Friday, April 26, 2013


We were well into spring by the time we departed from Tahlee, and the weather gods were still smiling upon us as we traveled south to Coolah Tops National park. The road up was rough and steep with many grids and dips, but well worth the drive when we pulled up at the tranquil bush campground.  

Laughing Kookaburra

Red-browed Treecreeper

The park abounded with wildlife, especially of the macropod variety which were observed daily, notably in the vicinity of the camping area.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo, with large joey  

Eastern Grey - juvenile 

One of the walking tracks featured a two kilometre loop through a grove of magnificent grasstrees, some of which are thought to be over three hundred years old. We had never seen them this large in our travels and we were gob-smacked with our first view of these giants, one of 28 species found only in Australia.

Giant Grasstrees


Swamp Wallaby

Red-necked Wallaby

This was my first decent shot of a Shrike-tit which I usually see feeding high up in a tall eucalypt or such. It was observed at Pucca Bucca wetlands at Mudgee, our next stop after our Coolah Tops side trip, and well worth a visit if you're in the area.

Crested Shrike-tit

Cheers & Happy Birding

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


After our stint on the coast it was back inland, with the opportunity of working on a corn growing irrigation farm west of Gunnedah, near Mullaley in north-eastern NSW. Having my camera handy in the farm ute gave me the opportunity of snapping a few shots while on various assignments around the 1000 acre property, named Tahlee. 

Eastern Rosella

Musk Lorikeets

Variegated Fairy-wren - male, eclipse plumage 

Although there weren't a lot of trees around, with most concentrated along the creek lines, there were enough there to sustain at least one Koala, the only one I noticed, but known to frequent the farm in greater numbers.      

Koala - probable male

I kept a list of the birds seen on the property over our five week period there, that included nine kinds of parrots in the fifty-six species recorded. The most common of the four types of raptors were the kestrels, with a couple of pairs present.

Nankeen Kestrel

Sunset at Mullaley

I couldn't resist posting a few pictures of our time at Tahlee. I got to drive this big boy around for a day, dragging a large steel bar to break up the clods of earth prior to furrrowing.

Irrigation canal with the ditches being filled to soak the raised beds before planting the corn seeds, using siphons to transfer the water.

The farm is a family run business and they welcomed us warmly into their lives in the short time we were there. They left a big impression on us with their positiveness, patience and work ethic and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Cheers & Happy Birding

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


After our inland jaunt it was off to the north coast for some R&R and the wedding of my brother-in-law at Evan's Head. Spring was approaching and the weather was superb. We camped at Yuraygir National Park boasting sixty-five kilometres of undeveloped coastline, the longest stretch in the state.

Sandon Beach rock scape - Yuraygir

This reptile came close to our camp site on a couple of occasions looking for an easy meal, of course we didn't oblige. It was quite a large specimen of about 1.5 metres (they can grow to over 2 metres) and its bite is known to be mildly venomous. All the more reason to keep some distance from these beautifully patterned omnivores.

Lace Monitor

The dead fish below was also quite big, roughly 30cm in length. Much larger than the annoying and similar  Toad Fish that stole the bait or got hooked when I used to fish in the past, generally for something a bit more appetizing!

Beached Puffer Fish

Masked Lapwings

Rocky Point beach - Yuraygir

Our base at Evans Head for the weekend was the local caravan park in a picturesque setting adjacent to the Evans River. An assortment of water loving birds gave me some excellent photo opportunities. Much easier than those little brown jobs that inhabit the bush!

Pied Cormorant

Little Egret - in breeding plumage

Australian Pelican

Australasian Darter - male

After the wedding we spent a week at a van park just outside Yamba, where for a total of  fifteen hours work we received a free site. There were some nice birds to be found in the area, including these spoonbills shining in the spring sun.The one on the right was in breeding phase with its bright yellow eyebrow and funky tuft of head plumes.

Royal Spoonbills

The two species below were actually in the park right near our van. The rail was one of a pair snooping around the cabins and the babblers were a real surprise this close to the coast, roosting for the evening in a nearby tree.

Buff-banded Rail

Grey-crowned Babblers

Cheers & Happy Birding