Dale's Big Year Challenge 2020

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dwatsonbb
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Thanks all. Karen, if you have time some stats would be awsome. Dev did some last year, and although not a competition, it does make interesting reading. If you look at the link below, you can see some of the info he was able to provide. Not sure what your able to achieve, but anything would be great.

And yes the Goshawk does have an intimidating look. I posted it on a Tasmanian FB page, there is being some study done on the white morph in our area. The founder of that page says mine photo is of a young bird.

Here is a link to that page, if you interested,not sure if you can view unless you join though!
 

Thanks again all, think it will be a while before I found anything new, we are on increased lockdown from midnight tonight - only go,out for work and essentials.

Stay safe, and happy birding (from your backyard).

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Thanks Dale, I can't see a link?

And I'm always birding from my backyard, this was the year I had planned to actually go out and do some birding elsewhere! Oh well, I'm happiest at home so this suits me fine.

Just about to head off to bed but I heard what I think is an Owlet-nightjar not far from my window. As soon as I press record on my phone, it stops. I just went out with a torch to have a look but of course all was quiet. Probably watching me the whole time. I'm sure he will speak up again as soon as I go to bed.

dwatsonbb
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Sorry Karen, I got distracted, I'll try again.

It's fantastic that your happy birding from home, and you certainly have some fine species. Hopefully you can keep chugging away, even just to give me something different to look at.

Dev's stats

http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/forum/Small-Year-Stats-so-far

Grey Goshawk (Pure White Morhp Tasmania)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2321293554762258/

Hope that works for you!

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Hi Dale, yep I'll do some similar stats after work today, not a problem.

Love the Grey Goshawk!!

dwatsonbb
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Finally getting round to sorting the past 3 months photos, there aren't that many, just been lazy and busy at the sametime. A few EBC (crappy photos) and few I am quite happy with. No particular order - 

Upgrade for 25. Pacific Black Duck - I like the reflection and detail in this one.

Pacific Black Duck by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Upgrade for 17. Australian Pied Oystercatcher - like the reflection on this one

Pied Oyster Catcher by Dale Watson, on Flickr

71. Musk Duck - definetaly an EBC - long way off, dark bird, grey sky, grey water, but a 1st sighting for me, and he has his lobe inflated, which struck me as odd, he was the only one around.

Musk Duck by Dale Watson, on Flickr

72. Laughing Kookaburra - another introduced species for Tasmania. I was able to get quite close, and so am relatively pleased with the outcome.

Kooki by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Laughing Kookaburra by Dale Watson, on Flickr

73. Common Starling - introduced feral, but hey a guys go to get numbers up somehow!

Common Starling by Dale Watson, on Flickr

74. Dusky Robin (Tas. Endemic) - another only just photo, hard to pin down,they just keep moving through the branches.

 Dusky Robin by Dale Watson, on Flickr

75 Grey Shrike Thrush. This one followed me along the track, but was busy looking for food, and wouldn't stay still for long. It was also somewhat camoflaged.

Grey Shrike Thrush by Dale Watson, on Flickr

76. Collared Sparrow-hawk - this one got inside our local Animal Tuckerbox (a rural supply type store - building is like a warehouse).My colleague was picking up some supplies, and just happened to be in the right place at the right time - Nikon P900, my carry almost everywhere camera, lighting wasnt the best - the "bright" photo is lights on, the others are lights off, trying to get it to fly out the door. It was spotted chasing House Sparrows into the building. It left the building after about an hour (I as going back the following day if it was still inside with the good camera)

Collared Sparrow-hawk by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Collared Sparrow-hawk by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Collared Sparrow-hawk by Dale Watson, on Flickr

77. Scarlet Robin, very much an EBC - heavily cropped,exposure adjusted etc. Sadly backlight and a long way off. Anyhow it's another counter.

Scarlet Robin by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Took what I thought was a Black Currawong (Tas Endemic) - ID by call, but my photo is of a Forest Raven, there must have been Currawong calling very close by, but unfortunatley I didn't see them. Here is the Raven anyway - additional photo for 69.

Forest Raven by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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NIce set of birds, Dale. Love the young Collared Sparrowhawk! I also agree that a good reflection does add to a picture. Seems to me your number of birds is climbing quite nicely.

dwatsonbb
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Thanks Sue. Have passed last years small year challenge, and have got roughly 25% of birds seen in Tasmania. Also have a few easy ones, that I am trying to get better photos of. Maybe looking at visiting the daughter and grandson in Melbourne later this year, if and when we are allowed to travel. Hoping to get to the WTP at Werribee, so that might build some numbers.

