Alex's Big Year 2021

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karentwemlow
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Ah no worries re the pelican.... is it ok to just add fact sheets for new ones as I just copy and paste the fact sheet into the list for scoring purposes, makes it a simpler process.

And oh no that study sounds terrible Sue! The things we put animals through....

karentwemlow
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It's not a big deal if there are extra fact sheets there, the scoring sheet won't it count twice if it's duplicated. But I normally check the calculated score in my sheet versus the final number in the post, and for some reason I thought it was 2 out.... maybe it was late and my brain not working well...

I went camping down in the backyard/national park with Leo on the weekend. I didn't sleep much! Way too uncomfortable for me, so was tired much of the weekend. The rest of it was fun though.

Devster
Devster's picture

Some really great photos there Alex. I do love the Rose Robins, such a vibrant colour on them. I also like your Musk Lorikeets as I haven't photographed any yet so they would be a lifer for me.

AbbyGrace
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Alex another great set of photos! Love that Cockatoo shot. (I wouldn't mind if some of my shots were like your EBC shots :D )

dannyka6
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I'd fallen way behind so I've just read my way through your adventures climbing the charts over the last little while and wow, some incredible birds and some really terrific photography there Alex, awesome work.

A lot of great sites to remember if I make it up to Sydney, and that outback trip sounded fantastic! What a great way to see some different birds. I only just saw the Southern Whiteface this year, and the Inland Thornbill last year when I hit some dry inland spots, changing habitats really makes for different birds.

TommyGee
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Wow Alex. Just wow. So many birds! So many great photos. If I had to pick a favourite, it'd be the Jacana.

Alex Rogers
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Ah, so many nice comments, thanks all :-) Its such a pleasure sharing pics with people who like that sort of thing lol

I had to go to Gunnedah Monday to one of my solar farms, and got to spend an afternoon birding around the Tamworth area the next day. Just  driving between Tamworth and Gunnedah through the farmlands was good - the mouse plague was evident, mice everywhere, and the raptors are having a field day (literally), breeding as fast as they can and scooping up the bounty. Not just the raptors, every row of solar panels onthe farm had a fat magpie or 3 taking a breather from scooping up a tasty mouse treat. I managed to get into some woodland too, it was raining and grey which compounded the difficulty of shooting woodland birds - but I managed to get a few for the list. 

138) Far overhead, so an EBC, but was still pleased to see Wedge-tailed Eagles and not just as specks in the distance. I'd love to find them on the ground one day. 

139) I was stalking some parrots along a riverbank and heard this extraordinary rattling noise coming from behind a tree. It was this Restless Flycatcher, doing his scissor-grinder imitation. 

140) Noisy Friarbird - found a big flock of then living up to their name, noisily defending a stand of flowering gums from all comers. They were having a running battle with a mob of Musk Lorikeets, and generally prevailing. I love the gorget of feathers around their necks - such an incongruously elegant (almost medieval) touch setting off a face only its mother could love. 

141) Rufous Songlark - this took me much longer to ID than I spent observing it lol. I was convinced it was a Grassbird of sorts, but turns out to be a Songlark. LBJs....

142) But this guy is no LBJ - my heart almost stopped when I first saw him, I've always wanted to see properly and photograph a Crested Shrike-tit. Raining and dark, but I managed a shot or two which I'm pleased with in the curcumstances (I'd have lost the shot completely a year ago). Next time I'd like one posing in the sun please :-) Only the second time I've ever seen one, and the first time I've managed a picture. Amazing birds :-) 

Alex Rogers
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143) Fuscous Honeyeater - not the most exciting of honeyeaters, but super exciting for me as it was a lifer! Never seen them before, and was very excited to see a few of them, and not very shy, so even in the rain and gloom I was able to get a decent portrait. This is a young one, the adults lose the orange on the beak and gape and even lose the eye-ring, retaining only a subtle yellow plume to ID them

144) Fan-tailed Cuckoo - have heard them lots this year, very distinctive trilling call, but this was the first time I got a good sighting, and even managed to get a photo, so I was happy

145) Jacky Winter - lots of them around the river, and quite bold / confiding. I like this portrait, pity about the stick background, oh well, should have paid more attention to the angle. 

146) Perhaps my most exciting bird of the day - Turquoise Parrots! Aren't they gorgeous?! I stalked them forever to get this shot - crap light, and wary birds. But I was lucky, there were about 15 of them, and while they never let me get close, they didn't fly too far away, so I had several chances and made like a leopard in the long grass to get this shot. They are spectacular in flight, with fluoro yellow tails flashing - I tried endless shots to catch one in flight, but never got one - will settle for this portrait though :-) 

147) White-throated Treecreeper - only got a glimpse of this guy, so will have to settle for an EBC shot, for now. Also saw Brown Treecreepers. 

