Digiscoped with Swarovski ATS65 HD scope.
15 October 2006
This was one of two juvenile birds in company with two adults there. One of Australia's hardest owls it just so happened to be my first Aussie owl - so often there is just no sense in the way things happen in birding!
15 October 2006
Digiscoped with Swarovski ATS 65 HD.
5 October 2008
Unlike many nightbirds this one is arguably easier to find during the day, as they are not the most vocal of birds and therefore not easy to come by under cover of darkness. We had checked a noted hole for this bird several times over the few days we were at O Reilly's, and had resigned ourselves to the fact that it may not be using this long-favored roosting hole any longer. During an afternoon walk down the Border Track I nonetheless glanced up at the hole just in case, and some distance off I could see a very cute grey head looking curiously out from the dead tree. The two people on this custom tour were very quickly sold on the cuteness of Owlet-nightjars, and it immediately rocketed to the top of their trip list. I am a night bird addict, and there is something special about Owlet-Nightjars in particular. I just wish more of the species could be as obliging as this one can be!
22 July 2008
Also known as Western Yellow Robin
5 August 2008
Just as I was leaving Bowra (and trying in vain to get a last gasp Grey Falcon), I saw something pale and grey sitting way off in the distance. On lifting my bins I was stunned to see a group of three Ground Cuckoo-shrikes perched up high in the trees, that allowed me to get quite close to them before dropping down from the trees and being lost from sight soon after.
18 July 2008
The Holy Grail for me of Aussie shorebirds. This had always been at the top of the pile for Australian waders, although this interest was fuelled further when a good friend and ex-pat Aussie birder kept dropping the odd comment that after 5 or 6 years on Antipodean soil this was his favourite Aussie bird. I had only seen my first a few days earlier on a night safari for Plains Wanderer near Deniliquin. There is something though about seeing birds like these in some of the harshest desert environments that gives them an edge. This one was sitting out on the massive expanse of gibber plains that dominate the landscape on this part of the Birdsville Track. We had literally driven through non-stop gibber for around 300km by the time we ran into a few of these smart waders hanging out in this dry and parched country. They have an amazing ability to blend into the dry gravel roads so that, like this one, you can almost drive right over one before you realize it is even there.
9 August 2008
Major Mitchell's Cockatoo