Saturday 9 September 2023

South to Port Macdonnel, South Australia.

Travelling to the South East of South Australia.
Australia, Day Two.

From my room at Eagle View.
I was up and sorted ready for breakfast in the farm at 07:00 after a brilliant Nights sleep, once we were packed Deb and I were off heading south to Port Macdonnel for a pelagic trip which was planned for Sunday, around the farm I started things off with Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus), Little Raven (Corvus mellori), New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) and in a garden rock pile a couple of Australian Swamp Rat (Rattus lutreolus) another new species for me.
Australian Swamp Rat (Rattus lutreolus).
Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus).
On the way South we did some birding from the car as Deb drove, species seen included Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca), Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata), Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans), Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca), Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis), Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae), 125+ Black-tailed Nativehens (Tribonyx ventralis), European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris), Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis) and Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis).
Black-tailed Nativehens (Tribonyx ventralis).
Black-tailed Nativehens (Tribonyx ventralis).
As we passed near the town of Wellington we checked some flooded fields and found a small flock of Cape Barren Geese (Cereopsis novaehollandiae), Whiskered Terns (Chlidonias hybrida), Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), Grey Teal (Anas gracilis) and Silver Gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae).
Cape Barren Geese (Cereopsis novaehollandiae)

We continued on and added White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis), Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus), Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa), Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata), Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris), Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii), Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) and Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus).
Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea).
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica).
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica) and Great White Egret (Ardea alba).
Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris).

We reached the Murray River and crossed on one of the free ferries that run 24 hours a day, on the far side we stopped and checked an area of wetland and reeds finding 
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus), Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia), Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), Australasian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae) x2, Australian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus australis), Little Grassbird (Poodytes gramineus), Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) and then as we continued towards Martin's Wash pool area at Salt Creek we added Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae), Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor), Singing Honeyeater (Gavicalis virescens), Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides) and Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea).
Australian Crake (Porzana fluminea).
Australian Crake (Porzana fluminea).
At the Wash Pool we stopped briefly to scan the main lake seeing Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) and Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) before continuing on South to the hide at Robe adding Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus), Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera), Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus), Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica), Great White Egret (Ardea alba), Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) and best of all several White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica) which were my first in SA.
Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) nests.
Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia).
Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia).
Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia).
At the hide over looking Fox Pool near Robe we had nice views of an Australian Crake (Porzana fluminea) and several species we had already seen.
Lake Mcintyre.

Musk Duck (Biziura lobata).
Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae).
Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus).
We moved on again and headed for lake Mcintyre which was a really good site and gave me my first bird lifer of the trip the Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa) as well as Hardhead (Aythya australis), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis), Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla), Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa), Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis) and quiet a few Small Whites (Pieris rapae).
Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa).
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) and Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa).
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra).
Shame, I fancied having a go.
We finished there and headed through Mount Gambia where I got some shots of a Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor) before reaching Port Macdonnel where we stayed at the hotel and had a meal with the rest of the people who were going on the Pelagic.
Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor).

Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor).

Friday 8 September 2023

Adelaide Airport, Eagle View in the Adelaide Hills and Mount Barker, South Australia.

Back in Australia with Deb and Ian, Brilliant.
Australia, Day One.

Dropping into a cloudy Adelaide.
After another 6 / 7 hours in the air we landed at Adelaide Airport which is a nice, small and extremely efficiently organized airport which meant, not long after getting off the plane I was out side in arrivals meeting friends Deb and Ian who amazingly agreed to put up with me for another 3 months of wildlife watching.
Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus).
We were soon out into the car park and on out way to what, I am sure will be the first of many visits to a coffee shop.
As we drove out of the City and then through some very wet looking country side to the small town of Meadows, on the way I started the trip list with Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca), Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala), Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca), Feral Pigeon (Columba livia), Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis), Galah's (Eolophus roseicapilla), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Little Raven (Corvus mellori), Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa) and then my first Lifer, not a bird but a very unexpected day time encounter with a Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) which was uncommon enough for me to rummage through my case for the camera.
Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus).
After a very nice coffee and Scone with Jam and cream we continued on to the farm, on the way we picked up
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis), a group of Little Corella's (Cacatua sanguinea), Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata), the bird species I saw every day of my last trip the Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) and as we turned of the road onto the track to the farm the first Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus)
Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus).
At the farm we where greeted by Molly and Maddy the two dogs before doing some unpacking, as I was doing this I saw
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera), Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans), Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor) and New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae).
later Deb and I headed for Mount Barker where we did some shopping and I got an Australian SIM for the phone which eventually activated mid morning on next day, on the way there and back again we had Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides) and White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae).
Almost a Cornish Cream Tea, well coffee in my case.
Once we returned to the farm I did the rest of my unpacking had a coffee with Deb and Ian and then later we all headed over to see Renate, Deb's lovely Mom where we saw Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa) and Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrocephalus) before we had a very nice meal, unfortunately by this time I was flagging to say the least, so we returned to the farm and at 19:30 I was in bed and apart from a few minutes around 00.30 I slept right through until 06:30 when my alarm went off. Thanks to you all for a great first day.

Thursday 7 September 2023

Singapore Airport, Singapore.

The Next Leg.

A very small part of T3 at Singapore Airport.

After nearly 14 hour's in the air we arrived at Singapore's Changi Airport, WOW what a place, makes all the Airports in UK and Spain look pitifully poor (a massive understatement) they could all learn many lessons from this place.
As I got off the plane and made my way into the main part of T3, I went to a very large screen with all the flight details and gate information on it but before I had ever tried to find my flight an amazingly efficient gentleman came over and asked me where I was transiting to and gave me all the information I needed and then even walked me to the entrance to where I would later go through to my gate and plane.
I asked him if he did this for everyone, he said well " I give the information about the gates and times to everyone but only take the ones who look totally confused as far as the gate" I said thanks (I think) and then went to have an explore of this brilliant place.
One of the many large shops, this one just sold coffee.

After a while I found a run of windows which looked out over some trees and saw just two species of bird there, neither of which I thing is native to Singapore, House Crow (Corvus splendens) and Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis).
Later I got on another Singapore Airlines flight which took me on to Adelaide in South Australia.

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Travelling South to Heathrow and beyond, UK.

First stages of going South, a long way South!!!!

Our flight pulling in.
I was up early and finished my packing off before sitting in the lounge at my Mom's chatting before Mom and John dropped me up to the Train Station.
Whilst I was sat there I picked up Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes).
One of the very steep, very long escalators in Heathrow Airport.
I said turrah to Mom and John and got on the train to Birmingham international and then a coach to Heathrow where (as I am always early) after a few hour's of waiting I got on a flight to Singapore.
During the trip down I added Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), European Herring (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).

Sunday 3 September 2023

Belvide Res, Staffordshire, UK.

A few hours out birding with good friend JJ.

Comma (Polygonum c-album).
John Holian kindly picked me up from my Mom's and we headed off to Belvide Reservoir, we parked and went out towards the dam.
In the car park we saw Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and a very fresh looking Comma (Polygonum c-album).
Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
From the end of dam we picked up quite a few species including Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Greylag (Ansar Común / Anser anser) and Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Pied Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla yarrellii) as well as Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) and Small White (Pieris rapae).
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
We then walked all the way down to the fields at the western end of the reserve, on the way along the Southern side of the Res we added Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Goldcrest (Reyezuelo Sencillo / Regulus regulus) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) in the bushes and trees on either side of the path.
Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser) and a Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).

Just before we went out onto the track to the fields we scanned the shallows at the western end finding Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) x3, Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) x1F, European Herring (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus) and Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and in the air we had 2x Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) one of which was being mobbed by a male Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus).
Out at the end of the track looking over the fields we picked up a couple of Ravens (Cuervo / Corvus corax), a group of at least 10 or so Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), 3x Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Rook (Graja / Corvus frugilegus) and as we walked back to the car we finished the list off with Egyptian Geese (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca) x4, Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Bullfinch (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula) and a nice male Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator).
Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser).
At the car we had a drink and a sandwich before heading to the Harp in Albrighton where we had another drink before John dropped me back to my Mom's and then headed off home. Thanks for a nice day John.