Silver Gulls, Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge
I know that Silver gulls are very common throughout Australia, but I must admit that I always enjoy taking photos of them. Generally, they are not at all afraid of humans (except for those over-active little versions who insist on chasing them), so they are usually very easy photographic subjects to practice on. On my recent visit to the local Sturt Reserve I managed several acceptable shots of some of the gulls, as shown here on this post today.
Silver Gulls, despite often acting as garbage disposal units on beaches, river banks and picnic areas, are quite beautiful birds in my view. They have such clean lines and pure colours. I usually forget their scavenging habits and concentrate on the positive aspects of their appearance.
Purple swamphens at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge
Purple swamphens are a common species along the River Murray, including here in my home town of Murray Bridge, South Australia. They are usually quite happy to graze along the river’s edge, on the nearby grass on the river banks and on the lawns where the local council maintains picnic areas and reserves. They can also be commonly seen along swamplands and the dairy flats in the lower reaches of the river here.
I am always delighted to see this species, especially when the sunlight catches the beautiful colours on the birds, as in the photo above.
Noisy Miners, Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge
The Noisy Miner, one of a very common native honeyeater species, is something of an enigmatic bird in our area. It is common almost everywhere, from gardens to parks, along the river and roadside vegetation and in nearby farming land. Yet I’ve never recorded this species on our five acre block which is about five kilometres from where this photo was taken.
My records go back almost 30 years and I only have one very dubious record of the species near our home. It was based entirely on call, but ever since I have doubted this record as being correct. I became a little excited a few weeks ago when I saw about a dozen in roadside trees along the nearby road where I go for my daily walk. So far, they haven’t ventured on to our land. One day, perhaps.
In reality, if they do become a resident species I probably won’t be all that pleased. They can be a little pest where fresh fruit is concerned, and they can also be very aggressive towards most other species, driving the smaller ones away and taking over feeding zones and nesting sites.
Darter at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge
Over the last few days I have been sharing some of the photos I took several weeks ago when I took time out from my busy schedule to do some birding. Despite being a chilly winter’s day, the conditions were quite acceptable and it was good to feel some sunshine after all the dull wet weather we’ve had so far this year.
One of the birds I enjoy seeing most times along the Murray River here in Murray Bridge is the Darter, shown in the photos below. One has to be quick to see this species in the water when it’s fishing. It dives quickly and often stays under water for a considerable length of time. After every period of feeding, every Darter and every cormorant needs to find a suitable perch and “hang out the washing”, that is, they need to dry their wings before they become waterlogged and drown.
I was able to approach this individual to within five metres as it perched there. Interestingly, this one appears to be an immature female, going by the plumage.
Australian Pelican at Sturt Reserve
A few days ago I took some time out of my busy schedule and drove down to Sturt Reserve near the centre of town. I had a reason to take my camera with on this occasion which was just as well because I saw and photographed quite an interesting range of our local birds.
This Australian Pelican posed or me on the end of a small jetty near the reserve. With the mid-morning sun coming from behind it gives an interesting effect.