Saturday 14 October 2023

Eagle View, South Australia.

A quiet day at the farm, except for the Rally Cars!!!!!
Australia, Day Thirty Seven.

Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) in the fruit garden.

Today the road was going to be closed so we got the jobs done early and then stayed in until later in the evening when Graham and Kath came over for a BBQ, a few drinks and a Bonfire so that all the stuff that had been pruned and collected from around the farm before the fire season could be burnt.
It was much bigger to start with.

Friday 13 October 2023

Belair NP, a Private site near Para Wirra Conservation Park and Jones Road Dam, South Australia.

Out monitoring Square-tailed Kite sites with Deb.
Australia, Day Thirty Six.

Female Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) with a twig for the nest (Belair).
Deb and I were up and out well before dawn so that we could be at our first monitoring site in the Belair National Park, we were on site complete with chairs and kit by 07.05 and watched the pair of Square-tailed Kites (Lophoictinia isura) interacting around the nest with the female flying short distances and collecting twigs several times.
Female Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) original pair (Belair).
This carried on until 10 something when both birds took off and were joined for a moment by two more Kites which was completely unexpected, the one bird of the unknown pair disappeared quickly but we were then amazed to see the male and female from the nest return along with a second female bird.
Male Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) original pair (Belair).
There was no aggression from the nest owners so we can only assume that this extra female was one of the young birds from at least two years earlier as the nest failed in 2022.
Male and Female Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) original pair (Belair).
We continued watching and all 3 birds disappeared for a short while but a short while later the original female returned but up until around 11.30 when we left there was no sign of the male returning.
Male Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) original pair (Belair).
Other species seen during the monitoring period included Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), Little Raven (Corvus mellori), Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Long-billed (Cacatua tenuirostris) and Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), Crimson (Platycercus elegans) and Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius), Rainbow (Trichoglossus moluccanus) and Purple-crowned Lorikeet (Parvipsitta porphyrocephala), Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata), Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera), Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris), Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus), Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa), Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala), Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica), Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor), Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrocephalus), Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris), Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae), Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) and Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus).
Male and Female Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) (Para Wirra).
We moved on to our second location which was on a private property with access kindly granted by the owners for the study to be carried out, on the way we called in at a bakery for some lunch and added Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis), Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Crescent (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus) and New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) and Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans) on the way to Para Wirra area.
Male Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) (Para Wirra).
Once we were on site we again got the chairs set up and waited, the female was sitting on eggs at this site and we watched as she turned them several times.
Male Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) (Para Wirra).
Just after we arrived the male returned with a very small bird and the female ate it but he didn't show up again for nearly 3 hour when he came in with a larger bird which they both feed on, the male then sat in a small tree quite close to us between us and the nest and preened for the next 20 minute before heading back out hunting.
Male Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) (Para Wirra).
We left at around 16:30 and on the way out met the owners of the property and had a nice chat about the birds with them, whilst on site we also recorded Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), good numbers of Striated Pardalote and a single Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus), Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus), Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida), Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum), Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata), Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), White-winged Chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos), Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna), White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), Rufous (Pachycephala rufiventris) and Western Whistler (Pachycephala fuliginosa), Buff-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza reguloides) and many of the species seen at the other site.
Male Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) (Para Wirra).
On the way back to the farm we made a brief stop at a large dam on Jones Road near Hahndorf where we added Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Hardhead (Aythya australis), Blue-billed (Oxyura australis) and Musk Duck (Biziura lobata) and Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos).
Male Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) (Para Wirra).
Thanks to everyone involved in this project for agreeing to me accompanying Deb and to Deb for asking in the first place, such a privilege to see these stunning birds so well.  
Male Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) (Para Wirra).

Thursday 12 October 2023

Eagle View, Mount Barker, Strathalbyn and back to Eagle View, South Australia.

A day around the farm with a run around the shops in between.
Australia, Day Thirty Five.

Crescent Honeyeater (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus).
I was up and about quite early and saw the regulars from the cottage which were Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus), Rainbow Trichoglossus moluccanus) and  Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Crescent Honeyeater (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus), Little Raven (Corvus mellori), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans), Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), both Little (Anthochaera chrysoptera) and Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata).
Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides).

Later Ian and I went for a drive across to Mount Barker where Ian wanted some new work togs and a few other bits but we went via the recycling Center near Hahndorf and then later down to Strathalbyn as they also need a new battery for the fridge / freezer set up in the car.
Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides).

During the drive round I saw Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa), Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata), Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis), Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos), Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis), Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles), Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus) and as we were coming back across country from Strath we saw a Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides) in the road and a second dead one which had already been run over unfortunately. 
Well I though it was Funny!!!!
So Ian stopped got out and moved it but I took a couple of shots of it on my phone before he walked up the back and released it well away from the road.
Back at the farm I found a can of something Called "Start Ya Bastard" which made me chuckle, later we went over to a neighbors farm and moved some cattle around for him as he was away and whilst doing this we had nice views of several Elegant Parrots (Neophema elegans).

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Eagle View and Bald Hill Road, South Australia.

