Random Photos

I recently purchased a new camera, a bridge camera, and I’m really happy with the results I’ve been getting so far, especially as it is more advanced than cameras I’ve used before. So here are some random shots I’ve taken.

Looking up at paperbark trees
Female superb fairy wren – with an attitude!
A male superb fairy wren proving that the early bird does indeed get the worm!
A blackbird – perhaps with a broken beak. Just as he flew off ……
Another one took his place!
Black swans in flight
A silver gull having a sit down
Eurasian coots making a beeline for me!
Random ducks
A peaceful country setting by the river (zoom from my house)
Look Mum – I can walk on water!
Ducks in flight

Black swans are always beautiful to watch.

In a week’s time I am going away on holiday to Cradle Mountain and I’m hoping to get some great photos with my new camera of the wilderness and wildlife there. My work friends have guaranteed I will see plenty of pademelons and wombats! It might even snow!! 🙂

 

Down Brownfield Lane

Opposite the Riverside High School near Launceston is a small park and a lake. I couldn’t see any sign as to what it is called and maps don’t have a name for it either.  I visited there one afternoon and found there are quite a number of birds there. It’s a lovely country setting, the lake surrounded by trees, now starting to change colour in late autumn, and farmhouses and green paddocks abound up to the Tamar River with mountains in the distance.

Turbo chooks (Native Hens)
Although turbo chooks are waterbirds and often seen at the Wetlands, this was the first time I had seen one actually in the water.
Native Hen (Turbo Chook) These birds are only found in Tasmania and belong to the rail family.
One of a huge flock of sulphur crested cockatoos I often see flying around the area.
It wouldn’t be a park without a magpie!
This pair of galahs were spotted near the car park.
Couldn’t identify this duck. Anyone know?
Pacific black ducks.
Found these trying to be invisible on the lake edge among trees. Not sure what type of duck they are.
Wood ducks having a meeting
Eurasian coot

I was treated to a quick diving display from a Eurasian coot!

There were quite a lot of these Silver gulls around
An adult and a juvenile silver gull
Silver gulls chilling in the afternoon sun
A lone feral domestic goose was hanging out with its duck friends
He seemed quite friendly and at one point swam right up to me.
Find of the day! A yellow wattlebird. My first sighting of this bird, only found in Tasmania.

This park and lake are definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

 

 

Summer’s Day Low Tide At The Wetlands

On a bright sunny summer’s day recently, I decided to try my luck birdwatching at Tamar Island Wetlands. I wasn’t expecting to see too much in the way of wildlife as it was quite a warm day and early afternoon with a low tide. I thought the majority of the birds would be hiding away in some shade somewhere, but I was quite surprised by what I found.

Low tide at Tamar Island Wetlands
Several great egrets and a cormorant hanging out together
Chestnut teal having a quiet midday snooze
Grey teals snoozing nearby
Another image of low tide at Tamar Island Wetlands
A variety of birds in one spot – black swans, great egrets, chestnut teals, grey teals and a masked lapwing
A young Australasian swamphen, the parent was close by.
A pair of geese foraging.
Cracked dried mud
A muddy beaked masked lapwing (plover)
A lovely cool and shady spot next to the bird hide
A grey teal with something to say
One of the lovely views from the boardwalk.
White faced herons.
A pair of chestnut teals.
Mother swan with her growing babies
Another view of the wetlands

If you ever find yourself in the Launceston area, it’s worth a trip out to the Tamar Island Wetlands as you can see all kinds of birds anytime of the day and the views are beautiful.

 

 

Spring Babies at Tamar Island Wetlands

It was such a lovely sunny, spring afternoon today, I couldn’t resist a walk at the Tamar Island Wetlands. I’m glad I went because it was so worth it to see a number of spring babies!

Close to the boardwalk was a pair of black swans and their 2 cygnets. Aren’t they adorable!?

Further along, there was another pair of black swans who had four babies, but these were a bit older – still cute though!

On my way out near the entry to the wetlands, I spotted these tiny cuties – mallard ducklings.

And just as I was about to drive home, I spotted these baby turbo chooks (Tasmanian Native Hens) in the car park!

Hope you enjoyed my photos of these little balls of fluff! 🙂

 

 

Nature And Wildlife At Pacific Pines Central Park

Central Park at Pacific Pines, Gold Coast

It’s been about a year since I’ve been to Central Park on the Gold Coast and I thought I would go again and see if I find the same birds. However, the day I decided to go was really warm, 27 degrees, very unseasonal for a winter’s day, so I left it until around 4pm to arrive there. Although it was nice and mild and shady by that time, I forgot that it also meant the light was pretty poor for photography. Ah well.

Here are some shots of part of the pathway and the small lagoons as well as the main lake. I have to say that this park is very well maintained and looks clean and tidy.

 

A section of pathway past the lake
Cricket oval next to the lake with torresian crows and willie wagtails
A small lagoon
One end of the main lake
Some of the local residents of the park

It was a pleasant surprise to find some native blossoms throughout the park.

Pink blossoms on a gum tree – they remind me of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie!
More blossoms on a gum tree
A type of wattle flower
Another wattle tree

There was quite a good number of birds in the park, most swimming and diving in the main lake, the others sitting on the bank in the afternoon sun, or perched in the trees twittering away.

One lone Australasian grebe
A Pacific black duck catching the last rays of afternoon sun
A Peewee or Magpielark
Dusky moorhen
Australian wood ducks
Willie wagtail
Little corella
Eurasian coots
Common myna (or Indian myna) which is an invasive species
Australasian swamphen who walked right past me!
Darter – a surprise find at the park
Little egret

But the nicest find for the day was seeing the pair of black swans and their nest.

