Pip's small year challenge

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pip-lb
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Pip's small year challenge

Photos from my weekend's trip in central Victoria. Leaghur State Park and Mt. Korong Conservation Reserve. Some not very clear photos i'm afraid, hopefully good enough for id purposes and also some low hanging fruit starting with:  

1.Pied Butcherbird

...and also a test for uploading photos (my first time here).

2. Shellducks in a tree.

3. A family of white winged choughs

4. Australian Magpie

5. White Plumed Honeyeater 

6. Red Rumped Parrot

7. Brown Treecreeper

8. White Winged Triller. Not a great shot i'm afraid, they seemed camera shy to say the least.

 

9. Black Fronted Dotteral. I was a long way away.

10. Red Necked Avocet

11. Eastern Rosella 

12. Superb Fairy Wren in bright plumage 

13. Willi Wagtail

14. White Headed Stilt (pied stilt)

15. Grey Fantail

dwatsonbb
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Hi Pip, some nice photos there, all clearly identifiable. Particularly like your waders, and the Shelducks. Looking to find some waders in the next few weeks, not good at identifying them. The tree creeper was a good spot, I reckon I’d have missed that one.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

pip-lb
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16. Long Billed Corella

17. A wind swept Galah 18. Common Bronzwing

19. And now it gets a bit tricky. The following three species aren't all that common for me so the photos aren't great. Spiny Cheeked Honeyeater.

20. I won't be offended if this one is judged not to count as the photo is very distant. I did have a good view with the bins but this was the beast shot i could get. Rufous Songlark. The diagnostic to note is the rufous upper tail feather.

21. This is tricky. I've been chasing a grey crowned babbler all year. They are rare and endangered in Victoria and bloody tricky to spot but i saw a small group on Saturday. I was a bit too excited to concentrate on the camera work but i managed to get this photo. I'll certainly agree to it not counting because it is'nt a great shot at all. Grey Crowned Babbler.

 

pip-lb
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dwatsonbb wrote:

Hi Pip, some nice photos there, all clearly identifiable. Particularly like your waders, and the Shelducks. Looking to find some waders in the next few weeks, not good at identifying them. The tree creeper was a good spot, I reckon I’d have missed that one.

Thanks Dale, actually there were lots of treecreepers about but they do blend in.

Alex Rogers
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Nice work there Pip, looks like a very productive weekend :-) Love the shelducks and the long billed corella particularly. Yep, you can tell what they all are, you've embraced the ethos of Every Bird Counts, and good on you, you've raced into the lead!

(I'm going to save a few cheeky EBCs for when it gets down to the wire... :-) 

pip-lb
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Thanks Alex. Every bird counts indeed. I live next to port philip bay here in melbourne and i'm planning to duck out tomorrow morning for a bloody silver gull! 

Seriously though, this weekend i used my camera way more often than i would've because of this challenge and it really enhanced my experience because i took more time trying to capture familiar species. More time observing, more engrossing in a way, i learned things. I'm glad i joined the challenge.  

pip-lb
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22. Pacific Black Duck

23. Northern Mallard

24. Australian Wood Duck and family

25. Rock Dove. A handsome one.

26. Dusky Moorhen

 27. Australasian Swamphen

28. Eurasian Coot

29. Magpie Lark (mudlark)

30. Grey Teal

dwatsonbb
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Wow Pip 30 in no time at all. I thought you said your photos might not be good enough, or words to that effect. The majority of your photos are of a very high quality in my opinion. As you said, a couple out of focus, but all are identifiable. Glad Alex’s idea has kick started your enthusiasm. Keep up the good work. I am Hoping to get out soon for some more, but between work and the weather, not so lucky at the moment!

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

pip-lb
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Thanks Dale, i know the weather in our southern region has been surprisingly cold wet and windy. I'm reluctant to wish for warmer though, with summer just around the corner and all the dangers it brings - even for Huonville now days, or so i hear. I lived in Pelverata rd' just out of cygnet for a year, and Hobart for a decade. Every summer was a gentle delight, the last few not so much from my reports. Anyway, it's a lovely part of the world youre in. 

Alex Rogers
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Great collection of shots there Pip :-) And fantastic that this challenge has inspired you to get out and take more photos - that is exactly the point :-)  I'm going to have to get out more to try to keep up with you!

pip-lb
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Some more chooks from this afternoons walk around my hood.

31.Common Myna

32. Gray Butcherbird

33. Spotted Dove

34. Great Egret

35. Silver Gull

36. Chestnut Teal

37. Noisy Miner

38. Rainbow Lorikeet

Alex Rogers
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A nice collection for the afternoon Pip - I see your "bloody seagull" made it  :-) 

I'll have to pull my finger out. I can see that weekend warrior photography won't cut it! 

pip-lb
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Hah! I'm using all me easys straight up. I'm playing the hare game it seems.

sue818
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Well done, Pip. 38 is an amazing start and as said, you embraced the ethos of the challenge. I will have to get to work next week!

A wonderful variety & some great shots. 

pip-lb
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Thanks Sue, i've really enjoyed photographing the common birds, i've never really bothered before but it's strangely rewarding and i'm appreciating them more. I guess familiarity breeds a bit of complacency in that regard.

pip-lb
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39. Eastern Yellow Robbin

40. Brown Thornbill. (Looking at this i hope it can be identified from the photo because there's less striation visible than i thought - feel free to reject it if not).

The following birds were photographed on Gabo Island in far East Gippsland, where i've been for the last 4 days. A truly stunning place. 27 bird species plus whales, dolphins and seals. No internet or phone. Bliss.

41. Welcome Swallow  

42. Yellow faced Honeyeater

43. Whistling Kite 

44. Tawny Crowned Honeyeater

45. Starling

46. Silvereye (after a bath)

47. Australasian Pipit. (not very clear i'm afraid, literally had to crawl up to it just to get this).

48. Sooty Oystercatcher

49. Pacific Gull (juvenile)

50. New Holland Honeyeater (after a bath)

51. This is interesting (at least for me). Little Raven. I identify ravens down here by their call and i judged this guy to be a little raven on that basis but when i got this shot and looked at those hackles it made me wonder if it was actually a forest raven. It would would be out of its normal area if it was and it didnt sound like one so i'll stick with little raven, unless corrected.

52. Little grassbird. (I think).

53. Great Cormorant

pip-lb
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54. Fan tailed Cuckoo (bad focus, sorry, damn skittish).

55. Crested Tern

56. Black faced Cormorant

57. Gannet

58. Pelican

59. White bellied sea eagle(s)

60. Golden Whistler

61. Brown Falcon

dwatsonbb
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Hi Pip, don’t think I will catchup, but I’m gunna try. Your Gannet photo is of the Australasian Ganet (fairly common) as opposed to the Cape Ganet, which have been recorded here, but are not native. 

I like the White Bellied Sea Eagles, and your Golden Whistler shot is a pearler.

Practice makes perfect, hopefully your focus will improve with time. I am trying manual focus, but my eyes aren’t that good. Even with autofocus, birds can be tricky, especially if moving, as the focus point(s) might be close to the mark but can be affected by movement.

I am still learning, have enrolled in an adult education course later this year. 

Keep them coming, I am enjoying both yours and Alex’s work. Hopefully some others might join the party soon!

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

pip-lb
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Thanks Dale, also i wasn't aware of the Cape Gannet, i'll look it up, cheers.

Yeah, i'm quite new to photography really. I don't have a huge zoom on my camera and although i always try to take the best shot i can i'm also just trying to get some photgraphic evidence and also to help in cases where the species is tricky to identify. It's huge fun. I keep my photographic expectations fairly low so all good. 

I think a class on how to use these modern cameras is a very good idea. 

sue818
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Very impressive! I have dreadful internet at Bowra but expect a few in a couple of days. Might catch up with you. 

On my phone in town so might be the tiny screen but please check your Grassbird as could be a Pipit, as colour of bill seems wrong to me. Apologies if I am mistaken. 

Great job so keep it up.

dwatsonbb
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Hi Pip. I think Sue is right with your Grassbird. I was able to put your photo into the Merlin eBird ID app, and it identifies it as an Australasian Pipit. If you find another species, you could swap that photo out, or repeat the number of your last photo.

This point raises another issue, in that anyone can download your photos, without your permission. Not sure how you upload, but maybe have look at the security level and or put a copyright on them.

Personally I would be both complimented and upset if someone used my pics, but not overly fussed either way (unless they are making money from them), I will look at my photo security, as I am not sure whether anyone can steal my shots.

FYI, I will delete your photos which I copied!

