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Monday, December 31, 2012

More suburban goodness

Black-fronted Dotterel chick, Mildura

Had a great time on a morning walk this morning - all sorts of waterbirds; including the little fluff ball above - one of two.

...Yellow-billed Spoonbill feeding, and another glimpse of the Buff-banded Rail.

There also seems to be a continual stream of Dusky Moorhen babies. I'm wondering if there is something in the water…      maybe they just like big families.
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Boxing Day beauty

Eastern Great Egret, Walnut Ave, Mildura

How to ID - link to another blogger's diagram of Eastern Great Egret. Must admit I struggle sometimes with Egrets.

Had a lovely walk around the wetland yesterday, all the birds came out - I'm growing particularly fond of the Spotted Crakes! The Egrets are quite wary and don't feed when I'm close enough to get a good photo.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

So far so good - click on photos to enlarge


Australasian Grebe, Walnut Ave, Mildura

I love knowing nests have successfully hatched!

When we borrowed the club scope a couple of weeks ago we got a close up of one of the adults sitting on the nest, and this morning I saw a baby cruising around the wetland not far from the nest site.

In the first photo, the adult is diving down to get another fish. I love the cute little fluffy wings in the second photo.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Scariest bird ever

South Polar Skua, Casey Station
I'm way to busy with Xmas prep so I'm posting an old photo from my trip to Casey 2004-05.

This was one of the skuas that was nesting in the Adelie Penguin colony.

They are very scary, I was lined up by them several times whilst trying to survey the penguins. I often resorted to pulling my backpack over my head and assuming the foetal position!

Wild Bird Wednesday

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The nursery

Willie Wagtail, Mildura
This little guy has been learning the ways of life from Mum and Dad in the backyard. Has consumed much of our attention when we are sitting outside! Very cute.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

What are you looking at

Great Cormorant & Little Black Cormorants, Walnut Ave, Mildura
This is a funny shot showing the avian ability to turn their head 360 degrees! It's also good seeing the species next to each other - they seem to have the same size feet...
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Buff-banded Rail, Walnut Ave, Mildura
This is the first time I've seen this species, it was skulking along at the wetland. The most obvious features to distinguish it quickly from the hens and crakes were the shape and strip across the head.

I'm loving finding new species in suburbia. Yay for artificial wetlands!

In the same area early on Sunday morning all the Black-fronted Dotterels at the wetland were wandering around on the road. I've never seen them do that before, there was one doing it by itself on the west wetland and two on a different road on the east side.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012


Silver Gull, Blackmans Bay Beach, Tasmania
I think I like taking photos with water as much as trying to get a nice photo of a bird!
Most of my last trip to Tassie was spent being a bridesmaid (lots of fun) but I did get a chance to wander Blackmans Bay and get a dose of sea air and sand.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I will eat my hat

Laughing Kookaburra, Loch Island, Mildura
If you ever go to Loch Island and fail to see a Kookaburra, I swear I will eat my hat. They are always there. This one gave me a suspicious sideways glance before swooping down for a skink or bug. 

In true kingfisher style, I once saw a Kookaburra at Loch Island catch a fish! 

They are also lovely when they are in groups and fly around calling.

Wild Bird Wednesday
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Not the Ground Parrot

Beautiful Firetail, Melaleuca
Freddo frog for anyone that can find the Ground Parrot! No, I won't post the photo of the Ground Parrot - it just looks like buttongrass. I swear when I took the photo it was there…

Can't complain though, seeing the Beautiful Firetails while they were at the feeding station at Melaleuca was great. And I did actually see the Ground Parrot, I just can't prove it. 

Would highly recommend Par Avion and Inala Bruny Island by the way. Had fantastic flights and day at Melaleuca. 
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Spots and Stripes

Australian Spotted Crake, Walnut Ave, Mildura
This is the best shot I could get last night of the Spotted Crake - not great but the reflections were really interesting! I wonder how long they will stay, they have been there for at least a week now.  They look tiny when next to a Dusky Moorhen or Purple Swamp-hen. 

I'm reading The Big Year at the moment; I've been telling myself, "I'm not one of those twitchers that flys somewhere just to see a bird", until I was reminded that I flew to Melaleuca last month to see the Orange-bellied Parrot…      (not bragging or anything). 

There was also a personal connection with Melaleuca - Deny King is a relative. I also saw a Ground Parrot - this was exciting, I nearly studied them back at uni for my Honours degree but became a plover lover and studied Hooded Plovers instead. The project based on the buttongrass species turned out to be someone else's Masters project and I never would have had the bird call ID skills required!

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Urban Wetlands

Black-fronted Dotterel, Walnut Ave
Most of my bird-watching is in urban areas, I just don't get time to get out and about to National Parks and the like. One of the greatest things about bird-watching though is that it is so accessible, birds can be so adaptable and dynamic that some of them can make the most of urban areas even when they are highly modified. 

The wetland at Walnut Ave doesn't even have a name and I must admit I was really skeptical about artificial wetlands to start with, but I've seen so many birds at them I can't deny that they do function as an eco-system to some extent, on top of managing storm water.

In the last few weeks I've seen Spotted Crake, Dusky Moorhen (with chicks), Purple Swamphen, Black-tailed Native-hen, Great Egret, White-faced Heron, Masked Lapwing (with chicks), Little Pied Cormorant, Nankeen Kestrel amongst other species at this young wetland. 
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Not on the list yet

Bush Stone-curlew, Adelaide Zoo
Unlike the species in the last post, I have never really seen one of these in the wild. I saw the Red-browed Finch when on a getaway at a cottage in Echuca, but the only wild sighting of the Bush Stone-curlew I have is when I worked on Kangaroo Island and a colleague found a dead one on the road. 

You can get very close up to these guys in the Adelaide Zoo, along with a friendly Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, in the walk-through bird enclosure. 

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The wilds of Adelaide

Red-browed Finch, Adelaide Zoo
I know, it's cheating, but they're still gorgeous!

It was a happy accident for me when I realised the camera settings were right for capturing the water droplets. I have an Olympus OM-D and the view finder is electronic rather than mirrors. The image flashes up in the viewfinder straight after you have taken it, so you preview it instantly.

Zoos have come a long way and everytime I go to Adelaide Zoo it seems better than the last time. The only disappointment this time was that I had been looking forward to seeing the Pygmy Hippo again and he had passed away from old age a week prior.
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Gotta love a plover!

Red-capped Plover, Lake Ranfurly
Thought I'd better start with a plover if I'm going to call this blog Plover Lover!   I'm going to use this blog as an outlet for my birding and photography attempts, hopefully generating some interest in birds and their habitats and sharing my stories with other bird lovers.

This was at Lake Ranfurly a few months ago. Boy has the lake changed over spring! It is drying out and there was not a plover to be seen yesterday. The day I took this photo there were hundreds of birds, predominantly Pelicans, Black-winged Stilts, Avocets, Red-capped Plover and Shelduck.

Yesterday there was a lone Shelduck and some raptors. And I think I could hear a Silver Gull in the distance...

It really is one of the amazing things about the semi-arid environment - it changes so fast and so dramatically!
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