For more information about visiting Central Park on the Gold Coast click here.

 

 

 

Birds Galore at Pacific Pines Central Park

Last week a relative told me that they had been regularly seeing a family of black swans at their local park, so last Sunday we went for a short drive to take a look. Little did I know that Pacific Pines Central Park is teeming with birdlife! It was a great afternoon outing and we spotted quite a number of different birds, including 3 birds we had never seen before.

pacific pines central park

This is the Black Swan family that we came to the park to see. We were told that this pair originally had 8 cygnets but now there are only 4. The family seemed very at ease in this environment, and we were able to watch them swimming around, feeding, and then preening and snoozing in the afternoon sun on the edge of the lake.

black swan and cygnets

We saw a few of these birds called a Eurasian Coot and it was interesting watching them feed as they swam around the lake.

eurasian coot

There were a number of Dusky Moorhens at the park, including this one who seems to have rebuilt a nest after a bad storm the day before.

dusky moorhen on nest

We saw this solitary Australasian Grebe.

australasian grebe

There was a single Magpielark (also known as a Peewee) feeding around the lake’s edge.

magpielark

We also saw a Willie Wagtail.

willie wagtail

Some noise high up in the gum trees drew our attention to a small flock of Long Billed Corellas. Interestingly, these birds are feral here on the Gold Coast. The numbers have built up over the years due to people releasing captive birds into the wild.

longbilled corellas sitting in a tree

And of course, there are the obligatory Pacific Black Ducks wherever there is a waterway.

pacific black ducks

We noticed quite a few Welcome Swallows at the park. They are incredible to watch as they zip around low over the water feeding on the fly. They are so fast it can be quite challenging getting a good photo of them.

welcome swallows

welcome swallows

This is one of the birds we had never seen before. It’s a Figbird. There were 3 of them perched in a tree and I was able to get a short video of one calling. This tree was close to the edge of the park by the road so apologies for the traffic noise.

figbirds in a tree

 

In the very next tree was another bird we had not seen before – a Striped Honeyeater. This little bird was oblivious to us and was completely focussed on preening. These were the best photos I could get because he moved around so much.

striped honeyeater

 

striped honeyeater

And then just a few trees away, we saw our third bird that was new to us – a Grey Fantail. We spent some time watching this little bird only to realise that as we kept walking these birds were suddenly everywhere in the trees! They are quite small and move very quickly so it was difficult to get decent photos, but I did manage to get a short video of one flitting around on a tree branch.

grey fantail

 

And as expected, we saw a White Ibis (behind the swans).

white ibis and blackswan

This elegant bird is a Great Egret, a very tall distinctive bird, easy to identify and hard to miss.

great egret

This bird is a Little Egret, much smaller than the one above and with a darker bill.

little egret

Further along, the environment changes and we came across some more common backyard birds.

This one is a male Superb Fairy Wren or commonly called Blue Wren.

blue wren

This was the only Magpie at the park and he came up to me to have his photo taken.

australian magpie

 

There were plenty of these Indian Mynas (also known as Common Mynas) at the park. We saw at least half a dozen on the ground and heard plenty more in the trees. These birds are an introduced species and are a bit of a pest.

indian mynahs

There were also quite a number of Torresian Crows, most were walking around but some were flying between the trees and cawing.

torresian crow

And we spied a pair of Wood Ducks looking for food.

wood ducks

As you can see, Pacific Pines Central Park is well worth a visit. We saw all these birds in only an hour of walking around the edge of the lake. It’s a big park and has a few playgrounds for the kids and a sporting area as well as a section of gym equipment for public use. There’s something here for the whole family. The park is easy to find, opposite the Pacific Pines High School and you can find out more about the park here.

 

 

 

 

Boondall Wetlands Visit August 2015

In August 2015 we were driving home from an outing in the morning north of Brisbane and saw a sign for Boondall Wetlands, so on impulse we decided to turn off and check it out. It was mid afternoon and a weekday, so it was really quiet and peaceful and not another soul was around.

The information centre there gave us some details about walking and bicycle tracks as well as the wildlife and birdlife you might get to see. There are several walks, a few short ones through treed areas and along the water, and a much longer one which circuits a little beach.

As we didn’t have a lot of time and the visit was unplanned, we decided to try the shorter 2km walk. The track is easy and quite wide and well maintained. We did hear some birds flying in amongst the trees, but we weren’t quick enough to spot them or take a photo of them. But we were pleasantly surprised when we came across a bird hide along the track and took some time out to sit and watch.

These are the birds that we managed to see in only about 15 minutes of being there.

Here is a video of some Chestnut Teal ducks we saw across the water.

These are the other birds we saw.

AUSTRALIAN PELICAN
AUSTRALIAN PELICAN

 

BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERON
BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERON

 

SILVER GULL
SILVER GULL

 

MANGROVE KINGFISHER
MANGROVE KINGFISHER

 

DARTER
DARTER

It was low tide when we were there and there were hundreds of little crabs crawling everywhere.

I got to see this magnificent Mangrove Kingfisher find a takeaway meal!

Boondall Wetlands was an interesting place to visit and I’d like to go again for the day and do the longer walk to the beach and even return in another season to see what type of birds show up around the hide.

Hot tip – make sure you take a hat, sunscreen and have plenty of insect repellent for the myriad of sand flies and mosquitoes!!

Visit the Boondall Wetlands website to find out more about it. Click here to a link to a council brochure with track maps.