Saturday, 24 June 2017

Winter Visitors (Birds)

 Double-banded Plover (Charadrius bicinctus)

These are Double-banded plovers (Charadrius bicinctus). In New Zealand they are known as the Banded Dotterel.  While many birds migrate north and south, these are unusual in that many of them migrate east and west. They bread in New Zealand but, in the cooler months, fly west to Australia, including here in Tasmania. Others make there way to such places as New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.  The plovers in the video come to the same local site each year. They usually gather on the rocks at high tide but on particularly high tides they come on onto the grass and gravel of this little roadside lay-by.



(Click the play button to watch the video)


Eastern Great Egret (Ardea modesta)

The Eastern Great  (Ardea modesta) is considered by some to be a subspecies of the Great Egret (Ardea alba). Here in Tasmania they are more prevalent during the cooler months. In the video you can see it hunting for fish which are its primary food source.

(Click the play button to watch the video)


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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Birds and Butterflies

1. Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea) Calling / Singing

The Olive Whistler (Pachycephala olivacea) is an  uncommon bird so I was happy to find this one in my backyard.  Unfortunately its only about 32 seconds of video. However, as it seems there is only one other Olive whistler on YouTube, I thought it was worth sharing. It's also the only Olive whistler,  recorded  this year on E-Birds "Global Big Day".

 (Click the play button to watch the video)

2.  Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica)  - Calling and drinking from a tree hollow

The Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica) is a beautiful songster. . Here they can be seen drinking from a tree hollow and also foraging under bark for insects and spiders.


 (Click the play button to watch the video)

3.  Crested pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)

These are Crested Pigeons (Ocyphaps lophotes). This was originally a bird of the drier inland areas but they have taken advantage of the land changes brought about by European settlement. Over the last 30 years or so it has become common even in the coastal cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Personally, I first saw these birds at Jerry's Plains near Singleton, New South Wales,  way back in 1975. It was not until 1984 that I saw one in the Sydney area. Unfortunately it was pounced upon by a cat just seconds after I spotted it. They have not yet reached Tasmania. The still shots in this video were taken in Adelaide, in South Australia while the video was shot at Williamstown, in Melbourne, Victoria. An interesting fact about the Crested pigeon is that when startled, their wing beats make a whistling sound that serves as a warning call for the others.



 (Click the play button to watch the video)

4.  Magpie Lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)

The Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) is a very common bird throughout much of Australia as well as Timor and New Guinea.  It is strangely absent from Tasmania. A few rare vagrants have made it down here, the most recent I'm aware of was back in 1980.  These short video clips were taken when I was over in Melbourne and the still photographs were taken in Adelaide. It is a bird with an abundance of common names. When I was young we called them Mudlarks or Peewees. Another variation was Peewit. In some places they were called Murray Magpie, Little Magpie or Pugwall. Aboriginal names include Birrarik, Pattantjentja, Yerracolunjee, beelarl, koolootaroo and many many more.

 (Click the play button to watch the video)

5.  Butterflies at Melbourne Zoo Butterfly House

While in Melbourne we visited the Butterfly House at the Melbourne Zoo. These are just a few of the spectacular butterflies that can be seen there.

 (Click the play button to watch the video)


Thank You!

Since September I've gone from about 12 subscribers on my YouTube channel to over 270. Thank you all very much for your support and encouragement. If you have not yet subscribed please consider doing so, as not all of my videos appear on this blog. If you are logged in with your google account you simply need to use the YouTube/Subscribe button below.



I hope you enjoy the videos.



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