Around the farm and nearby.
Australia, Day Thirty Four.

Eastern Mantis Orchid (Caladenia tentaculata).
I was having a day around the farm whilst Deb went out again to a restricted site doing some more surveys, around the farm and down on the fields with Ian when we checked the Cattle we recorded Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Red-browed Firetail (Neochmia temporalis), European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis), Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) and Small White (Pieris rapae).
Eastern Mantis Orchid (Caladenia tentaculata).
Later Ian dropped me at the top of the hill along Bald Hill Road and I did some birding / Orchid hunting on the way back, bird wise I didn't get much as it was quite wind but found Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica), Striated Thornbill (Acanthiza lineata), Little Raven (Corvus mellori), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans) and Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus).
Notched Onion-Orchid (Microtis arenaria).
Notched Onion-Orchid (Microtis arenaria).

Notched Onion-Orchid (Microtis arenaria).
Orchid wise I had two species, both of which were new to me, the first was the very smart Eastern Mantis Orchid (Caladenia tentaculata) which is a very nice looking spider and the other was a less showy Notched Onion-Orchid (Microtis arenaria).
Red and Blue Damsel (Xanthagrion erythroneurum).
I also had a few Dragon's but the only one I managed a shot of was the Red and Blue Damsel (Xanthagrion erythroneurum) a new species for me.
Back at the farm the Tree Martins (Petrochelidon nigricans) came in for the egg shells as usual and I also saw 3x Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus), Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) and White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae).

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Eagle View, Newland Head CP and Victor Harbor, South Australia.

More Survey work with Deb.
Australia, Day Thirty Three.
Our Survey area for today.
We were out early and heading South again but this time we went off to the SW to Newland Head Conservation Park to the West of Victor Harbour, on the way we saw Little Raven (Corvus mellori), Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca), Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) and Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata). 
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus).
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus).
Little Raven (Corvus mellori).
In the Newland Head we did four routes looking for the elusive Chestnut-rumped Heathwren (Hylacola pyrrhopygia) but we didn't find any at any of the site but we did see Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica), Little Pied (Microcarbo melanoleucos), Great (Phalacrocorax carbo) and Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris), Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla), Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis), European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans), Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera), Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis), Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa), Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus), Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang), Horsfield's (Chrysococcyx basalis) and Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus), Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa), Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Masked (Artamus personatus) and White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus), Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus) and 
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis).
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis).
We headed back towards the Farm but detoured along the coast at Victor Harbor where we checked the Beaches and Rocks finding
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia), Silver (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) and Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus). 







Monday 9 October 2023

Wetland near Finniss (Private Site), South Australia.

Out with Deb on a Survey.
Australia, Day Thirty Two.

Dawn on Site.
We were back to the early starts as we had to be at the site for first light, the area was a really good bit of marshy wetland with open water, the main species we were looking for was the beautiful Southern Emuwren (Stipiturus malachurus).
Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus) in the mist.
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) into the Sun.
We arrived, parked and put on our Wellies, waterproof leggings and the set off on what turned out to be a more tiring walk than I had expected through the swampy grassland and areas of Reeds and Sedges, as well as quite a few Southern Emuwrens we saw Australasian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae), Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Grey Teal (Anas gracilis), Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata), Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica), Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans), a single Stubble Quail (Coturnix pectoralis) which Deb was surprised to see in this habitat, a lifer for me.
Southern Emuwren (Stipiturus malachurus) Male.
Southern Emuwren (Stipiturus malachurus) Male.
We crossed into different areas of the swamp and kept adding new species including Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida), Little Pied (Microcarbo melanoleucos), Little Black (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) and Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Red-browed Firetail (Neochmia temporalis), Golden-headed Cisticola (Cisticola exilis), Australian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus australis), Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans), Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera), Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis), Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis), Little Raven (Corvus mellori), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Australian (Threskiornis molucca) and Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes), Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis) and Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca).
Southern Emuwren (Stipiturus malachurus) Male.
Southern Emuwren (Stipiturus malachurus) Male.
We also saw a good number of Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus), Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus), Australian Swamp Rat (Rattus lutreolus) and Small White (Pieris rapae).
Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)
Back at the farm I added European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa), Musk (Glossopsitta concinna) and Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) and Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus).
Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus).


Sunday 8 October 2023

Eagle View, South Australia.

A days sorting kit after the trip and Chilling.
Australia, Day Thirty One.

New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae).
I woke late after a long day yesterday, we emptied the remaining stuff out of the Hilux and put it away, whilst doing this I saw Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Rainbow Trichoglossus moluccanus) and  Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna), Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Little Raven (Corvus mellori), House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans), European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), both Little (Anthochaera chrysoptera) and Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata).
Deb and I popped over to hear Mom's were I only added New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae).
Later in the day Ian and I went over to the far fields to check on the Cattle, out there we saw Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa), Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra), Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus), White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis), White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis), Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae), Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx lucidus) which was a lifer, Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) and a small number of Western Grey Kangaroo's (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus).
Back up at the farm during the afternoon I added a Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) and Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes).