Dale’s small year challenge

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dwatsonbb
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Thanks Sue, now that I look again, I agree with your comment on the 2nd Bassian Thrush.

Appreciate everyones support.

Apparently just over 260 species recorded in Tasmania, with somewhere around 80 of those being vagrant. Unsure if the Pelagics are counted in these numbers.

Granted I wont reach the numbers this year of you guys, but I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge, and just maybe I might get to the "Big Island" next year.

I have also started taking notice of flowers, both native and exotic, and will be building a collection of those whilst spotting birds. You could sayI am smelling the roses - litterally.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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Oh I am very jealous of that Bassian Thrush and to get one in the open! I agree I actually like those flowers

dwatsonbb
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Thanks Dev, thought it was a Blackbird at first, very pleased when I was able to identify before the photo (wouldn't have bothered if it were a Blackbird).

A couple from today - replacement for my Black Currawong, this one landed within 10 metres of me, before flying off directly toward me. ID by bright white tail tips (out of focus flight shot), compared to the Grey Currawong. Not sure what it's been eating (white substance on bill looks like bird poo). Heard heaps of Black Currawongs today, but not a peep from the Greys.

47. Black Currawong

Black Currawong by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Black Currawong by Dale Watson, on Flickr

69. Tasmanian Scrubwren (Endemic). 

Delighted to finally get a photo, have seen many times (I think), but difficult to ID in their dark, scub environment. Got maybe 20 photos, had to change some settings (slow shutter speed to 1/60 second and up the ISO) to even come close to getting an acceptable photo. Overcast day in dense wet sclerophyl forest. Was lucky this one landed on the track quite close (to close for a long lens!), and stayed close for maybe 2-3 minutes, had focus set to infinity, rather than 2.2m-10m, anyhow, reasonably happy with the result (could always be better). Settings f/6.3 (aperture priority) shutter speed 1/60th second, ISO 6400 for both.

Not Cropped

Tasmanian Scrubwren by Dale Watson, on FlickrTasmanian Scrubwren by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Great shots, Dale. Those dark places make it hard to get a decent photo & yours is great. I think we are all working the camera settings for the challenge!

Alex Rogers
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Very nice work on the scrubwren (and a bird we will have to travel to hope to see!) - impressive  handholding a big lens at such a slow speed. Your camera does a great job of low noise at that ISO too. Good capture in difficult light!

Devster
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Love the photo of the Black Currawong. I only managed to get a long distance shot of them when I was down there a couple of years ago.  Those BIF shots where they come towards you are so difficult! I found the Scrub Wren very difficult when I was down there but did manage to get some. Thanks for sharing

dwatsonbb
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First fine day for ages that I have been able to get out. Unfortunately nothing new but a couple of upgrades. Still looking for all the shorebirds which have been sighted recently, but not by me!

25. Silver Gull - quite like the portrait aspect of this one

Silver Gull by Dale Watson, on Flickr

42. Musk Lorikeet - would have been all right except for that twig!Musk Lorikeet by Dale Watson, on FlickrMusk Lorikeet by Dale Watson, on Flickr

56. Swamp Harrier - I think clearer photos, still cropped.Swamp Harrier by Dale Watson, on FlickrSwamp Harrier by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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Always nice to get upgrades. I find it hard to get Swamp Harriers where I am and never seen a Musk Lorikeet.

dwatsonbb
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Got my fishing trip in today, not quite the Pelagic, weather was against going too far.

70. Pacific Gull Adult and juvenile (there will be a few more in best photos shortly).

DSCN0771 by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Pacific Gull (Juvenile) by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Alex wrote "but who doesn't like to sea an eagle"  - these are for you Alex, and everyone who loves "to sea an eagle", like your play on words. Think it's an upgrade, but happy with both sets. Taken with the Nikon P900, not taking my good camera on a small boat!

64. White-bellied Sea Eagle.

White-Bellied Sea Eagle by Dale Watson, on Flickr

White Bellied Sea Eagle by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

dwatsonbb
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71. Spotted Dove - EBC - you can just make out the spots on the neck, sighted driving on a busy road, no chance to turn around and get the light behind me.Spotted Dove by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Lovely shots, Dale. I also like to sea an eagle but the gulls are great. Sea looks pretty smooth.

