Dale's Big Year Challenge 2020

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dwatsonbb
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Dale's Big Year Challenge 2020

Thought seeing as it is a New Year, I would try and find a new bird (to me at least) for my 1st photo.

Snug Falls Track today - 1st it was very close, but in the shade, 2nd light was better but couldn't get as close as I would like. Not great photos, but clearly identifiable. Nothing else exciting. Waiting for better photos of the more common birds.

1. Pink Robin (male).

Pink Robin by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Pink Robin by Dale Watson, on Flickr

sue818
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Beautiful, Dale. What a fitting way to start. 

Alex Rogers
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Yes, great start, Pink Robins are awesome :-) I found them tricky to photograph too - quite shy and always in the shade. 

dwatsonbb
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Thanks for you encouraging comments, havent had alot of time to do much.

Got out Tuesday morning, was a bit overcast, and had some backlit birds.Took some 1200 photos,1100 or so got deleted!

 Anyway here is my attempt to close the gap, at least for a day or so anyway. Quite a few EBCs but also happy with a few.

2. Australian Magpie 

Australian Magpie by Dale Watson, on Flickr

3.Little Pied Cormorant, classic Cormorant pose.

Little Pied Cormorant by Dale Watson, on Flickr

4. Little Black Cormorant.

Little Black Cormorant by Dale Watson, on Flickr

5. Musk Lorikeet - there were hundreds of these, took me a while to find some in the open I love these guys.

Musk Lorikeet by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Musk Lorikeet by Dale Watson, on Flickr

6. Long Billed Corella.

Long Billed Corella by Dale Watson, on Flickr

7. Eastern Great Egret, breeding plumage - saw 3 of these in different locations, this one quite close, love these to, so a couple of photos.

Great Egret by Dale Watson, on Flickrgr

Great Egret by Dale Watson, on Flickr

8. Australian Shelduck EBC, 1st time where I am able to confirm ID, believe I have seen before, but not close enough to ID.

Australian Shelduck by Dale Watson, on Flickr

9. Australasion Shoveler EBC heavily cropped a new bird to me.

Australasian Shoveler by Dale Watson, on Flickr

10. Kelp Gull (juvenile) - thought from the beak it was a Pacific Gull, but there were only adult Kelps around so listing as Kelp (hopefully I am wrong, I have another nice photo of a younger Kelp)

Kelp Gull by Dale Watson, on Flickr

11. White Faced Heron - fair way off, like the surrounds so I have not cropped, took flight shortly after BAAAGGHHH.

White Faced Heron by Dale Watson, on Flickr

12. Eurasian Coot with young - these are almost as common as Blackbirds is some places, I think there are several thousand on the Derwent River near the Bridewater Bridge.

Eurasian Coot with young by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Eurasian Coot with young by Dale Watson, on Flickr

13. Tasmanian Native Hen - not the best photo, maybe I will upgrade later?

Tasmanian Native Hen by Dale Watson, on Flickr

14. Green Rosella again an EBC ordinary photo.

Green Rosella by Dale Watson, on Flickr

15. Muscovy - domestic species I know but it lives in a wetland reserve.

Muscovey by Dale Watson, on Flickr

16. Spotted Dove.

Spotted Dove by Dale Watson, on Flickr

17. Australian Pied Oyster-catcher family, presume mum, dad and 2 younger birds.

Australian Pied Oystercatcher by Dale Watson, on Flickr

18. Sulphur Crested Cockatoo - feral to Tasmania, none the less beautiful creatures.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo by Dale Watson, on Flickr

19. Chestnut Teal.

Chestnut Teal by Dale Watson, on Flickr

20. Grey Teal - ID by the light neck colouring

Grey Teal by Dale Watson, on Flickr

21. Australian Wood Duck

Australian Wood or Maned Duck by Dale Watson, on Flickr

22. Goose domestic sp. Sorry guys gotta get my numbers up somehow!

Goose domestic sp. by Dale Watson, on Flickr

23. Noisy Miner - was happy with this BIF shot.

Noisy Miner by Dale Watson, on Flickr

24. Little Wattle Bird

Little Wattle Bird by Dale Watson, on Flickr

25. Pacific Black Duck - this one we should all get easily?

Pacific Black Duck by Dale Watson, on Flickr

26. Masked Lapwing (Black Shouldered)

Masked Lapwing (Black Shouldered) by Dale Watson, on Flickr

27. Australasian Swamphen aka Purple Swamphen.

Australasian Swamphen aka PurpleSwamphen by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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Well done Dale. Glad you finally got to go out. Really love the Egret in full breeding plumage and the Musk Lorikeets. I've never seen them and hope to one day.

sue818
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Wow, Dale, well worth getting out for that lot. Some wonderful photos there and good birds. I think the Musk Lorrikeet and Noisy Miner (great BIF shot) are my favourites but the Egret shows the change to breeding plumage really well. Love those blue lores. It is also good to see something new like the Shelduck, is it not? Looking forward to more. 

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Thanks Dev and Sue. Yes it is always nice to find a new species, give me a boost to keep going.

Had this one in the Nikon from a fishing trip, left the camera on the boat, so it's a few days before the last lot. The only time we have seen very few birds, nomally they come up to the boat hoping for a feed.This was the only bird to get close enough for a photo.

28. Shy Albatross (fairly confident with the ID).

Shy Albatross by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

dwatsonbb
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Upgrade for 14. Green Rosella, taken in my own backyard, disturbed it while enjoying a feed of our apples.

Green Rosella by Dale Watson, on Flickr

29. Grey Butcherbird - a new one for me, high on a tower, grey sky, so not brilliant but easily identifyable.

Grey Butcherbird by Dale Watson, on Flickr

30. Yellow Wattlebird. Found this one while going to car after work this morning. It's interesting the difference in size of the wattles, between yellow and red, yellow much more pendulous. 2 photos so hopefully you can also see the yellow belly, and I quite like the photo, even though focus is a bit off.

Yellow Wattlebird by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Yellow Wattlebird by Dale Watson, on Flickr

31. Superb Fairy-wren (female).

Superb Fairywren by Dale Watson, on Flickr

32.House Sparrow, not a special bird but it's another for my tally.

House Sparrow by Dale Watson, on Flickr

33. Grey Fantail (young I believe, not much in the way of tail feathers, and the beak has not matured).

Grey Fantail by Dale Watson, on Flickr

34. Galah. Was able to get very close and was happy with these two photos.

Galah by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Galah by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Very nice Dale, some great photos there - and that Shy Albatross is a lovely catch, and the first Albatross of the group as a whole I think. As a Tassie fisherman you have the opportunity to shoot a whole bunch of pelagics that we can never see - so go for it :-) 

sue818
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Another lovely lot of birds, Dale... I especially like the Albatross. As Alex says, you have a great opportunity with the pelagics as a fisherman. I have not be game to try that as yet. I also love the wattles on the Yellow Wattlebird as they are so big... one can only wonder what purpose they serve... attraction?

dwatsonbb
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Thanks Alex and Sue. While the fisherman in me has an advantage with pelagic species, the photographer in me is nervous about taking the good camera on a smallish boat is sometimes lumpy seas, which make it more difficult to provide photos with birds actually in them, and even more difficult to have birds which can be clearly identified. Anyway, we haven't ventured far as yet this year, hoping to go deep soon (we occasionally fish of the edge of the continental shelf).

Some research reveals the wattles may serve May have several uses. Some fowl sites suggest they are to attract females, by proving they can provide more food (according to the condition of the wattles - size and colour), Information on Yellow Wattle Birds says they are more bold during courtship/breeding. Other source indicate that birds can't or don't sweat, and so they may serve to regulate temperature. All very interesting, as my knowledge continues to grow.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

dwatsonbb
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35. Eastern Spinebill, was excited to see a couple of these today, only ever seen once before, and no photo. 

Eastern Spinebill by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Eastern Spinebill by Dale Watson, on Flickr

36. Tasmanian Thornbill - not as good as last years photo, ID by rufous/cinnamon forehead and fluffy underpants. Hoping for an upgrade at some stage. Heavy crop.

Tasmanian Thornbill by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
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The spinebills are such stunning birds, aren't they? I only saw my first ones recently as well, and am still to get a decent photo. 

dwatsonbb
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Thanks Alex, I agree the spinebills are stunning, while they are supposedly common, don't see them often enough. I am happy with these shots, still looking to improve, but I achieved my goal of getting a photo which allows for clear ID.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Great photos of the Spinebill, Dale. It is always nice to see something again and I often find the second sighting produces a better photo. Keep them coming although I do understand your reluctance to take the camera when out fishing.

Devster
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I love those Spinebill shots Dale. So typical of them to be upside down.

dwatsonbb
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37. Orange Bellied Parrot (OBP) - was lucky enough to get to Southwest National Park, Melaleuca, in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area on Thursday. Flew into Melaleuca, spent some time at the Deny King Museum and Orange Bellied Parrot public viewing hide, before embarking on a boat cruise of Bathurst Harbour and Port Davy. The day was overcast in the morning, but cloud lifted early, with just a light breeze. A day I would recommend if you have the chance. Of course being wild there is no guarentee you will see the parrots, but you have pretty good chance!

My primary aim was to see the critically endangered Orange Bellied Parrot. It was my lucky day, we were blessed with the presence of 11 at once, at the feeding station/public viewing hide located at the Deny King Museum. This is possibly the only form of artificial feeding I support, as it is potentially critical in the survival of this species. I did see one individual away from the hide, but was not quick enough to get a photo.

This year there were 23 individuals who returned from their winter migration (will put a link to information below), 15 of which were female.  

https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/conservation/threatened-species-and-communities/lists-of-threatened-species/threatened-species-vertebrates/orange-bellied-parrot

I now have in excess of 300 photos (still sorting them out), but here are just a few - cropped but only slightly. The group photo shows 11 OBPs.

Orange Bellied Parrot by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Orange Bellied Parrot (female) by Dale Watson, on Flickr

This photo is posted because I have captured 11 critically endagered OBPs in one photo, something I beleive may be a once in a lifetime opportunity!

The feeding station is meticulously cleaned as are all of the feeders each morning by volunteers who participate in the OBP program, in order to reduce the chances of spreading beak and feather disease.

I will post some more in Best Photos once I get a chance, hopefully be able to see male, female and juvenile individuals.

Orange Bellied Parrot group by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
sue818's picture

Oh wow, Dale. How wonderful to see any wild OBPs let alone 11 in one shot. Also great to know that some returned from the mainland. Frighteningly low numbers still alive in this day and age. In these cases and in drought / burnt zones, I cannot see an issue with offering some food & water. 
 

Another place to put on my wish list! Thanks for sharing, Dale,

karentwemlow
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Oh wow what a wonderful experience for you! And yes feeding under these circumstances sounds quite valid. Have you read the book 'The Birds at My Table'? It's on my reading list but would love feedback if anyone has read it. And it sounds like I need to get myself back to Tasmania, haven't been there since I was 12 years old and I loved it then.

Devster
Devster's picture

Oh wow, I am extremely jealous. This is a bird I have wanted to see for some time. I could not afford the day trip out there when I visited and it was just on the end of their season so it was unlikely I would have gotten them. My favourite is the first one. I will have to look up when they come back from their winter migration and go down again to see them.

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Thanks all. Karen, I have not read that book, I'm not really a reader. Dev, they arrive from September into October, but I noticed the count doesn't get posted until January. The guide suggested late November early December, as all the wild flowers are blooming, and that's before most of the tourists arrive. A friend who has spent much time at Melalueca (volunteered and help build the museum) said January/February is the best time to see the OBPs, by then they have fledged their young, and possibly the greatest number to be seen. The older adults leave usually March, with new season fledglings a little later. My information can be read in the pages of the link above if you have time.

For what it's worth, I will pay the money and go again, maybe later this year or next (I'm keen to see the native flowers in bloom as well).

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

dwatsonbb
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38. Blue Winged Parrot a new bird for me already posted some in Best Photos - Melaleuca - Southwest National Park - Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Blue Winged Parrot by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Blue Winged Parrot by Dale Watson, on Flickr

39 White Bellied Sea Eagle - Melaleuca - Southwest National Park - Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Wide shot showing habitat, was on edge of Bathurst Harbour, taken from a boat.

White Bellied Sea Eagle by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Same photo cropped.

White Bellied SeaEagle by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Then it took flight again cropped.

White Bellied Sea Eagle by Dale Watson, on Flickr

40. Great Cormorant -  Melaleuca - Southwest National Park - Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Not a great shot, but I like the habitat.

Great Cormorant by Dale Watson, on Flickr

41. Tree Martin - a new bird for me and a definite EBC. Id confirmed live, but getting a decent photo is almost impossible! Melaleuca - Southwest National Park - Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Both are cropped and processed.

Tree Martin by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Tree Martin by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

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