Devs Small Year Challenge 2019

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Devster
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Thanks Sue. I have been trying a few different crops with this challenge, just to make it interesting. I am usually a tight cropper but have been ejoying getting some habitat shots as well

Devster
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I headed out to Dayboro yesterday morning hoping to get the White-eard Monarch, Spectacled Monarch and Azure Kingfisher. While I dipped out on 2 of these birds I did manage a few I hadn't expected.

97. Golden Whistler

98. Spectacled Monarch

I widened the crop on this last one just to get a bit of habitat which I quite like

99. Australasian Darter & 100. Nankeen Night Heron. This was a huge bonus as I've never seen one of these here. It flew accross from the other side and I recognised it straight away. Unfortunately it was a fair way away and even with my 1.4 extender I couldn't get a nice shot, but definately recognisable

Devster
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This challenge has really got me going out more. After work I went down to Lake Samsonvale again to see if I could get the Tawny Grassbird and see what other treasures were there. Again I dipped on the bird I was aimig to see but again had a great surprise visit from a very unexpected visitor or 30. 

101. Whistling Kite - This was a young one learning the ropes of flying.

102. White-faced Heron - An EBC shot if ever I saw one. Hopefully I will get an upgrade to this one.

103. White-throated Honeyeater. This bird would not come out into the open and the day was getting quite late so was struggling with light.

104. And the surprise bird is . . . . . . White-throated Needletail. I saw one fly by and tried to get a photo but they are sooo fast I missed it. As my lady and I were waiting in the grass all of a sudden we realised that there were 30 or more of these hawking insects around us. It was an amazing spectacle to behold and one of the best wild bird encounters we have ever experienced. They were coming so close you could hear them whizzing past your head.

Alex Rogers
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Well done on the needletails - some very  quick reactions to catch those in flight! Love the spectacled monarch shots too. I've seen the black-faced a few times but not that one. 

"This challenge has really got me going out more" Yes, its just a bit of fun but it really does add some focus and incentive to get out and bird more - glad its working for you :-) 

dwatsonbb
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Love the Monarch, Needletail and Whislting Kite in flight. All nice photos (all of them not just those 3). Congratulations on your ton, keepem coming. Your also lucky to have a lady in your life, who shares your passion for birding. Thanks again.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Wow Dev, nice group of birds. I have not managed Needletails at all so well done! The Spectacled Monarchs are all beautiful but I really like that wider crop. Please keep them coming.

Sue

Devster
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Thanks for the encouragement guys. I went out after work today after a Satin Flycatcher but as always I dip on what I aim for but get pleasantly surprised by other birds.

105. Azure Kingfisher & Friend. I didn't even realise the lizard was there until processing the image

This next shot was a surprise. The birds erupted around us as this White-bellied Sea Eagle flew over. I already have one of them so for 106. I am counting the Australian Magpie. I just wanted to show this image. May even be a better photo of my WBSE

107. Double-barred Finch. A hard shot to get in the undergrowth.

108. Willie Wagtail - Not a very exciting shot so I hope to get a better one

109 Galah - Another pretty average shot but getting later in the day and they seemed to spook easily for some reason.

110. Brown Cuckoo-Dove - Probably my favourite shot of today. There were 2 of these hanging around waiting for us to pass so they could visit these trees. They seem to love them as I often see them in these type of trees. You can see in the second pic he is looking longingly at the berries and considering staying, but his mate took off so he followed. He was torn though.

sue818
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Great shots, Dev ... puts my Brown Cuckoo-dove to shame! Stunning shots of them and aw onderful action shot of the Australian Magpie and WBSE.

Sue

Alex Rogers
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Some great shots Dev. That cuckoo dove shot is brilliant. I've never seen one, but now that I know they are in Sydney (from Sue's shot) I wonder how many I've seen and just discounted as a more common dove? Will have to pay more attention. Love your maggie and WBSE shot, great capture. I reckon that kingfisher was sizing up the lizard and thinking "if only I was a bit bigger"!

Looking at your second White-throated Honeyeater photo again - do you reckon maybe that is its nest behind it? 

sue818
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Alex, Brown Cuckoo-doves are quite large and dark compared to other doves so you would not have misidentified one. They often sit quietly but their call is distinctive if heard. Keep looking.

Devster
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Alex Rogers wrote:

Looking at your second White-throated Honeyeater photo again - do you reckon maybe that is its nest behind it? 

Thanks Alex. I did wonder about the nest but I watched two of them for about an hour and they never went in, so maybe it's an old nest.

Devster
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Some from my local haunt in Samford on Friday afternoon. This used to be a small man made lake but now it's just full of grass. Still plenty of birds to be had though.

111. Mr & Mrs White-winged Triller - An unexpected surprise. They were a fair way away even with my 1.4 extender. If you check Mrs WWT she has a meal. I think they may have had a nest nearby.

112. Intermediate Egret - Again was a fair way away. I think intermediate because the gape doesn't extend past the eye. Neck a little thicker and not as long. This is where the water would have been. Now, just long grass.

113. Mr Magpie Lark (Peewee) - A very bad phot and will try to get a better one. Again he is where the water used to be.

114. Blue-faced Honeyeater

115. White-breasted Woodswallow - There were a pair of these with a Juvenile who was so fluffy but very high up in the tree.

116. Grey-crowned Babbler - They had some immature ones in the group who would roll around on the ground and play fight. They were so close I couldn't focus on them so I didn't get any shot of them fighting. This was late afternoon so had the nice golden glow of the sun.

117. Australian White Ibis

118. Pale-headed Rosella - A very poor shot as they would not come out from in the trees until they took off. Definately one I want to get a better photo of as they are sooo beautiful. I particularly love their call.

119. Fairy Martin - Another EBC shot

120. Little Friarbird

121. Long-billed Corella - Again a fair distance away very late in the afternoon

122. Common Myna - Finally got one, although it's not a great shot.

123. Mrs Eastern Koel - She was rediculously far away and it was nearly dark so a huge crop & EBC. She was responding to the male with his single note call that he repeats over and over again, till it drives you nuts.

dwatsonbb
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Your count is growing fast, well done. I like the Blue Faced Honeyeater and the Little Friarbird. That Grey Crowned Babbler is just beautiful with the golden light. Would be happy with all of those, most would be new to me. Thanks for sharing.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
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Another nice set Dev. Congrats on the koel, they are hard to get. Love the blue-faced honeyeater, you really captured the best of the bird in that shot, very nice. 

Devster
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Here are a few replacement shots.

38. Welcome Swallow - Oreillys

40. Sacred Kingfisher - This was in Samford. Unlike my last photo, this one is easily identifiable.

77. Yellow-throated Scrubwren - These are everywhere at Oreillys This one came so close to me I had to keep walking back so I could focus on him.

78. Eastern Whipbird - This was also from O'reillys. These birds were so tame, this one even ate out of my girlfriends hand. I couldn't belive how tame he was.

82. Crimson Rosella - Again, taken at Oreillys and again so used to humans. We had to keep shooing them away when we were having lunch as they just sit at your table and try to take food from your plate.

dwatsonbb
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Wow, stunning. The Welcome Swallow singing to you? That Crimson Rosella and the Kingfisher, stunning colours. They're all great. Well done.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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Thanks for your words of encouragement Dale.

Here's yet another upgrade. I really like the pose and composition of this shot

74. White-throated Treecreeper - I love the feet on these guys

Devster
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Oops, found another upgrade. Again taken at Oreillys on the weekend. The birds co-operate more here then any othe place I have been.

91. White-browed Scrubwren

sue818
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Another great set of shots, Dev. That Eastern Whipbird really shows the colour which is hard to see in the position they usually choose. I wondered if you meant O’Reillys Guesthouse or Lamington NP as it seems the same name is used for both. It is not an area I have visited yet as we always seem to hit the coast at about Mackay. Really enjoying your photos.

Alex Rogers
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O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat is definitely on my to-do list, looks like an amazing place for birds. I believe the fires there have been very bad though, with guests having to be evacuated and the actual rainforest burning - sounds like I should visit sooner rather than later :-(

Love your upgrades, the treecreeper is a cracker of a shot, as is your rather cross-looking scrubwren. 

Devster
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Alex Rogers wrote:

O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat is definitely on my to-do list, looks like an amazing place for birds. I believe the fires there have been very bad though, with guests having to be evacuated and the actual rainforest burning - sounds like I should visit sooner rather than later :-(

Love your upgrades, the treecreeper is a cracker of a shot, as is your rather cross-looking scrubwren. 

Definately worth visiting Alex, so many wonderful birds there. Below the mountain got hit a bit with bush fires and some around the out skirts of Oreillys. I did a few of the tracks and there was no evidence of fires there and were certainly plenty of birds.

I heard the Treecreeper then called him in. It took a few goes but I was finally happy with that shot. Has the typical Treecreeper pose happening and the light was nice

Devster
Devster's picture

Went to Oreillys on the weekend and wow there was wildlife everywhere! Birds, Butterflys, Wallabys and Pademelons. Even saw a Land mullet, the largest Skink in Australia. (No photo though). The birds here are so used to people that you can walk right up to them. I dipped out on the Alberts Lyrebird, Noisy Pitta and Crested Shrike-tit but did come away with some lovely photos of other species.

124. Regent Bowerbird - These will eat out of your hand.

125. Varied Triller (Female) - The male was present but stuck high in the trees.

126. Large-billed Scrubwren. These were everywhere but not as accomdating as the others. These birds act like a small Sitella wit the way they search for food.

127. Australian Logrunner (Male) - These guys are not too shy but always moving and always deep in the rainforest so very hard for photography. The second photo I used a flash but I'm a little rusty at my flash work so its a little overexposed.

128. Black-faced Monarch - A beautiful bird

129. Wonga Pigeon - They say with these birds when you hear one, you wonder if it is ever going to stop.

130. Paradise Riflebird - My favourite bird and very hard to get. The male was high in the tree and even started displaying but there was far too much stuff in the way to get a clear shot. You could hear him though with his wings.

sue818
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Wow, Dev, that male Regent Bowerbird shot is a stunner. Simply beautiful. Also wonderful to see the Logrunner and Riflebirds...difficult birds to get in a rainforest. I must get to O'Reillys! 

pip-lb
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Breathtaking Dev, those bowerbirds wow. And riflebirds! I gotta get up north at some point. Thanks

Alex Rogers
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Some lovely shots - the bowerbird is awesome. Very nice

Devster
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Thanks very much guys. I've been out more in the last 2 weeks than I have in 6 months, so objective achieved!

Here are some replacements 

41. Glossy Ibis - Lake Samsonvale

102. White-faced Heron - Lake Samsonvale

117. Australian White Ibis - Toorbul

Devster
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I managed to take 15mins to get a coupe of new ones at Bald Hills.

131. Spotted Dove

132. Chestnut Teals - I specifically targeted this species so we would all have a photo of it.

dwatsonbb
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Good work, I agree that male Regent Bowerbird is simply stunning. The rest are pretty awesome as well.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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A few more from around Torbul. It was the wrong tide so I hope to get back there this weekend for a few more of the locals there.

