Archive for the 'Great Birding Moments' Category

Great Birding Moments #31: Glossy Ibis at last!

Glossy Ibis, Adelaide Zoo

Glossy Ibis, Adelaide Zoo


I have finally seen a Glossy Ibis – and this one was not in a zoo or a walk-through aviary.

We had a reason to drive to Mannum this morning, about a half hour drive upstream from Murray Bridge. When we arrived I suggested to my wife that I would like about ten minutes birding at the wetlands just north of the town, near the caravan park.

This ten minutes stretched into about twenty minutes – my wife can be very patient. I managed a very good list of 38 species. I was just about to head back to the car when I spotted a solitary Glossy Ibis feeding on the mudflats about a hundred metres away. Because of the distance I didn’t even bother to take a photo. Instead I have included on this post two shots of this species taken recently in the walk-through aviary at the Adelaide Zoo.

After identifying the bird as a Glossy Ibis – and getting my wife to check it out for me to confirm it – I did a little dance. This species has been something of a bogey bird for me. I’d see it numerous times in zoos. I read about numerous sighting all over Australia – some in places I’d been just a day or two before. I knew they were widespread in many parts of Australia, but for over 30 years of birding this remained an elusive species for me.

What a relief.

Problem is now – which species takes over the mantle of Most Sought After Bird?

I’ve only got about 450 species to choose from!

For other Great Birding Moments click here.

Glossy Ibis, Adelaide Zoo

Glossy Ibis, Adelaide Zoo

First visit to Cocoparra National Park and a Lifer

Cocoparra National Park, central New South Wales

Cocoparra National Park, central New South Wales

2007 New South Wales trip report #9

Cocoparra National Park

After lunch on day 2 of our trip we headed north to the large provincial city of Griffiths. I was not aware that this was such a large place with a population of over 24,000 serving a vast inland area of agricultural production. Here we stopped briefly for fuel; it interested me enough to desire to return here some day.

The short drive north to the Cocoparra Range was uneventful – except for a five minute delay waiting at a stop sign in the middle of nowhere. Road works have a habit of slowing traffic to a standstill like that.

On arrival at the Cocoparra National Park for the very first time we stopped to survey the map at the entrance and then we chose Jack’s Creek picnic ground. Unfortunately we only had time to visit one spot in the park. In the future it might be worth being based at Griffith some 25km SW while visiting various spots in the park. This would allow a more thorough investigation of what the park has to offer, and to do some bush-walking as well.

As we drove into the picnic area we were immediately greeted by a family of White-winged Choughs, a group of noisy Apostlebirds and a Peaceful Dove calling somewhere nearby. The Choughs were feeding young in a nest in the car park. The Apostlebirds objected to our visit and the Striated Pardalotes just kept on their incessant calling in the tree above.



We went for about an hour’s walk up the creek, delighted to see the rough, jagged sandstone rock-faces glowing in the afternoon sun. This gave us many photographic opportunities. I was delighted to see several Australian Ringneck Parrots, a solitary Silvereye and a Grey Fantail. Four Rufous Whistlers seemed to be chasing each other wildly around, possibly preparing for mating. Occasionally the males would stop for a brief rest and launch into their rich, melodious call which seemed to fill the whole gorge.

Another entry on my trip list was unexpected. A single Eastern Yellow Robin made a quiet and shy appearance and stayed still enough for me to take a photo. It was a little too far away, so I still haven’t a good photo of this species. Patience.

The next sighting was a LIFER. A quiet secretive bird skulked amongst the rocks. I immediately realised that I’d never seen this species before, so I didn’t worry about a photo. I just kept studying it so that I could ID it later in the field guide back in the car. It turned out to be a SPECKLED WARBLER. It was the first time ever I had seen this species, my first “lifer” of the trip.

A good day had just turned into a great day.

After a cuppa and afternoon tea we headed further north to Lake Cargelligo, our planned destination for the night in a cabin in the caravan park.

Cocoparra National Park, central New South Wales

Cocoparra National Park, central New South Wales

Great Birding Moments # 30 Superb Blue Wren

Superb Blue Wren (male)

Superb Blue Wren (male)

On a recent picnic in the Newland Head Conservation Park near Victor Harbor we had the delight of a family of Superb Blue Wrens hopping around on the gravel near our feet. There seemed to be about six or seven females and non-coloured males accompanied by one male in full breeding plumage.

As the light catches the iridescent colours on the male it is always a Great Birding Moment. The brilliant colour is almost enough to make one gasp in amazement. The fact that they are happy to feed on the ground only a few metres away is an added bonus.

Click on the photo to enlarge the image.

For more photos click here.

For more Great Birding Moments click here.

Top 5 Great Birding Moments

Red Capped Robin

Red Capped Robin

Over the years I have had many occasions when I have experienced what I have called Great Birding Moments. These are reasonably frequent here in Australia because we have such a wonderful range of very colourful birds to observe. The above photo of the stunningly beautiful Red Capped Robin took quite a deal of effort to obtain. This male bird was quite happy flitting around in an orchard looking for his lunch. I tried for about twenty minutes to zoom in on where he was sitting. Actually, this species very rarely sits for very long; they are always very active. Eventually he became so curious about my antics that he took pity on me and landed – ever so briefly – on a branch no more than about two metres away. Patience was definitely a virtue that day – and it scored me a great photograph. (Click on the photo to enlarge the image).

Great Birding Moments

On this blog I have written a series of articles called Great Birding Moments, all of them similar to the one mentioned above. Some of them – most of them actually – resulted in some amazing photos. Others are examples of being in the right place at the right time and with a camera at the ready. Still other examples are as a result of patient waiting or a deliberate policy to seek out a particular bird.

For new readers of this blog I have selected what I consider my Top 5 Great Birding Moments:

Great Birding Moment #5 – Crested Pigeon (click to view)

Crested Pigeons are resident in our garden here in South Australia. At first glance they seem quite a dull grey colour, but up close the iridescent colours on their wings shines brilliantly in the sun light.

Great Birding Moment #6 – New Holland Honeyeater (click to view)

New Holland Honeyeaters are also a resident species in our garden. They are noisy, gregarious and can be bossy towards other bird species. We enjoy watching them bathing in the bird baths we have in the garden.

Great Birding Moment #10 Noisy Miners (click to view)

Noisy Miners are another Australian species of Honeyeaters. In some parts of the country they are very common but we rarely have them in our garden. The photo featured in this article was taken in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. The photos illustrate that it was another case of being in the right place at the right time with a camera at the ready.

Great Birding Moments #13 Sulphur Crested Cockatoos (click to view)

This series of photos was as a result of a chance encounter with a small flock of Cockatoos in some street trees in suburban Adelaide. I had just left my wife in the nearby Burnside Hospital for an operation, drove around the corner and there they were. They made no attempt to fly away as I came to within a few metres of the tree they were in.

Great Birding Moments # 26 Red Browed Finch (click to view)

This birding moment was not hard to get. It was taken inside a walk-through aviary at the Cleland Wildlife Park near Adelaide, South Australia. What is special about this birding moment is the fact that the photo turned out so beautifully. It just illustrates one of the truly beautiful finches that we have here in Australia. Some people are lucky enough to have this species in their garden.

More Great Birding Moments

If you enjoyed looking at these articles you can access the whole list of Great Birding Moments here. To see more bird photos go to my photo gallery here.

Special Note: This article was written especially for the Top 5 Group Writing Project being conducted on ProBlogger being run by Darren Rowse.

UPDATE: I written two more articles inspired by Darren’s writing project. On my writing blog I have written an article called “Top 5 Writing Hints” and on my travel blog I have written about my “Top 5 Scenery Photos.”

Update: this photo above – and many other photos featured on this site – can now be purchased on a range of merchandise such as T-shirts, aprons, wall plaques, clocks and mugs. Go to my Trevor’s Photos site here.

Great Birding Moments # 29 Crested Pigeon

Crested Pigeon

Crested Pigeon

Sometimes things just go right.

I have spent many frustrating hours chasing – or waiting – for birds to sit just right for a photograph. Just the right pose, at the right angle, with the right light and everything in focus. It doesn’t always happen. Quite often in fact.

So when it all comes together and all the conditions are right AND the photo turns out nicely, it is a bonus. It becomes one of those Great Birding Moments. The pigeon in the photo above came for a drink at the bird bath. It must have seen me moving in the sun-room preparing to take its photo. It almost looks as if it was trying to pose for me. Click on the photo to enlarge the image.

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