Devster
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I love the lipstick on the Pacific Gulls. We don't get them up in Brissy. Yes always love to sea an eagle. Especially to Sea a Sea Eagle. You can definately tell they are Spotted Doves

dwatsonbb
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Thanks Sue and Dev. The water was calm, but we were tucked up in a bay to avoid the wind. Not much further out the waves were more than metre, with winds around the 25klm/hr.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

pip-lb
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That's a great sea eagle portrait, Dale. They're a mighty bird.

Alex Rogers
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The gulls are great, we don't get them here regularly, they are very impressive. And of course I love the sea eagles, thanks for posting them :-)

dwatsonbb
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A couple of new photos, finally found Tasmanian Thornbills (at least I hope they are) which were almost cooperative. Peleverata Falls, south of Hobart, not much water falling, but a great day. Might not get too many more, time is running out, and we have daughter and 6 yo grandson arriving Saturday, and I still have to work. Really lookng forward to a full year, might nearly get a hundred.

72. Tasmanian Thornbill. ID by light/white underparts and slightly longer cinnamon/rufous tail. The eye is also not as red. All are heavily cropped. Decided not to use my Teleconverter any more, makes for soft, noisy and difficult to focus. Rather crop the crap out of them, better results in my oipinion (see Scarlet Robin below).

Tasmanian Thornbill by Dale Watson, on FlickrTasmanian Thornbill by Dale Watson, on FlickrTasmanian Thornbill by Dale Watson, on Flickr

73. Beautiful Firetail. Backlighting was I thought going to be an isssue, but decided the result is not to fowl. Again Heavy crop. Still waiting to get to my mates place, where I can get closer - they are there most days, just need time when we are both about.

Beautiful Firetail by Dale Watson, on Flickr

58.Scarlet Robin appears to be in transition out of breeding colours? - upgrade in that it is closer, not cropped, but taken with the Teleconverter, looks soft, and focus was an issue, also was quite bright almost backlight again.Scarlet Robin by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

pip-lb
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Wow, Dale, you've really done justice to that Beautiful Firetail. We have them in a few places around the Victorian coast but i've never seen one. Well done, really lovely shot and i think the light gives it something a bit different, brings out the amazing eye or something. 

I'm no expert on thornbills and happy to accept that as a Tasmanian but blimey they look a lot like brown thornbills. Selfishly I'm glad i don't have to tell the difference in Victoria, i have enough trouble as it is. 

Great stuff.    

sue818
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Nice ones, Dale. Love the Beautiful Firetail, one I have yet to photograph. Agree with Tasmanian Thornbill for reasons you state and the first shot shows some orange edge to the wing which is not found on Brown Thornbills. Really difficult to photograph these little ones as ithey hang about in the dark understory so well done.

I have also found that a TC on my shorter lens is a bit soft so have tended to stay with the long lens instead. Not sure I will add much in this final week as quite busy... annoyingly, I can hear birds around the house but they are not being cooperative.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

dwatsonbb
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Thanks Pip and Sue. Seems you look for ages and can't find, (Tas. Thornbill) once you see one they're everywhere. Upgrade for TTB. Although the 2nd photo has a branch partially covering the face, thought it was a good one to confirm ID. Taken Hastings Caves Thermal Pool, 23rd December.

72. Tasmanian Thornbill2Q5A2302 by Dale Watson, on FlickrTasmanian Thornbill by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

dwatsonbb
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72 my final count,  Im done. Happy with my count given my opportunities. Target for 2020 a very conservative 100. That will be an increase on my current life list.

Thanks to all for a great chalkenge.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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Good on you Dale.

I hope to get to Tasmania this year for a bit

Alex Rogers
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Dale, congrats on your 72 birds, and some lovely additions to make that number. I agree with your Tasmanian Thornbill - I've spent a LOT of time recently trying to distinguish between Brown and Tassie (and often couldn't) but I think your markers are all evident, also the slightly browner forehead is evident in your lovely photo 2Q5A2302  - nice shot! 

I SO enjoyed my trip around Tassie and the birding was excellent - I'll post more about that on my own thread - but you have an excellent variety of lovely and interesting birds right at home, so I think your target of 100 for next year will be fun and achievable. 

Devster
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One thing I learnt about the Tasmanian Thornbill is they have frilly knickers. Thats what a local told me was a way to distinquish the two species.

dwatsonbb
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Thanks guys. Thanks for the tip Dev, looking forward to your Tassies photos Alex, seems as if you had a good time. Weather would have been reasnable and not as much smoke as NSW. I am looking forward to getting started,

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

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