Devs Big Year Challenge 2020

44 posts / 0 new
Last post
Devster
Devster's picture
Devs Big Year Challenge 2020

Happy Birding New Year all!. After getting the Painted Snipe at the very end of 2019. I struck while the iron was hot and went back on the 2nd of Jan to get them again. I thought it would be nice to kick off my Big Year Challenge with this species as it was the species I ended with. 

1. Australian Painted Snipe - Not 1 but 3! How hard are these guys to get close to!

2. Varied Sittella (race leucocephala)- It's funny, last year I was looking for these in this very spot and couldn't find a single one for my challenge. This year they were here everywhere. This race is also known as the 'White-headed Sittella'

3. Golden-headed Cisticola - This one was very friendly and curious and came in quite close

4. Willie Wagtail - Unusual Pose for this one

5. Glossy Ibis - When you get these birds in the sun they are very beautiful

6. Whiskered Tern - Lots of these around at the moment in breeding plumage.

7. Pale-vented Bush-hen -  I was very excited to see this as it was a lifer for me. It just came out of the bush for a few seconds then darted back in again. Was quite far away and is an EBC but still happy to have seen and captured it! This one does not have a factsheet.

8. Australasian Darter with photo bombing Willie - This log is usually under water but since the drought it hasn't been under water for quite some time.

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Wow - never heard of a Pale-vented Bush Hen - great to start off the year with a couple of rarities! 

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Man those Painted Snipes camouflage well. The Cistocola is a great photo.believe it or not, all of those would be new to me. Well done great start.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
Devster's picture

Some more from my trip to Lake Samsonvale which is my favourite birding spot.

9. White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike - Interesting there is no fact sheet on it

10. White-breasted Woodswallow - This was one of the immature ones there

11. Red kneed Dotterel

12. Black-fronted Dotterel

13. Little Pied Cormorant - It's amazing how many of the birds are named in relaion to their colour!

14. Forest Kingfisher

15. Grey Fantail

16. Chestnut-Breasted Mannikin & 17. Red Browed Finch

18. Eurasian Coot

19. Black Swan - So all bar 2 of these have a colour in their title. I'm counting Pied as it is means having 2 or more different colours. In this case black and white

sue818
sue818's picture

Wonderful selection of shots, Dev. Quite envious of the Painted Snipe and Pale-vented Bush-hen as both have eluded me. I also like the collection of 'colour' shots and that blue sky. Dotterels both great but the Mannikin & Finch shot is also lovely.
Not many birds around my usual spots at present as so very dry and often a grey sky. Hoping for a bit of rain in next days to put some water back in the dry wetland. 

pip-lb
pip-lb's picture

As usual some really exquisite photos, Dev. I do love the mannikin finch double act. 

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Agree with the comments above, lovely photos, too many good ones to pick a fave.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Some lovely phtos there, particularly like your dotterels and the finch two-fer. Nice. 

Devster
Devster's picture

Some random local birds where I happen to have the camera with me.

20. Little Wattlebird

21. Welcome Swallows

22. Galah - This guy was tring to balance on this well chewed Palm tree, one late aftenoon.

sue818
sue818's picture

Nive ones, Dev. I also like that blue sky!

Devster
Devster's picture

We went camping in the D'Agular National Park just after New Years. While it was extremely dry we did manage to find a camping ground with some water holes. The first morning I couldn't sleep so I was up early looking around. There were a heap of birds calling but finding them and taking a decent photo was another challenge altogether.

23. Wompoo Fruit-dove - Was excited when I heard one calling, was extatic when I located not 1 but 3 of them. There were accross the creek up high but managed an ok shot.

24. Brown Cuckoo-dove - Then as I wandered the campsite, this was just accross from our tents and very obliging.

25. White-throated tree Creeper - So many of these around calling all throughout the day.

26. Spangled Drongo - A bird with a wierd call and one call that sounds like a cross between a Sacred Kingfisher and a Goshawk.

27. Little Shrike-thrush - A bird I have not seen for a few years so was nice to see it going about his business looking for food.

28. Laughing Kookaburra - You couldn't get more abliging than this handsome fella or pretty lady.

29. Mistletoebird - Speaking of handsome. This guy was singing his little heart out and depositing his mistletoe seeds on the surrounding branches. He had just deposited one and was getting ready to deposit another. Very busy little guy and very handsome

Devster
Devster's picture

sue818 wrote:

Nive ones, Dev. I also like that blue sky!

Thanks Sue. Yeah the blue sky is something I am trying to take advantage of by getting out as often as I can. I can't even fathom what you guys are experiencing there with the fire and the smoke. We have had grey skies here the last few days which is awesome as we have had more rain yesterday than we have had in over 8 months

sue818
sue818's picture

Another lovely lot, Dev... love that Mistletoebird. Pleased to hear you have some rain as it is needed everywhere. I can smell smoke today even with the rain but a leaden sky from rain is better than the smoke. Should be interesting to get out now we have had a bit of rain and see what is about as there are plenty of my usuals still missing.

