Archive for December, 2010

Purple-crowned Lorikeets

Purple-crowned Lorikeets feeding on Eucalytus socialis

Many of the mallee trees in our scrub at the back of our house are fully in flower at the moment. The above photo shows one of them totally covered in blooms. Standing nearby one can easily smell the nectar coming form the flowers.

The resident honeyeaters love the flowers and yesterday we had a flock of about 20 Purple-crowned Lorikeets feeding on them as well. I have found that this is not an easy species to photograph. They are usually seen streaking across the garden at a great speed, or else feeding in the thickest topmost foliage of a tall tree. I was therefore pleased to get these shots early Christmas morning.

Purple-crowned Lorikeet feeding on Eucalytus socialis

Purple-crowned Lorikeet feeding on Eucalytus socialis

Christmas Greetings

Male Flame Robin, Mt. Macedon, Victoria

Christmas Greetings to all of my wonderful readers.

I really appreciate the many hundreds of readers who access this site on a daily basis. I also appreciate the many people who take the time and make an effort to leave comments and questions.

I also appreciate the many readers who help each other out by answering their birding questions. I’ve had a very busy year finishing my Masters degree, so my time has been severely limited. Everyone’s help has been wonderful in keeping me sane. Now that I’ve finished my degree I can devote more time to this site once again. 2011 and beyond will be better than ever.

I trust that you all have a great celebration over Christmas. Today I will just show a few of my favourite photos.

Australian Pelicans, Mallacoota, Victoria

Eastern Rosella in our garden

Blue-faced Honeyeater

Galahs at Burra Gorge, South Australia

Galahs at Burra Gorge, mid north of South Australia

Earlier this year we paid a quick visit to Burra Gorge in the mid north of South Australia. We were on our way to visit family in Peterborough and Clare. This gorge has a pleasant camping area and an ephemeral creek flowing through. This creek drains some of the ranges to the west.

I’ve only been to this spot a handful of times and can’t really say what birds could be possible. I would anticipate quite a long list as this gorge is in the zone between the wetter areas to the west – places like the Clare Valley – and the salt-bush plains to the east with a very low rainfall.

While we had lunch in the picnic area I managed several photos of this pair of Galahs. The many hollows in the trees in the gorge probably meant they regularly nest in this area.

The gorge is a popular picnic and camping area but the only facilities are several public toilets. Food, fuel and other supplies can be obtained from Burra about 30km to the north west.

Galahs at Burra Gorge, mid north of South Australia

Burra Gorge, mid north of South Australia

Burra Gorge, mid north of South Australia

Birding at Burra Gorge, South Australia

Galah, Burra Gorge, South Australia

Earlier this year we travelled to Clare to visit family. On the way we took a different route, one we hadn’t taken for many years. Along the way we stopped for a short break at Burra Gorge to have lunch. This ephemeral waterway drains through the hills to the south east of the mid-north town of Burra.

We were only there for about a half hour, so the birding opportunities were limited. It was a rather hot day and the bird activity was minimal. There is a pleasant camping area where I’d like to spend a few days sometime and explore along the gorge deeper into the range. On this occasion I only managed a short list of less than a dozen species. This area should produce some interesting birds if one was able to have an extended visit. This is because this gorge is in a zone between the high rainfall area of the Clare Valley to the west, and the much drier salt-bush country to the east.

The Galah featured in the photos on this post looked as if it was about to start nesting in one of the many tree hollows.

Galahs, Burra Gorge, South Australia

Burra Gorge, South Australia

Burra Gorge, South Australia

It was school holiday time and many people were bush camping in the picnic areas. There are no facilities here except for several public toilets. The nearest supplies are in Burra, some 30km to the north west.

Australian Magpie Lark nest

Magpie Lark nest

Australian Magpie Larks are a resident bird species in our garden. We see our two on a daily basis as they scratch around in the garden looking for their food. When they both call to each other is can be quite noisy, especially when they are under the back veranda, a place they think is their own.

Earlier in the year they commenced a mud nest in a tall tree next to our clothes line. They were about to lay some eggs when we had several days of heavy rain accompanied by wild winds. Their nest was destroyed by the weather. When it calmed down they set about constructing a replacement. This time they were successful in raising a brood.

Magpie Lark