Archive for June, 2006

Great Birding Moments #1 Spotted Nightjar

From time to time birders – like anyone passionate about a hobby or interest – experience great defining moments. These special events could include:

  • The moment when one sees an elusive species for the very first time.
  • When one sees a favourite bird in all its colourful splendour, lit by the bright sunlight and perched picture perfect in full view.
  • When a photograph of a bird turns out just right.
  • When one has waited or searched patiently for a particular species, only to find it flitting around the car you left hours before your search began. (That happened to me with the Rufous Fantail once.)
  • When one has a good view of a rare or hard to find species (like the Lyrebird following me down the track on Royal National Park near Sydney – it may be common to birders in that region but they are only found in the zoo here in South Australia).

My list could go on. One species I’d only had fleeting views of – and then only in the headlights of the car at speed at night – is the Spotted Nightjar. A few weeks ago I found (with some help from a friend) a single Spotted Nightjar roosting on the ground at the Pangarinda Arboretum (Click here for the full story).

Spotted Nightjar

Spotted Nightjar

Birds in Tasmania

I have yet to experience the delights of birding and travelling in Tasmania. From what I’ve seen through photos and television and magazine articles I’m sure I will enjoy the expereince when we get around to travelling further ‘down under’ in the land of Down Under (Australia).

In the meantime, I’ve discovered a wonderful blog on Tassie birds. I visit it often and have a link to the site. It is unusual as far as blogs go because it has at least five regular contributors. Its main strength is the photos. Many of these are quite stunning and most are very beautiful. I particularly like the action shots, a skill I have yet to master. The posting from this last Wednesday (21st June) shows several shots of a Wedge Tailed Eagle in flight. Awesome.

I only have one criticism of the site; any site with a black background plays havoc with my eyes and I have trouble reading it, especially for more than a few minutes. All the same, I often just visit to look at the photos.

To visit the site click here.

Photo Gallery

Red Capped Robin

Red Capped Robin

At last I have a photo gallery for your enjoyment. From time to time I will add photos to this blog of birds I photograph and places I visit. The above photo of the male Red Capped Robin was taken at the Pangarinda Arboretum at Wellington, South Australia a few weeks ago.

Related article:

Red Capped Robin

To view my photo gallery click here and come back often to view new photos as they are added over the coming weeks.

Unexpected Bird Visitors

As I was working on my computer a little while ago I thought I heard a Grey Fantail outside in the garden. This species is common and widespread throughout our district here in the Murraylands area of South Australia. Despite that, it is only an occasional visitor to our garden. This is a shame, because it happens to be one of my favourite birds. The Rufous Fantail is just up the list a little, but is only a vagrant in South Australia.

Adelaide Rosella
I didn’t find any fantail but I did manage to get good views of several unexpected birds. The Adelaide Rosella (a sub-species of the Crimson Rosella) is an occasional visitor to our garden. This is about as far east as this species occurs. Just a few minutes ago I saw about 6 near the house. As I approached they flew off. I went inside to get the camera but they had gone when I returned outside.

Whistling Kite

I also heard and then saw two Whistling Kites gliding overhead. Again, they are common and widespread in this area, especially along the river and its environs. From time to time they stray this far from the river. For about three or four minutes I watched as they soared on high, dipping and slipping on the air in a wonderful display of synchronised flying. They were too high to get a photo.

Mammal Sightings

To complete the good sightings I disturbed one of our resident Brown Hares. Over recent years we have had two or three of these lovely creatures frequent our five acre block we call our garden. When they nip off the tops of young plants we don’t like them quite as much. I’ve also see quite a few rabbit scratchings in a number of places. This species is less desirable as they can do much damage. The hare was too quick for me to get a photo.

Live Osprey Web Cam

The keepers at the Calgary Zoo have a pair of Osprey nesting on a platform on a pole in the grounds of the zoo. This is the 13th time the Ospreys have successfully nested there. The keepers have recently installed a live web cam so that we can watch the rearing of their young. From what I can gather two of the three egs have already hatched.

To view the action click here – but remember to take into account time zone differences!

To look at the Calgary Zoo Web page click here