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Always great to see your birds, Dev, they are so different from ours. Those Wompoo doves are a bit special, and love the Mistletoebird.

Devster
Devster's picture

Here are a couple from the dam next door to where I work.

30. Pacific Black Ducks - I call this one "The Dispute" as the one in the water was chasing a few of the others away and this was the end of one of their bouts.

31. Intermediate Egret - In breeding Plumage

32. Dusky Moorhens - I liked the green on the water of this one.

33. Little Black Cormorant - Always love their emerald green eyes. i opted for a looser crop on this one as I liked the composition of the branch in this shot.

Now some more from yet another visit from Lake Samsonvale. I always seem to get something new from here every time i go down.

34. Helmeted Guineafowl

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

A nice selection of the locals, Dev. I like the way you've caught the blue panels in the Pacific Black Ducks' wings, and the green of the cormorant eye (I also love that jade colour). 

Devster
Devster's picture

I am actually finding this challenge hard. As a photographer I like to have nice images and since we get a year to post I'm trying not to just put up shots I don't like. That is unless they are new or a very hard bird to get. ie the Sparrowhawk and the Harrier. I have a whole heap of others that are different species but am waiting to get better shots before posting.

I didn't get to finish posting some photos from Lake Samsonvale so here are some more.

35. Grey Teals

36. Yellow-billed Spoonbill

37. Royal Spoonbill in flight - 2 images as I was very happy with these shots

38. Channel-billed Cuckoo in flight. This one flew straight over our heads

39. Double-bared Finch - You can see the evidence of the rain

40. Collared Sparrowhawk - This one was a lifer for me so while not a great shot, am very happy with it. It orininally flew overhead but only managed to get blurry or very dark photos.

41. Australian Brush-turkey - One of the most cooperative turkeys I've ever seen. He was like is this good, wait let me show you mmy other side. very rare moment even if it is just a Brush-turkey.

42. Spectacled Monarch - Wow how cute is this little guy. I heard him doing his zitting calls and I knew it was him. Was hard to get one as he wouldn't stay still but very happy with this one.

43. Swamp Harrier - A very EBC shot as I followed him with my camera but couldn't get a decent shot. This one shows the white rump. This is only the second time I have seen one of these magnificent birds.

44. Silvereye - Couldn't decide which photo I liked better

pip-lb
pip-lb's picture

The royal spoonbill in flight is really outstanding Dev, beautiful shot. I also like the rain droplets around the chat. Lovely.

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Love the Spoonbills in flight, the turkey (so obliging) and the spectacled monarch. 

Devster
Devster's picture

Thanks Pip & Alex. I must say I was quite happy with the spoonbill in flight shot. Probably the best one of them I have in flight.

There were reports of a Black necked stork and Brolgas at a place about 30 mins from my house so I went to check it out the next day. We had had quite a bit of rain overnight and when I went there the place was flooded. Lots of Stilts, Egrets, Ibis and Magpie Geese but none close enough to photograph and no Brolgas or Stork. But not willing to call it quits I went to Osprey House as well as another little Hide down the road which was totally dried up just a week ago. While I did not get the Stork or Brolgas, I did manage to add a few to my Tally.

45. Marsh Sandpipers - Probably the most I have seen in one spot. I usually only see the odd one here and ther.

46. Silver Gull - This was from my car window lol.

47. Mangrove Gerygone - Man this little guy is hard to photograph and doesn't sit still! I must say I was quite happy with these shots.

48. Grey Shrike-thrush - This was also hard to photograph as it kep staying up high and behind anything and everything

49. Eastern Osprey - Can't go to Osprey House and not photograph an Osprey

sue818
sue818's picture

Another wonderful selection of shots, Dev. Great work getting that Mangrove Gerygone so clearly and the Spectacled Monarch is a beauty and so many Marsh Sandpipers!

I also share your quandry about posting not so great shots... I have put a few in an EBC folder but also think I may just edit the original post and swap pictures. We have not even finished the frist month and you are off to a great start1

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Been a while since I've commented, and now there are too many good photos to get too specific with favourites. The finch in the rain is an awesome photo, and I also like the Osprey (I do like birds of prey). Keepem coming Dev.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Wow that Osprey is very cool. Nice catch!

Devster
Devster's picture

Some more from Lake Samsonvale

50. Peaceful Dove

51. Little Friarbird in flight

52. Dollarbird with Photo Bombing Little Friarbirds

53. Hardheads - A bit spread out and far away but easily recognisable. Hope to upgrade

54. Australasian Pipit

55. Great Crested Grebe

sue818
sue818's picture

Another great lot of birds, Dev. I hope to get out this week and find a few more. Beautiful Peaceful Dove and nice shot of the Little Friarbird in flight.  Our collection of birds at the month's end will be impressive!

Devster
Devster's picture

Thanks Sue. I also hope to get out this week. We have quite a few new species we didn't get last year. Not sure of the Tally yet.

sue818
sue818's picture

Yes, the variety is wonderful and we do have a number of new species but I am pleased that I finally proved the Black Bittern existed and was worth the wait! I hope to get some common local birds and a few waterbirds this week. I think I may have to visit Lake Samsonville at some stage!

