van park manager, found my way to some lovely lakes hidden away in an area of beautiful natural bushland.

Scribbly Gum

On our way home we stopped for a cuppa at Lake Alford Park in Gympie where we watched some of the activity on and beside the water.

Pacific Black Duck and Dusky Moorhens.

Black Swan and cygnets.

The swans were unafraid of our presence, obviously habituated to the park visitors and virtually came right to our feet, maybe expecting a handout? The cygnets were quite clumsy on solid ground and preferred to flop down on their bellies to graze on the grass.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I had some time after work to have a stroll along the walking paths of Caloundra and Moffat Headlands. There had been some heavy weather through earlier and although it was windy the rain had ceased, allowing me to take a few shots and check out the birdlife.  

Looking towards Caloundra from the Headland shore.  

Rockscape below Caloundra Headland.

As I wandered along looking out to sea, a large bird alighted on a branch of one of the many large Norfolk pines that have been planted along this stretch of the coast. It sat quietly preening and fluffing up it's plumage.
Being overhead it gave me the opportunity to take an unusual shot.

Headless raptor.

The bird was an Osprey and it eye-balled me from it's perch till I moved on and left it in peace.
These magnificent raptors nest in the pines and I have seen a pair attending a nest behind the control cockpit of a crane on top of an apartment block building site in town.

Eastern Osprey

My walk along Moffat Headland gave me the chance to observe some Australasian Gannets do their spectacular plunges for prey and to appreciate their mastery of the windy conditions. I watched their antics through my binos for about 20 minutes before the showers came back with a vengeance.

View from Moffat Headland.

Australasian Gannet.

The following day the weather had improved dramatically, the sun was out and these lorikeets made the most of some fresh seed in our backyard feeder.

Rainbow Lorikeets

And this fantail was still hanging around even though most of his mates have started heading south as the weather slowly warms.

Grey Fantail

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Back in June I joined my local birding-watching group for their monthly outing, this time to Ewen Maddock dam at Landsborough. It was a crisp start but warmed up by mid morning, a lovely day.
At bird call after the walk we had totted up over 60 species, in a couple of hours.
Having lived nearby for quite a few years this is one of my favourite places and with a bird list of over 160 species it's great place to visit and one that comes up with the occasional rarity, such as Oriental Cuckoo, Baillon's Crake, Musk Duck and Australasian Shoveler.  

Sunshine Coast Bird Observers Group

I only managed to get a few average shots of some of the more co-operative birds such as this pair loafing on one of the ponds near the causeway.

Pacific Black Ducks

The moorhen was one of a small group pottering around on the Salvinia weed that infests some parts of the lake.
Dusky Moorhen

 A pair of Forest Kingfishers were busy hunting around the edges of the water and one sat still long enough for a picture, albeit at the furthest reach of my cameras focal range.

Forest Kingfisher

This bigger hunter was also watching for prey over the water, acting like a real kingfisher!

Laughing Kookaburra

I was also able recently to visit Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary and did the shorter wheelchair access walk. There were at least three male Golden Whistlers trying to outdo each other with their vocal prowess.
Golden Whistler

 And Scarlet Honeyeaters abounded, chasing each other through the tangled undergrowth.

Scarlet Honeyeater

Meanwhile back at home I have been hearing the call of a Noisy Pitta frequently over the last few weeks.
This is the first time in my three years here in Kureelpa I have heard this bird and getting to see it has proved impossible so far. It only calls a couple of times on dawn or dusk and it only responded once to my use of playback. I am assuming it may be roosting overnight in our backyard and heading to more suitable habitat to feed during the day. Seeing as I'll probably never get a photo of this elusive dweller of the rainforest I have posted a picture from Ian Montgomery's fantastic site http://www.birdway.com.au

Noisy Pitta noisy_pitta_08572.jpg
Noisy Pitta

Thursday, July 21, 2011


It was back to work for Clare and myself after our recent holiday so I haven't had much of a chance to do any birding. I had a few pictures from before our trip that I had meant to post but never got around to it
While picnicking at Noosaville with some rellies recently I snapped some photos of the local denizens of the park. The heron had been hanging around our table hoping for scraps.

White-faced Heron

 The  ever present lorikeets although unusually quiet, brightened up an otherwise dull and overcast day.

Rainbow Lorikeets

Meanwhile closer to home and while walking the dog, camera in hand, I got close enough for a shot of a pardalote that was doing its best to be as inconspicuious as possible.

Striated Pardalote.

The immature cuckoo-shrike a little further down the road was much more obliging!

Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike

As I walked back and reached our front yard I saw an unusual flower that I hadn't noticed before. I'm not much of  a gardener but I'm guessing it is an orchid of some description.

Relaxing on the back verandah with a cuppa afterwards I watched this lone lorikeet tucking into some fresh seed in the feeder.

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Followed by a visit to the birdbath by a Rufous Fantail that comes in most days for a dip. Getting a decent shot of it is another matter as it only has a quick splash then disappears. It is quite shy compared to it's less colourful counterpart, the Grey Fantail.

Rufous Fantail.

I was just about to head inside with the daylight fading when a pair of black cockatoos flew in nearby for a bit of a stickybeak. One posed nicely for me before they both took off for parts unknown.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo.