Superb Parrot

Superb Parrot, Adelaide Zoo

On our recent trip to Sydney we stopped quite a few times for a meal break, to refuel or to change drivers. Generally we choose meals breaks where we know we have a good chance of seeing at least some birds. We’ve travelled this route many times in the last 15 years so we can visit family who live in Sydney. These trips have become very regular in the last four years. Grandchildren (ages nearly 5 and nearly 2) are something of an added attraction these days.

On our most recent trip a few weeks’ ago we didn’t get any chances to get out birding in the Sydney region itself. The first 10 days were very wet and cold, and them I spent the rest of the time confined to quarters with bronchitis. I’m still not fully over it three weeks later.

I did manage a little birding at meal breaks on our return journey. We were planning on stopping at the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens on the first day of our return trip, but fading light and a bitterly cold wind convinced us to press on towards Narrandera for the night. Just east of Wagga Wagga we stopped at a roadside rest area in the Borambola district to change drivers. As I opened the car door my attention was immediately caught by a bird call. It was coming from a eucalyptus tree some twenty metres from where we’d parked the car. I whipped out the binoculars – sadly they’d been neglected for most of our trip – and searched for the bird. Eventually I found it sitting right at the outer foliage of a tall tree, with only its head and neck showing. Too high for a photo and only just enough of the bird showing to give positive identification.

This was only about the third time I’ve seen a Superb Parrot, aptly named for its wonderful colours. Because I didn’t get a photo on this occasion I’ve used one I took in an aviary at the Adelaide Zoo a few years ago.

Further reading:

Happy birthday

White-faced Heron, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens, NSW

To all my regular readers I’m sorry there has been quite a delay since my last post here. I’ve been busy finishing off the academic year and getting snowed under a little with all the end of semester marking. Nearly there.

I ignored the assignments waiting for my attention today because it’s my birthday.

I had a relaxing day, didn’t pressure myself in any way, enjoyed the lovely spring sunshine and gentle breeze. The highlight of the day was chatting via Skype with my grandchildren in Sydney. Precious times. Nearly went out birding, but didn’t in the end.

Instead of showing a photo taken today, I looked through my photo album to share one not seen here before. The shot above was taken a few weeks ago on our way back from Sydney. It shows a very obliging White-faced Heron feeding on one of the grassy areas in the beautiful Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens.

Wattlebirds and grevilleas

Grevillea flowers, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Sydney Trip Report June 2011

A few days ago I wrote about our short visit to the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens in southern NSW. We were on our way home from holidaying in Sydney with family. These gardens are small but hold a nice range of Australian and exotic plants. It’s also a good spot to get right off the highway, relax with a picnic or a cuppa, and enjoy the range of birds resident in the area.

On this visit I managed to photograph several of the Grevillea species in flower, and while doing so I also captured a Red Wattlebird feeding on one of the bushes (see photo below). It must have been hungry, for the bird almost completely ignored me and my camera only a short distance away. I guess it also needed to stock up on energy for the cold night which was quickly closing in. It had been a bitterly cold day, quite unpleasant for being out and about.

While my prime objective is to photograph our wonderful Australian birds and showcase them here in this site, I also enjoy getting great shots of our native flowers like the Grevilleas. (You can see more photos of flowers, both native and exotic, on my other site, Trevor’s Travels. Click on the Parks and Gardens category or click here.

Red Wattlebird feeding on Grevillea flowers

Grevillea flowers, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Some birds of the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Australian Magpie, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Sydney Trip Report June 2011

On the first day of our journey home we stopped briefly in the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens for an afternoon cuppa and toilet break, a spot we’ve enjoyed on other occasions. The large rural city of Wagga Wagga is worth a longer stay than just a half hour or so. I’d really like to explore this lovely city and the region in more depth one day. We always seem to be in a rush somewhere when we go through this area. [Sigh]

Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

One this occasion it was quite late in the afternoon, still cold and cloudy and we still had about an hour’s drive to our accommodation for the night in Narrandera further west. I didn’t have much time for birding nor photography, though I did get some nice shots of Australian Magpies and Grevilleas (native Australian plants).

Grevillea, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Other birds seen included:

  • Pied Currawong,
  • Rainbow Lorikeets,
  • White-plumed Honeyeaters,
  • Red Wattlebirds,
  • Crested Pigeons,
  • Galahs

Australian Magpie, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Juvenile Australian Magpie, Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens