Alex's Small Year 2019

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Alex Rogers
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47) Red-tailed Black Cockatoo - very striking birds that seem to float rather than fly - their wing-beats are unfeasibly leisurely. The red darts under their tails are incredibly striking - unfortunately couldn't capture that on camera. 

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48) Bar-shouldered Dove - one of 3 new doves & pigeons I saw on this trip

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49) Silver-crowned Friarbird - very like our familiar Noisy Friarbirds but only found up North, these were in a huge flock feeding in flowering gums. I never managed to get close to them, so a poor photo I'm afraid. 

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50) White-necked Heron - a lovely graceful heron, fishing in the Katherine River

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Now this one could be a bird ID challenge.... a very peculiar pose, which he held for about 5 minutes before disappearing into the gloom of a mango tree. I never did get a conventional shot 

51) Blue-faced Honeyeater

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52) Straw-necked Ibis

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53) Forest Kingfisher - what a lovely bird, photo doesn;t do him justice. 

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For me, the bird of Katherine was the Black Kite - ever present, they circle over the town in their  hundreds, gliding over the parks and streets and construction sites, and concentrated in huge flocks at the town tip. Even if they are a "shite-hawk" as my old dad used to say, they are awesome flyers and very cool to see in such numbers. 

54) Black Kite

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55) Look again - not a Rainbow Lorikeet, but a Red-collared Lorikeet. My old Morecombe shows this as a race of the rainbow, but I see that it has been re-classified into a full species, Trichoglossus rubritorquis - and eBird and PK have it that way, so I'm claiming it :-) Note the orange collar and full orange chest with no yellow

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56) Torresian Imperial Pigeon - this was a bit special, I'd been really hoping to see them, and didn't - until I saw these two in a tree in the Darwin airport parking lot on my way out :-) 

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And so back to Sydney. A few locals from the Royal National Park nearby 

57) Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

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58) Australian Wood Duck

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59) a bit more cryptic, as well as very poor photo, but nonetheless a White-throated Treecreeper

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Some more from the little park near me. 

60) Pied Currawong

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61) Willie Wagtail. 

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62) Spotted Dove
 

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63) Common Starling

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64) Chestnut Teal

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65) Australian Pelican. It was a good sighting, he was fishing the Cooks River and I got a good look at him using that incredible beak. But it was pre-dawn and overcast, so I had to push the ISO even to get this. 

pip-lb
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Some great birds Alex. I really have to get myself to the NT at some point. Some of those territorian species seem fantastically exotic to me. 

Alex Rogers
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It would be well worth a special trip - a week or so based around Darwin would add a LOT of birds to your average birder's list. I found it a bit overwhelming actually - trying to cram an hour of birding in after work, and so many new birds all around. There were literally dozens that I couldn't identify or photograph, and I still added about 10 to my life list. Might have to take my family up there and go on a Kakadu mission. 

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A few more from around home & work: 

66) Australian Brushturkey - common and unafraid in the bush near Manly. 

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67) Welcome Swallow. These guys live under the pier at Manly Wharf, and are often sunning themselves when I get off in the morning. 

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68) Australian Magpie. 

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Pied Currawong - this guy was nesting in a discarded tyre - didn't realise that or I wouldn't have got so close. 

(Edit - Oops - duplicate - I'll have to add another #69)

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70) Red-whiskered Bulbul - I could NOT get these guys to pose in the sunshine for me, so very dodgy shot I'm afraid, into the light inside a mulberry bush. They were loving the mulberries. 

Alex Rogers
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And then another trip to the wetlands at Sydney Olympic Park. What a great place for birders. They have a hide, unfortunately placed a bit far from the water, but very productive. Hard to photograph from though, even at 2000mm equiv zoom. 

71) Red-necked Avocet. There are hundreds of these resident there. Possibly my favourite wader. 

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72) Red-kneed Dotterel - sorry about the poor quality, a very small bird a long way away. You can also see sharp-tailed sandpiper and pied stilts

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73) Black-fronted Dotterel - another small bird a long way away! I did get a decent look at him with the binoculars, but when I tried to approach for a photo he was off. 

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74) Bar-tailed Godwits

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75) Caspian Tern - a juvenile resting in the shallows with a few seagulls. 

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76) Buff-banded Rail - only the second time I've seend these, and the first time I have had a chance to photograph them, so I was very excited when these guys came out and lingered on the path. A great sighting. 

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But my most exciting sighting of the day was 

77) White-bellied Sea Eagles. They were roosting on trees on the Parramatta River, and are the parents of SE-23 & SE-24 on Eagle Cam here https://www.sea-eaglecam.org/video.html . Birdlife are doing a fab job with their Sea Eagle program, and I felt very lucky to see them. Apparently it is unusual for 2 chicks to reach this stage (normally the weaker one doesn't survive) so they are hoping for 2 fledglings this year. 

sue818
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Well done Alex, some lovely shots there. The challenge does make you look closely at any bird you spot.

pip-lb
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I've never seen a Bulbul, they really are something. Very cool.

Great shots Alex.

Alex Rogers
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Just got back from a work trip to Geraldton, WA where I managed to get a few more bird pics, and a couple of sightings for my life list. 

Replacement for #69 duplicate earlier is the Rufous Whistler. I wasn't able to get a good picture despite trying hard - he was flitting about in the shady undergrowth- but it is identifiable. Lovely song. 

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#78) Australian Ringneck - a first for me. Also an Every Bird Counts shot unfortunately - was just unable to get focus lock in the thick casuarinas and dull light - but as this is a lifer for me and I'm unlikely to see one again soon, I'll post it anyway. 

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#79 Grey Shrikethrush - another lovely songster, I tracked him down through thick bush as I could hear him from hundreds of metres away. 

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#80) Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator)- had a great sighting of these nesting. Thought they were Little Corellas at first but longer beaks and larger size distinguishes them. Long-billed Corellas have been introduced to perth, but this was up at Greenough River near Geraldton, and none of these had red on chest. The darker fronts confused me for a while until I realised it was dirt - they have been digging and some of them are very dirty birds! A new bird for me. 

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81) Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis) - introduced from South Africa, I think, certainly familiar from there. Restricted to SW WA grain belt. 

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#82) Singing Honeyeater - had a lovely sighting of a family of these. 

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#83) White-plumed honeyeater - for once I got one of these guys to pose nicely for me. 

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#84) Sacred Kingfisher - he gave me 5 seconds to capture this shot and he was off - gorgeous little bird. 

dwatsonbb
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Some nice sightings, your lucky to be able to get around, certainly increases chances seeing more species.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

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And then a few new shorebirds at the Greenough River mouth. 

#85) Red-capped Plover was a new bird for me. Tiny little guys running through the sea-wrack along the shore. Quite shy and I had to stalk them for a long time to get any images at all. 

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#86) Red-necked Stint was also a lifer for me. In a mixed flock with Curlew Sandpipers (although only stints shown here). Tiny little birds that move like clockwork toys. I was able to get to about 25m away moving slowly and taking lots of shots before they spooked and flew further down the lagoon. 

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Here are a few from this weekend: 

#87) Cattle Egret. Never seen these in their breeding plumage before, a nice sighting. 

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A bonus Red-browed Finch just cos I like it :-) 

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#88) Fairy Martin. Normally difficult to photo, these guys were flying down to a mud puddle to get mud for their nests. 

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89) Black-faced Morarch. Was very pleased to get this photo, only the second time I've seen one of these. Migrant breeder in Sydney area so not very common. 

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