133. Masked Lapwing

134. Plumed Whistling -duck - There was a group of these on someones from lawn. This photo was taken from the car in the late afternoon

135. Eastern Curlew - Man these guys have a long bill

136. Whimbrel - Very heavily cropped as the sun was just about gone

137. Sharp-tailed Sandpipers - These were at Lake Samsonvale while looking for the Painted Snipe thats been reported there

138. Black-fronted Dotterel - An extremely heavily cropped photo late in the afternoon. Lake Samsonvale again. Looks like an immature one as he still doesn't have the black front.

sue818
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Nice set of shots, Dev. Great demonstration of the differing bill lengths with Whimbrel & Eastern Curlew but I do like Whistling-ducks. Good to see you are making the most of your time.

dwatsonbb
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That Plumed Whistling Duck is a great shot. I like them all.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
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Great shots Dev. Like Sue said, great to see the difference between Curlew and Whimbrel in the flesh, I've seen the former but never a Whimbrel. Awesome beaks on those curlew. And never seen  those Plumed Whistling Ducks either, what cool markings. 

Devster
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Another couple from my Lake Samsonvale Visit. Certainly lots of birds in the first image but I am taking.

139. Great Cormorant

140. Pheasant Coucal - A poor photo as it spooked and flew off, but you can see what it is. 

141. Little Bronze-cuckoo - I could hear him calling in the tree but too a long time to find the slipperly little sucker. Funny, this one is not in the Factsheets

142. Striated Pardalote with the famous branch in the way

143. Spotted Harrier - Now this one I had to have help ID as I thought it was a Swamp Harrier but there had been sightings of adult Spotted at the exact site on the exact day and I wanted to be certain. Glad I did because it turns out this is an immature Spotted Harrier. 

On the way up to see my girlfriend I made a slight detour to Toorbul to see what shore birds I could find. There were a lot there but many were a fair way out. I am still going through the photos but here are a couple I managed to get. My shore bird ID is not great so I will be posting a few online to confirm.

144. Australian Pied Oystercatcher with some bling

145. Striated Heron

Alex Rogers
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Some great additions there Dev, you are running away from me. Way to go with the catch up :-) Some interesting birds, love the coucal and the little bronze-cuckoo, and the spotted harrier was a good catch. 

sue818
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Great captures, Dev. Love the Little Bronze-cuckoo & wonderful to see a Spotted Harrier. You did well to capture the Pheasant Coucal so well, I never seem to have a camera to hand when they come right out in the open. Is the Pied Oystercatcher searing a silver band only or more. Can be interesting to follow-up. I photographed a Ruddy Turnstone in Darwin which had a data-logger attached & flags and came from Tasmania. Catching up fast!

dwatsonbb
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Again some great photos of birds I hope to one day see. Your going to give Sue a run for her money, not bad considering your late start.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

pip-lb
pip-lb's picture

Great work Dev, i have so much trouble with Cuckoos. That little bronze cuckoo would be a first for me. I don't know why but the entire family of cuckoos seem to have got together and spread the word to avoid me this year. Love that heron.  

Devster
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Thanks guys. I heard the Little Bronze-cuckoo long before I could spot the little blighter. He was way up high in the tree and true to their name they are quite small.

Devster
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A few more shore birds from my trip to Toorbul. I had to get these guys ID'd as I'm hopeless with them. Except the Bar-tailed Godwit.

146. Bar-tailed Godwit (Immature)

147. Great Knot with some more Bar-tailed Godwits

148. Red Knots with a Gull-billed Tern

149. Little Wattlebird with yet something else in the way - This obviously was not at Toorbul

150. Brolga - My favourite of this lot

sue818
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Love the Brolga, some atmosphere there. I also like the young Bar-tailed Godwit, they are quite pale compared to the adults. Considering your late start, Dev, you have seen a lot of different birds lately. It is really interesting to see the variety coming up. 

dwatsonbb
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Ton and a half - great going. Like your Brolga and all the shorebirds, particularly good shot of the Bar-tailed Godwit.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Good stuff on the shorebirds, especially those you have knot seen. I'm very much learning my shorebirds, and this sort of post really helps, when you can compare sizes and shapes of several birds together. I also like the more environmental shot of the brolga, lovely. 

Devster
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Alex Rogers wrote:

Good stuff on the shorebirds, especially those you have knot seen.