Devster
Devster's picture

You let me know when you are in Brisbane and I would be happy to show you around Sue

sue818
sue818's picture

Okay, that sounds like a plan for the future.

Devster
Devster's picture

So I'm laggin a bit behind. Really struggling to get quality shots. Here's a mix of quality and ok shots from OReilly's the other day. If you haven't been then maybe some of these photos will encourage you to do so as a lot of the birds there are very used to people and happy to pose for a photo.

56. Large-billed Scrubwren

57. Yellow-throated Scrubwren - I wish it had focussed on the bird instead of the ground but they move so darn quick

58. Satin Bowerbird Male - This ones name is the undertaker

59. Eastern Yellow Robin in typical Robin Pose. I think this is an younger one

60. Eastern Whipbird - This one ate out of my hand! The only place I know where you can get these guys out in the open like this.

I like the other photo better but I like with this one that I got him calling

61. Regent Bowerbird (Female) - This one was also very tame. 2 photos because I liked them

62. Bassian Thrush - This one was a lifer for me so very happy!

63. Brown Gerygone

64. Crimson Rosella - Couldn't decide which photo I liked

65. King Parrot (Young Male)

66. Eastern Spinebill. Probably my favourite photo of the day

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Some awesome shots there Dev - love seeing extra shots when the quality is like this too :-) A tame whipbird, who would have thought? The spinebill is awesome, and you really got down the throat of that bowerbird! Very nice. Looks like quite dark forest conditions which I often struggle with, you've done really well - and you camera handles higher ISO very nicely indeed. 

sue818
sue818's picture

Gorgeous shots, Dev. The Eastern Spinebill and the Regent Bowerbird are stunning with lovely bokeh. O'Reillys is on my list. I've seen Bassian Thrush quite often but the Russet-tailed still eludes me. It is always a little exciting to get soemthing new, well done.

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Some real stunners there Dev, I'd be happy with all those from both a quality and species perspective, well done.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
Devster's picture

Thansk for your encouragement guys. Like I have said to Sue, if any of you are up, down or accross this way then I would be happy to show you some of my local treasures.

Devster
Devster's picture

67. Pheasant Coucal - This was taken at my ex wifes place when I dropped my boys off. One of them came running back out as I was just about to leave and said dad there's a Pheasant Coucal in the bushes. I quickly grabbed my camera and went out. This one did not seem to be too bothered by us as it came very close. I don't think I have ever seen one in the open like this and this calm.

sue818
sue818's picture

Wow, Dev, what great shots. They usually bolt for the highest branch the minute a camera appears! I have noticed that they seem to venture into the open more when breeding which the dark colour indicates. Well done! 

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Oh wow, what a stunner - you made the most of a great opportunity. They are such spectacular birds. And congrats on teaching your kids to know what they are :-) My kids have very little interest, and tease me by pretentding not to know what a Common Mynah is. 

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

WOW what magnificent photos. Lucky you!

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Annie W
Annie W's picture

What an incredible looking bird the Pheasant Coucal, pretty amazing shots Dev, such a variety too.  I am not the least bit jealous lol.  Have really REALLY enjoyed looking through yours and every participants 2020 Challenge so far, some birds I have never seen, and  possibly never will.  What will the rest of the year bring I wonder?

West Coast Tasmania

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Welcome back Annie are you going to joinin the fun? Missed your contributions hope your well. Sorry Dev to highjack your thread.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
Devster's picture

Annie W wrote:

What an incredible looking bird the Pheasant Coucal, pretty amazing shots Dev, such a variety too.  I am not the least bit jealous lol.  Have really REALLY enjoyed looking through yours and every participants 2020 Challenge so far, some birds I have never seen, and  possibly never will.  What will the rest of the year bring I wonder?

Oh Annie, it is soo wonderful to hear from you. I really miss seeing your photos, they always had that certain Annie quality about them which is very special and something I aspire to reach one day. I hope you are doing well.

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Come and play with us Annie, the year is yet young... :-) 

Annie W
Annie W's picture

Naww, you guys are awesome, way to make a lady feel welcome, thankyou :-)  I will probaby just spectate and oggle posts for now - on a personal front my Carer load is still quite complex and unpredictable, although I finally have a little personal time back I'm not really able to venture far to expand my variety of birdies for a while yet.  Wow Dale, I am more than super impressed at your count and pics so far, just awesome to see and can't wait so see what comes your way through the year.  Lol Dev, I don't know about that, I've had such a big break I'm really struggling to get any handholding technique back, or anything back for that matter.  Ah well, a good excuse to practice more and hopefully be back to my BBoaB (Brown Bird on a Branch) shots soon, haha.

West Coast Tasmania

karentwemlow
karentwemlow's picture

What beautiful photos you have! I visited O'Reilly's back in the early 90's with my then husband. We absolutely loved it. I must get back there. I also love the Pheasant Coucal, what a gorgeous pic. I have never seen one in 'person'.

 and   @birdsinbackyards
                 Subscribe to me on YouTube