And a bonus shot to replace an earlier EBC - a double Double-barred Finch shot :-) 

Alex Rogers
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And final couple for the trip - I stopped to take a pic of a hawk hovering and diving over a farmer's field, and then followed it from tree to tree until if finally perched in the sunlight for a second to let me get this shot - I'm quite pleased with it, and said "thank you" nicely to the bird :-) 

148) Nankeen Kestrel with mouse. I'll also add a BIF shot of somewhat less quality, but cool to see how they carry their prey. 

149) Dusky Woodswallow - oops, nearly missed him off the list, he was hawking along the river in the dusk. Appropriate, I guess. 

sue818
sue818's picture

Wonderful set of shots, Alex... that work trip paid off big time. I think the Turqouise Parrot would be my favourite but they are all great photos. Interestingly, you have beaten me to the post as I also have a Turquoise Parrot, Fuscous HE, Restless Flycatcher and Crested Shrike-tit to post from yesterday in the Capertee Valley. Shows how well distributed some birds are. I love the story with each post as well.

Your number is climbing fast but I think the lovely Nankeen Kestrel might be 148 not 138.... almost to 150!

Alex Rogers
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Thanks Sue, corrected, and added a final bird. How cool that we got a matching set of birds - and I think you would have been pretty excited to see the Turquoise Parrot :-) Aren't they cool birds? 

sue818
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I was over the moon when 20 came up from beside the road alongside about 10 Diamond Firetails while 3 Crested Shrike-tits noisily shredded the bark over my head! Awful late afternoon light but a lifer for me in terms of a photo. Enriched my day and lifts the spirit.

dwatsonbb
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Wow Alex some great shots, looking forward to many more.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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Wow, what a set. So many great birds! My favourite would have to be the Flycatcher. Great pose and background. Their scissor call is certainly very different and weird when you hear it for the first time. I do love how you've captured the Turquoise Parrot amongst the dull background and dead branches, really makes him stand out. The Crested Shrike-tit is one of my nemesis birds as I have yet to see or photograph one. The Kestrel and Double-bars are lovely shots also. 

AbbyGrace
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Wow I agree with everyone, what a set! Love seeing birds that we don't see here or that I haven't seen yet, like the Double-Barred Finch's. Isn't that Turquoise Parrot bright! And great shots of the Nankeen Kestrel with its prey.

Alex Rogers
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I haven't been out birding much, lots going on with life generally, but managed a quick trip to Bushell's Lagoon out Windsor way. Not a great many birds, but I did see a sea eagle scaring the ducks, a couple of Whistling Kites, loads of Royal Spoonbills and Australasian grebes, and enjoyed the walk. 

150) Azure Kingfisher. I was excited to see it and snapped this awful EBC from a long way away, and was slowly stalking it to get closer when a farm tractor scared it off and that was it. Sorry, but EBC! I haven't seen one for 4 years, and its the first photo I've shot of one. 

I'll post a couple of singing cuties to make up for it - female Superb Fairywren, and a Golden-headed Cisticola strutting their stuff

Devster
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Nice one Alex. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get. Love the little singing beauties!!

dwatsonbb
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Still a good shot of the Azure, your hard on yourself calling that an EBC. The other singers are nice shot to.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

TommyGee
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Great shot of the Nankeen Kestrel Alex, but the Double-barred finches are my favourites from this latest lot! :) 

Alex Rogers
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Had a lovely walk with Karen and Sue out in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Birds were very quiet though, saw a few distant honeyeaters and treecreepers, but there was really very little activity and no photos worth the name. But lovely to walk in the Blue Mountains and get my ration of eucalyptus scent, as well as to meet another Big Year friend :-) 

I stopped at Pitt Town Lagoon on the way home, but it was also very quiet. The floods damaged a lot of the shoreline habitat, and there were very few birds, I reckon it will take years to recover. So not a very successful birding day, but always great to go walking in the sun and letting the heartbeat get slower :-) 

151) Australasian Pipit - I did get one of these on the turf farms near Pitt Town - not a great pic but its my consolation shot for the weekend. 

karentwemlow
karentwemlow's picture

Thanks for trekking out here, in hindsight we might have seen more had we stayed around my place for the day, but I do love that view from Vale of Avoca lookout so wanted to share. 

Glad you got one to add to your list though :-) 

dwatsonbb
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Great your getting out and meeting with other. That's a nice shot of the Pipit.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

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