Thanks Alex. I see what you did there . . . LOVE IT!!

I'm knot shore I can top that one 

Devster
Devster's picture

Some from Thursday afternoon at Lake Samsonvale. Sooo many birds but sooo far away.

151. Variegated Fairy-wren - Definately a EBC as I could not focus on the bird only the branches. It was there a few seconds then gone. You can tell its Variegated by the Long Blue tail and the slight rusty colour behaind the head. Different blue from the Superbs aswell.

152. Pied Cormorant - So many birds in this picture. There were a heap of Pied Cormorants resting so that is what I will take. Also 

153. Silver Gull

154. Caspian Tern

155. Whiskered Terns

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

I like your Caspian Tern shot Dev - I have one that flies up our river every morning, so I must go and practise my BIF shots on him, he flies a pretty predictable pattern. 

Your marks on the Variegated Fairy-wren are clear - aren't they pesky to get a good shot of? I struggle a bit with terns though, what would you look for in your Whiskered Tern shots to ID them? 

Devster
Devster's picture

Thanks Alex. I struggle with Terns too, but it's easier when they are in breeding plumage. The Whiskered Terns have the charcoal on their bellies when in breeding plumage. Apparently they are the only white Tern that has that. Plus I know they are at this spot and have gotten them before.

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Surprised you couldn't get a close shot of the Silver Gull, down here they're everywhere, particularly if the is a fish and chip shop nearby!
 

Have a work colleague who recently moved to Tassie from the Alice - sort of surprised they don't have them there! A place I must visit one day, the bonus no Silvers.

Your other photos are also nice. Thanks for sharing.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
Devster's picture

dwatsonbb wrote:

Surprised you couldn't get a close shot of the Silver Gull, down here they're everywhere, particularly if the is a fish and chip shop nearby!
 

Have a work colleague who recently moved to Tassie from the Alice - sort of surprised they don't have them there! A place I must visit one day, the bonus no Silvers.

Your other photos are also nice. Thanks for sharing.

I hadn't been to the beach yet, so just took advantage of that one. I went on the weekend and managed several close shots so I will be doing an upgrade shortly.

Alex Rogers
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Devster wrote:

The Whiskered Terns have the charcoal on their bellies when in breeding plumage.

That's a good hint, thanks

Devster
Devster's picture

I keep checking to see what people have photographed last weekend but nothing... Is everyone holding out or just really busy?

Here are some from my weekend at Sandy Camp Rd.

156. Wedge-tailed Eagle - I was driving along heading to Lake Samsonvale on my last trip and saw 2 BOP circling. Usually there are Whistling Kites there but these looked much bigger. I got out to find 2 Wedge-tailed Eagles soaring with the thermals in the hot late afternoon. This was the best photo I could get as they were a fair way up.

157. Magpie Geese + Snipe - Arriving at Sandy Camp Rd there would have been 50 or so Magpie Geese. If you look closely there is a Latham's Snipe in the background which I didn't know was there until I looked at the photo on my PC. I did manage a slightly better shot of one later in the day so I haven't counted the Snipe in this photo

158. Australian Reed-warbler - These are everywhere there but getting a shot is a challenge in itself as they are often amongst the reeds as in the photo.

159. Wandering Whistling-ducks - There were quite a few of these here as well.

160. Lathams Snipe - There is no way I would have seen this if it wasn't for Birders with rediculusly powerful scopes who told me it was there. It was on the other side of the lake amongst the bushes as you can see. This photo is heavily cropped

161. Comb-crested Jacanas with chicks! - How cute are these guys. One birder refered to them as popcorn with giant legs. Sorry for all of the pics of them but they were sooo cute. I like the last shot as it really puts their size into perspective

162. Olive-backed Oriole - It took me a whle to figure out if it was an Oriole or a female Figbird as I often get the 2 confused at first glance. Till I see the orangey beak and red eye. Oh and their call gives it away as well

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