Saturday, 31 October 2015

Rainbow Lorikeets

Last day in Australia, and it seems appropriate to end with some rainbow lorikeets in Sydney.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Watsons Bay, Sydney.

Back in Sydney and spent the day at Watson Bay. Nothing new but some nice views of some old favourites.

Noisy miner at nest.

New Holland Honeyeater.

Crested pigeon.

Superb fairywren.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

More from the Blue Mountains

A few new birds added to the holiday list today, some of which I managed to get photos of.

Crimson rossella.


Golden whistler.

Fan-tailed cuckoo.

Bell miner.

Crescent honeyeater.

Red-whiskered bulbul.

I think this is a female satin bowerbird  but if anybody knows different let me know.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Katoomba, Blue Mountains

We're in the Blue Mountains at Katoomba for the rest of the week and today had a walk to the Three Sisters. It's a little bit touristy but still a decent walk and fairly quiet away from the most popular bits. Birding was quite tough going and bird photography almost impossible but I picked up a few new birds including the spectacular eastern spinebill, crimson rossella, black-faced cuckoo-shrike and white-throated treecreeper. The hot humid weather of Port Douglas is now a distant memory, temperatures here peaked at about 17'C today!

There are loads of ferns in these woodlands, I particularly like these tree ferns. Very prehistoric looking. Not a lot of flowers though and that's been  a feature of the whole holiday, very few flowers either in temperate or tropical rain forest, or anywhere else for that matter, except  in people's gardens.

Pathetic. The best I could manage of the wonderful eastern spinebill.  Better luck tomorrow  I hope.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Crested Tern, Palm Cove

On our way to Cairns airport for our flight to Sydney,  but called in at Palm Cove and had excellent views of a crested tern. I've seen a few crested terns in the past two weeks, but more lesser crested.

Also at Palm Cove we had nice views of this varied honeyeater.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Spring low tide on Four Mile Beach

I spent the low tide this afternoon on the southern end of Four Mile Beach, just at the point where the mangroves begin. It's a great spot for waders, many times better than the dull Cairns esplanade. Today I saw about 20 red-necked stints, 3 beach thick-knees, Terek sandpiper,  30 red-capped plovers, 10 Pacific golden plover,   greater and lesser sand plovers, whimbrels, far eastern curlew and best of all, my first little curlew of the holiday. Also osprey, whistling kite and great egret.

Just like buses.... I tried so many times in this very spot and failed, yet today there were three on the beach!

Black-necked stork, not on Four Mile Beach.

Spring tides of course bring not only the highest tides of the year, but also the lowest, and at such times parts of the beach are revealed which would otherwise be under water. Right by the waters edge today I found lots of these honeycombed coral like formations, and then a few of the branched structures below. They were all hard and looked like coral, which is probably what they are. It was a little nerve wracking walking through the rock pools since we are now only a week or two away from box jellyfish season,  and that's a marine animal I was not keen to encounter!

This pufferfish was splashing around in the shallows and was able to propel itself quite well if approached too close, despite the lack of water and didn't seem too bothered if it ended up almost out of the water. I don't know anything about fish, but this looks like Manila or narrow-lined pufferfish (Arothron manilensis) to me.

Salt water crocodiles, Port Douglas

We spent the morning watching crocodiles and mudskippers at Port Douglas from on board the Lady Douglas

Croc versus great egret. I know which my money is on!

The mudskippers we saw today were much larger than those seen previously,  this specimen for example is a good 8" long.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Mateeba Wetlands

My first blue-winged kookaburra. All of the others have been laughing kookaburra.

White-bellied sea eagle.

 Mobbed by a whistling kite.

Australian darter

Green pygmy-Goose.

Double-barred or owl finch.

Red-backed fairy-wren.

At least 3000 magpie geese.

Amazingly, two weeks into our holiday and these were our first kangaroos.

Intermediate egret.

Emu with chicks. I still don't know whether or not to quite believe this. I thought emu's were virtually unknown in this part of Australia.

There are a lot of impressive termite mounds in this area.

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