Friday, 12 December 2014

South Australia Photos

Here are a few photos from my time in South Australia. Gradually getting through them all! I took quite a lot of photos....

Australian 'Mallee' Ringneck © Andy Walker 2014

Australian Owlet-Nightjar © Andy Walker 2014

Australian Pratincole © Andy Walker 2014

Bassian Thrush © Andy Walker 2014

Brolga © Andy Walker 2014

Brown Quail © Andy Walker 2014

Budgie © Andy Walker 2014

Cape Barren Goose © Andy Walker 2014

Common Bronzewing © Andy Walker 2014

Crested Pigeon © Andy Walker 2014

Emu © Andy Walker 2014

Galah © Andy Walker 2014

Gang-gang Cockatoo © Andy Walker 2014

Golden Whistler © Andy Walker 2014

Hooded Plover © Andy Walker 2014

Inland Dotterel © Andy Walker 2014

Little Corella © Andy Walker 2014

Little Penguin © Andy Walker 2014

Long-toed Stint © Andy Walker 2014

Malleefowl © Andy Walker 2014

Mulga Parrot © Andy Walker 2014

New Holland Honeyeater © Andy Walker 2014

Pacific Gull © Andy Walker 2014

Rainbow Bee-eater © Andy Walker 2014

Red Wattlebird © Andy Walker 2014

Red-backed Kingfisher © Andy Walker 2014

Rufous Treecreeper © Andy Walker 2014

Rufous Whistler © Andy Walker 2014

Scarlet-chested Parrot © Andy Walker 2014

Scarlet-chested Parrot © Andy Walker 2014

Short-tailed Grasswren © Andy Walker 2014

Singing Honeyeater © Andy Walker 2014

Splendid Fairy-Wren © Andy Walker 2014

Spotless Crake © Andy Walker 2014

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo © Andy Walker 2014

Superb Fairy-Wren © Andy Walker 2014

White-browed Woodswallow (left) and Masked Woodswallow (right) © Andy Walker 2014

Zebra Finch © Andy Walker 2014

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

New Pitta

Just back from my month long birding trip round South Australia and Queensland. Recorded something in the vicinity of 435 birds, and saw an incredible range of other animals such as Duck-billed Platypus, Koala, Echidna, Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, lots of Kangaroos and Wallabies and a range of cool lizards, snakes and frogs. I'll be writing up my report as I get time over the next few weeks and months and adding some photos here and there from what was a highly enjoyable trip.

For now, Pitta Number 11: Noisy Pitta. I had this bird in Lamington National Park near dawn. It's call which sounds like "walk-to-work" was easy to pick up and by following the call I was soon able to enjoy views of this rather large pitta. This bird was one of 4/5 birds calling from a small area of forest. I also recorded this species at several other locations throughout Queensland.

Noisy Pitta

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Brief Update

Sorry for the lack of posts over recent months. I've been totally flat out at work. Big news is the following:

1. Australia is fast approaching - a little over 3 weeks (and counting). I've got most of the trip locked and loaded and really looking forward to it. Got a pelagic sorted off South Australia, and a cruise on the Daintree. Looking forward to some great birds...

2. Got some extra time to kill over Christmas so have decided to shoot back to Thailand for a few weeks birding. I'll have a couple of days in Malaysia on the way to hopefully target a couple of key species such as Mangrove Pitta and Mountain Peacock-Pheasant, then head to North Thailand for 2 weeks before having a week in Khao Yai - targeting a range of species such as Mrs Hume's Pheasant, Silver Pheasant and Siamese Fireback...

So, a couple of interesting trips on the horizon, and that's before even thinking about 2015...

Hoping for one big autumn tick on the East Coast before I go, thinking Yellow-browed Bunting...

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Is it Autumn Already?

I had a really productive June and after last weekends twitch (details here and here) thought that would be that until September/October time. Well, turns out I was wrong!

Got back home after walking the dogs to hear that there was a Black-winged Pratincole in County Durham - a potential lifer for me. A quick check on the map revealed it was fairly close to home so I decided to brave the Tour de France traffic and take a punt on it.

The roads were practically clear and a short while later I was on site looking at a distant Lapwing flock. The Pratincole still being present, just out of view. After not too long something flushed the Lapwings and the Black-winged Pratincole was picked up briefly in flight a couple of times before the flock settled back down. It was always pretty distant but could be seen preening, stretching its wings out, showing all dark wings with white rump.

I decided to re-position myself a bit closer to the birds chosen field where I got much better views of it on the ground. It was still generally keeping fairly low but would occasionally would stick its head up and look up though didn't look too bothered when some of the Lapwings were flushed by various large birds flying overhead and never really looked like doing anything. I grabbed one record shot on my phone as it was keeping low, but it is pretty poor, even by my standards! I think you can almost tell that it's not a Lapwing!

Black-winged Pratincole (iPhone-scoped record shot)

I think this was a first for County Durham and about the 42nd UK record; it was also a UK tick and lifer for me (#2550) but more importantly it was a grip-back on Dave after he got the Norfolk bird in 2009 that I couldn't get to.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Farne Island Photos

My last post was a bit of a long wordy one due to the big weekend Short-toed Eagle and Bridled Tern twitch (click here to be taken to it). One of the highlights on Inner Farnes was getting up close to a number of sea birds, so less words this time, just lots of photos! All taken on my Panasonic Lumix FZ200.

Puffin © Andy Walker 2014
Puffin © Andy Walker 2014

Puffin © Andy Walker 2014

Razorbill © Andy Walker 2014

Guillemot © Andy Walker 2014

Arctic Tern © Andy Walker 2014

Arctic Tern © Andy Walker 2014

Arctic Tern © Andy Walker 2014

Arctic Tern © Andy Walker 2014

Common Tern © Andy Walker 2014

Common Tern © Andy Walker 2014

Sandwich Tern © Andy Walker 2014

Bridled Tern © Andy Walker 2014

Juvenile Black-headed Gull © Andy Walker 2014

Herring Gull © Andy Walker 2014

Kittiwake © Andy Walker 2014

Kittiwake © Andy Walker 2014

Red-breasted Merganser © Andy Walker 2014

Shag © Andy Walker 2014

Luis Suarez the Puffin not biting another Puffin © Andy Walker 2014