Sunday, 3 August 2008

Some Recent Birds

While away in Hobart last week, in between hospital appointments and other important matters, we managed to do a bit if sight seeing and some casual birding. I also attempted to photograph a few more birds. Here are some of the of results.

First a Yellow-rumped Thornbill. These were very common when I lived in north-west N.S.W. However they are uncommon in Tassie. I live at the extreme limit of there Tasmanian range and have never (yet) seen them at home. It was while stopping for a coffee at a park in Swansea that I seen my first two.

Yellow-rumped Thornbill - Acanthiza chrysorrhoa - at Swansea

Another new tick for my Tasmanian list was Long-billed Corella. I did not get a photo that is worth showing but I did get a shot which showed at least 8 in a mixed flock with Sulphur-crested Cockatoos.

An exploding flock of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos - Cacatua galerita - at Richmond

On a drive up the Derwent valley , heading for Mt Field National Park we stopped for a photograph of an old water wheel. Right outside the car window was a small flock of Silvereyes. This one posed rather nicely.

Silvereye - Zosterops lateralis - at Bushy Park

We spotted a flock of Cattle Egrets. This shot was also taken from the car window and through the gap in a barbed wire fence. Fortunately the egret wandered into one of the few spots of dappled sunlight.

Cattle Egret -Ardea ibis - South of Nubeena

While photographing the Tesselated Pavement (See yesterdays post) my attention was diverted to three Sooty Oystercatchers. They allowed me to get relatively close. It might have been a better shot if the sun had cooperated.

Sooty Oystercatcher - Haematopus fuliginosus - at the Tesselated Pavement

This Pied Oystercatcher was photographed at West Beach, Ulverstone. These are very similar in appearence to the oystercatchers in Scotland.

Pied Oystercatcher - Haematopus longirostris - at Ulverstone

Also at Ulverstone was a flock of 50+ Goldfinches. This is an introduced species from Britain although I rarely seen such large flocks when I was in Scotland. Here in Tasmania, I used to get flocks if 20+ in my backyard until I dug up all the Capeweed (
Arctotheca calendula). The down side is that the Green Rosellas used to feed on the Capeweed as well.

European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis - at Ulverstone

Here is another bird I used to see in Scotland only this time it is not an introduction. The Eurasion Coot has a very wide distribution from Europe right through Asia and Australia. It is said to be migratory and nomadic but I'm not aware of how this affects the Tasmanian population.

Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra - at Oatlands

Another leg stretching stop at Boomer Bay near Dunalley gave the opportunity to photograph Green Rosella and some Little Pied Cormorants. These cormorants seem to be extremely numerous around the Tasman and Foresteir peninsular area.

Green Rosella - Platycercus caledonicus - at Boomer Bay

Little Pied Cormorants - Phalacrocorax melanoleucos - at Boomer Bay

I was also able to photograph one of my favourite ducks. The photos are pretty bad but I will post them tomorrow anyway . I will leave you guessing as to what species it is.


  1. I can see that you've been playing with your new lens again. (-; Some lovely shots, specially the Thornbill. I also love the action shot of the S-c Cockatoos.

  2. I love the shot of the thornbill - I've been trying to get a good shot of one for years - and they are a resident breeding species on our five acre block.

  3. You've some great looking birds down there Mosura. Well done with the photography, birds aren't the easiest of subjects to capture

  4. G'day Mosura,
    Some great shots. I especially like the Pied Oystercatcher with the detail of the water at his feet. Beaut to see a Green Rosella too. I think they are equivalent to our 'blue cheeked' or Crimson Rosella on our side of the strait. I hope the hospital appointments did not result in bad news.

  5. hi Mosura,

    some beaut bird shots there, most particularly the thornbill.

    I have never seen the green rosella in the flesh, so it was great to share in your sighting.

    The oyster catchers can be so entertaining if you have the time to watch them. While in Albany in May I watched a Sooty Oyster-catcher poke a shellfish into a rock crevice and proceed to prise out the contents. As a wave neared, the bird swiftly plucked the shell out of the crevice and hopped up to higher ground to continue its breakfast.

    The netting on the jetty with the cormorants looks most dangerous for the birds.

    A very enjoyable post.


  6. Thanks Jenny - How could you tell :-)

    Thanks Trevor - I was lucky to get that shot. I was standing in a picnic shelter with 30 feral ducks begging for food, and noisy people milling about making coffee etc.

    Thanks Warren - Yes we have some great birds but I'm a little envious of how many species you are seeing in a day.

    Thanks Gouldiae - Long time since I've seen a Crimson Rosella. Nothing toooo serious at the hospital.

    Thanks Gaye - That's an interesting encounter with your Sooty Oyster-catcher. I thought the same thing about that netting.