Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Odds and ends from 2014

For various reasons I have not managed to get out into the field with the camera over the Christmas New Year period so have decided to start  2015 with a post containing odds and ends of photos from 2014.

I snap many shots of subjects here and there that don’t fit into a blog post. In reviewing and culling photos from 2014, a few shots looked to have some merit, keepers, so I decided they would be included as a gallery of shots in one post to kick off 2015. 
There is no particular theme though they have been roughly ordered according to guilds and some off-the-top-of-my-head captions have been added.

Hope you enjoy them!
Note: enlarge photos with a left click of the mouse and then use the mouse wheel to scroll back and forth through the photos (can't view captions in this mode)

Water birds:
Hooded Plover coming in to land on ocean reef, St Andrews Beach, Mornington Peninsula NP.
Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, international summer migrants feeding on sand island,
Jones Bay, Gippsland Lakes.
Pacific Black Ducks, Lake Guyatt Sale - why do so many bird species rest with
their beaks buried in their back feathers?
Pink-eared Ducks (aka Zebra Duck), male and female pair (male is slightly larger),
wetland at Coolart Historic Area, Somers Mornington Peninsula.
The unusual dangling membranous flaps near the tip of the bill have no doubt developed
to assist with filter feeding in water.
Dusky Moorhen at Coolart - they seem to occupy a similar niche to Purple Swamphens
but are much less common and numerous.
Royal Spoonbill at Mallacoota - the back light allows
the wing bones and muscles to be clearly seen.
A broad diet makes the White-faced Heron a successful and widespread species.
This one was hunting for worms on a suburban lawn alongside Starlings.
A male Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo drinking at stock trough, Sarsfield East Gippsland.
Female Gang-gang Cockatoo drinking at puddle, Sarsfield East Gippsland.
Forest and Woodland birds:
Is is hard to resist taking a photo of a Scarlet Robin, (a bird of forests and woodlands)
during the spring/summer breeding season.
In autumn and winter Scarlet Robins move out into more open country
where they are often seen perched on farm fences and gates.
Speckled Warbler on farm gate at Sarsfield. Woodland birds, they feed on the ground
where their smudgy (speckled) plumage provides great camouflage.
Buff-rumped Thornbills, another woodland species, often found feeding with Speckled Warblers.
Bassian Thrushes are generally found in heavily vegetated wet forests and gullies.
A juvenile (note chestnut rump) female (note orange spot on side of neck) White-throated Treecreeper. If you look closely you can see the large foot adapted to life on vertical tree trunks.
The Black-faced Monarch, a summer migrant from northern Australia, nest building
at Fairy Dell near Bruthen, East Gippsland.
Satin Flycatcher calling to the female in the next photo.
Knocker Track, Alpine National Park, north of Omeo.
Female Satin Flycatcher - note the broad bill which is no doubt useful
for catching insect prey on the wing.
A male Magpie-lark (black throat), bold birds with plenty of attitude, this one is scalding me.
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater feeding in Red Box near Bullumwaal, East Gippsland.
Singing Honeyeater, The Blowhole, Mornington Peninsula National Park.
Brown-headed Honeyeater sharing water with another flower pollinator, the introduced honey bee.
This Peregrine Falcon was disturbed from a freshly killed Grey Teal and it was coming
to let me know it was not too pleased with my presence.
Peregrine Falcon hunting along cliff tops between Cape Schanck
and Bushranger Bay, Mornington Peninsula NP.
Nankeen Kestrel on kill atop low sandstone cliff St Andrews Beach, Mornington Peninsula NP.
When the bird flew its prey could be identified, a young Eastern Blue-tongue Lizard.
The grey tail with dark bar near tip shows this is a male.
To finish off, a rare raptor from central Australia taken near the Birdsville Track in August 2012.
The beautiful and elusive Letter-winged Kite is a nocturnal hunter. Their numbers boom and bust along with their prey and during severe droughts they may be forced well outside of their normal inland arid/desert country range, even as far as coastal Victoria near Melbourne.