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

pip-lb
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I can't tell you how i labored over that little grassbird/pipit. I just could not decide and the little guy was a very unreasonable model. I just couldn't get close enough and she wouldnt stay still. Thanks for the correction, i really appreciate it. I'll recount the last number for my next photo.

Also, thanks for the info on the privacy issue. I'll check my flikr setting although like you Dale i'm not sure i entirelly care that much. I only upload bird and other wildlife photos, nothing personal and no people, and as far as i'm concerned the more photos of animals and birds in the world the better. Might help people appreciate their existence a little more, and the threats they're facing.   

Alex Rogers
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Hi Pip, some great birds, and some lovely pics, thanks. The Whistler photo is great! HAd to look up Gabo island - did you stay at the lighthouse? Looks like a successful trip :-) 

pip-lb
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There's a beautiful house next to the lighthouse, the assistant lightkeepers house, built in 1862 and owned by Parks where you can stay. It's simply the most stunningly amazing place i've ever been. Whales all day long, dolphins, seals and i saw 26 bird species. Coastal rainforest in the centre of the island, no snakes, no rubbish, and a human population of 1 (the Parks officer who looks after the island - and who was lovely). As for the birds, it wasn't so much the diversity of species that impressed but the abundance. Unfortunately i didnt have the skills or the equipment to identify the sea birds off to the south.

The island also needs visitors so that the government doesn't open it up to private investors to build a resort - which would be a disaster. If you're looking for an extremely comfortable stay on a pristine island surrounded by a healthy ecology i'd urge anyone to consider Gabo island. The house has seven beds so you could go with the whole family!

(Apologies for the sales pitch - it's just that the thought of a private company building a resort there makes me want to weep). 

Alex Rogers
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Looks gret Pip, its on my list, thanks. 

pip-lb
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Had a lovely weekend camping in the Towong shire of north eastern Victoria. Beautiful area, very underrated. Had some good birding but didn't have much luck with photography. Only added 3 from the trip but still.

61. (repeat number to make up for misidentification upthread) White Browed Scrubwren

 

62. Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike

63. Australian Raven 

dwatsonbb
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Hi Pip your doing well. Had a closer look and I'm fairly certain your Brown Thornbill ID is correct.  Your "Little Raven" is definitely NOT a Forest Raven, the hackles make me think Australian Raven, but I have never been able to seperate these, as we dont have either in Tassie, and my mainland experience is limited. Unless someone else can ID we'll stick with Little. Thanks for posting. Hoping to get some more later this week, if the weather holds.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

pip-lb
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I differentiate little and Australian ravens primarily by their call, although that doesn't always work, or their hackles if i can get a decent enough photo. Australian ravens sometimes have that pink fleshy gape but i think that's only mature adults? The Aust Raven above sat nearby and ended her call with a typically long descending aaaaaark and was one of a pair that flew in. I was comfortable within myself with the Aust Raven id but without the pink gape it's tricky to be 100%. 

Happy to defer to those with more expertise.  

pip-lb
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A few more from one of my favourite Melbourne spots. Not my best day of photography, unfortunately. Hopefully they're clear enough.

64. Freckled Duck

65. Australasian Grebe

66. Little Black Cormorant(s)

67. Australian White Ibis

68. Pink Eared Duck

69. Australasian Darter

70. Little Pied Cormorant

71. Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

72. Little Corella

73. Crested Pigeon

Alex Rogers
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Some nice shots Pip, I like the group of little black cormorants fishing. Where is this favourite Melbourne spot? 

pip-lb
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Jell's Park. Outer eastern suburbs in the Monash shire. 30+ species every trip. A good fall back spot when you just want to hang out with birds and a wee bit of nature carved from the burbs.

sue818
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Nice ones, Pip. Great to see everyone getting out and about. That lighthouse sounds delightful. Eager to see more.

Last few days have been bare of birds as the land is so dry... no Wedge-tail Eagles and few Kites as almost no roadkill between Barkly Homestead and Alice Springs. However that gives me time to cull a few pictures and start uploading.

Alex Rogers
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Doesn't seem to be any PM function on this forum, pip, so excuse the hijack of your thread - but if you'd like to come to the Western Treatment Plant with me to increase our Small Year numbers next week, I'll be going down there next Friday with any luck - join me? 

dwatsonbb
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Top right hand side of the screen above the "Donate Now" button, just sent Alex a PM.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

 and @UrbanBirdsOz  @birdsinbackyards
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