Mostly I am enjoying seeing what everyone else sees in this great country og ours.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

dwatsonbb
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Went out looking again today, not much new, but here they are - 

78. Common Bronzewing - seen often, but 1st photo for me, they usually take flight before I see them.

Common Bronzewing by Dale Watson, on Flickr

79. New Holland Honeyeater - EBC - poor photo, the obligatory branch in the way.

New Holland Honeyeater by Dale Watson, on Flickr

And another Eastern Spinebill 35. Just caus I like this photo.

Eastern Spinebill 1 by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Well done, Dale... if only those branches would disappear. I have a theory that a bird likes to shade its eyes as I do!

dwatsonbb
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Been a bit quiet down here lately, have had a couple of short trips, so here are some for the past week or 2.

These Tawny Frogmouth have been hanging around for a couple of months, in the same spot. Reckon they are the most photographed Tawnies in Tassie. Went looking easily found. Was about leave when a flash of pink caught my eye - the obligatory branch spoils the focus, but hey I was happy.

80. Tawny Frogmouth - 1st photo shows the tree, in a small corridor of native bush middle suburbia. The bark they are on seems quite strong,we have had some high wind, but it remains intact (it is on the eastern side, prevailing wind westerly). Apparently nest boxes nearby, which Swift Parrots use as well, so I will be back later in the year. A lady told me these have "grown so much" in a month or so, so unclear if siblings or a young pair. The male on the right (they are always in the same spot with very similar pose).

Tawny by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Tawny Frogmouth by Dale Watson, on Flickr

34. (additional photo) Galah - in a romantic frame of mind!

Galah. by Dale Watson, on Flickr

On my way home spotted some Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos in my mates orchard, couple of ordinary photos, before they flew directly overhead (autofocus too slow - or the photographer!)

81. Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo by Dale Watson, on Flickr

I turned as they flew toward, the overhead, 

YTBC by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo flt by Dale Watson, on Flickr

61. Silvereye - replacement/additional - these guys came in after the Yellow-tails departed. I think my best shot of these so far, but still looking to improve.

Silvereye by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Another better shot, inmy opinion, 54. Grey Currawong, there was a small flock fossicking around in a paddock, flipping bark and leaves, hunting. ID by the white coverts (Black Currowong have Black coverts, and we don't get Pieds in Tassie).

Grey Currawong by Dale Watson, on Flickr

77. And another Male Scarlet Robin.

Scarlet Robin male by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
sue818's picture

Great to see you are managing to increase those numbers, Dale. Love the Tawny Frogmouths, what a place to sit! Seems you might have to keep an eye out for young Galahs as well. Who can't love a Robin, always a delight to see one. 

dwatsonbb
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Thanks for all your comments, times are hard at the moment, the world we knew has certainly changed! 

Again still have not had many opportunities to get out, with weather and work.

Mananged a trip last Saturday - 660klm round trip on a 16 hour day in the hope of sighting 2 birds - Nankeen Night Heron, and the Azure Kingfisher, which are not usually found in my local area (supposed to have the Kingfisher, but I can't find them). Got 1, but unfortunatley, the other was not home (called back twice to check - morning and afternoon). Anyway my day was not wasted, got to see some old favourites - White-bellied Sea Eagle pair, and later a juvenile, white-face Heron, Australian Pied Oystercathers,cormorants of 2 species, Green Rosella and Yellow-tailed black Cockatoos. I may add some more photos either here or in best photos, once I get them sorted.

But for now the hightlight of my day, was no doubt an Azure Kingfisher. If you get to Tasmania, I recommend the Leven River Cruise (Ulverstone) - a small local company who run various trips from Birdwatching, to general scenic and history tours. I have rabbited on enough, so here is 1 of about 300 photos - cropped, but not processed;

82. Azure Kingfisher

Azure Kingfisher by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Wonderful shot, Dale. Certainly made the trip worthwhile! So pleased that you managed to get out & about. Stay safe.

dwatsonbb
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Thanks Sue, we are pretty safe in Tassie, it's Victoria I feel for. Been a bit quiet round here lately, sign of the times?

Just hoping we can all stay safe and get through this situation, and that one day soon life will get back to the "new normal".

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Love all the pics Dale. And what a beautiful little kingfisher, I have never seen one of those. I've only been to Tasmania once, when I was about 12. I would love to come back some day when this virus thing is all over. The birdwatching cruise sounds great.

dwatsonbb
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Thanks Karen, it was certainly worth the effort, and a real highlight for me to the this bird, one I didn't know was here until very recently.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
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Gorgeous kingfisher, Dale, and I love the frogmouths too. I seem to have a bling spot for froggies - so many people photograph them in Sydney, but I haven't spotted any for years - I need to train my eye for the camo. 

I know things must feel a bit isolated in Tassie at the moment, but its lovely for us to see your special local birds :-) 

sue818
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Have to say it, Alex... no amount of bling will help! Look for a shape that does not quite fit rather than camo. The dead stick stance is more a camouflage once they realise you are looking at them.

dwatsonbb
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Thanks guys. Nice to see the challenge picking up again, things have been a bit slow, I guess thanks to COVID. Hoping our Victorian friends are doing ok.

Once you see the Tawnies, they tend not to move, unless you spook them. These 2 were there for a few months. Last visit there was only 1 - hoping all is ok, maybe nesting?


The Kingfisher was an outstanding bird for me, worth the effort. Think I still have a 100 or so photos to sort, nothing new, but maybe some upgrades.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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I must have missed those ones Dale. Sorry. Great variety and love the Kingfisher with the twinkle in his eye

dwatsonbb
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Here is a couple from today, still sorting some earlier photos, but don't think anything new. Heavily cropped.

83. Crescent Honeyeater - for Sue. Sighted maybe 3 pair, but alas no female photo. This is a new bird for me, hadn't realised how often I have heard and not seen util today.

Crescent Honeyeater by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Crescent Honeyeater by Dale Watson, on Flickr

84. Beautiful Firetail.

Beautiful Firetail by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Gorgeous, Dale, and thank you ... wonderful shots. Nice to get a new one.

Devster
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Wow. Love these 2 Dale especially the Crescent Honeyeater. I took a photo of a felale when I was there a few years ago. Nowhere near as striking as this male. Well captured

Alex Rogers
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Both beautiful birds, great to see the Tassie species again :-) 

karentwemlow
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Gorgeous little birds, I haven't seen either of these. Crescent Honeyeater is stunning!

dwatsonbb
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Thank you all for your kind words. Still struggling with time, hoping to get my ton, just have to wait and see.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

dwatsonbb
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Had a couple of trips in past weeks, a few new birds for my list, and a new bird to me (at least wild one).

85. Superb Lyrebird -  have been thinking of looking for these for a while, bit the bullet yesterday, went for what was supposed to be a 8klm return walk, took a wrong turn, turned it into a 15klm walk, was geographically embarassed for about an hour, eventually back tracking and finding my way out. Had I not detoured the long way, might have missed it. Ended up seeing 3, 1 darted accross the track before I could lift the camera, this one, and another ran accross the road in front of me on the way home (got some poor dashcam footage). Poor light handheld, ISO wound up to 12,800, shutter speed 1/80th F6.3 at 600mm. Reasonably happy for a relative beginner! The only half decent photo I got.

Superb Lyrebird by Dale Watson, on Flickr

86. Black Currawong - another Tassie Endemic - been looking in the higher country for this one, was at my mates work (he manages an orchard and juices apples), well a couple turned up for a feed of apple directly from the bin (stacked 9 high, each holding 700-750kg of apples). Again pretty happy with these couple.

Black Currawong by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Black Currawong by Dale Watson, on Flickr

87. Black Swan - been waiting to find swans which are not just dots on the screen. This family thought is was going to feed them. Again sorry if there are too many photos, but I couldn't choose.

Black Swan by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Black Swan by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Black Swan by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Black Swan by Dale Watson, on Flickr

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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Nice to see the Lyrebird Dale. The Cygnets are also very cute. Sometimes those wrong turns can turn to gold. I did the same a few year ago when I was on Rottnest Island. Took a wrong turn and found some White-fronted chats that were happy to have their photo taken, so it was a lifer for me. 

sue818
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Lovely set of photos, Dale. Well done getting that Lyrebird shot in such conditions and the Cygnets are cute. I agree, sometimes those long detours prove to be very rewarding and I do admire the phrasing of geographically embarrassed. I am sure I can use that in the future. It happened to me in Florence where I knew we had come from a certain side of a particular building as my reference... shame it was round!

dwatsonbb
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Thank you. The Lyrebird are introduced to Tasmania, and have found themselves a few secluded locations in which to hide. Was the highlight of my day.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Good stuff Dale! Its hard shooting in the dark Tassie forests - nice work on getting a decent shot of the lyrebird :-) And never too many swan shots, I love them. 

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