Karen's Big Year 2021

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karentwemlow
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113. Striated Thornbill

I've been working outside today.... have I finally spotted a Striated Thornbill?

There are so many little birds around my place lately, I'm loving this time of year. These two pics may not be the same bird, there were quite a lot jumping in and out of the bird baths.

Devster
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They are such busy little birds. Don't stand still for more than 0.01 of a second. lol. Well done for capturing them

dwatsonbb
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Good work Karen, looks like the birdbath is getting some good use.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

AbbyGrace
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Nice additions Karen. I use a 55-300mm on my Nikon, got it 2nd hand, would like a slightly bigger zoom, but I'm happy with what I get with this lens.

sue818
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Gorgeous, Karen... seems to be enjoying the birdbath.

karentwemlow
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Thanks all :-)

Just an update on my Wandering Tattler - I had it ID'd on the ABID fb page but only by one person. I posted on BirdTheFeckAtHome page which has Nikolas Haas on it and although he's not sure, he believes it is more likely a Grey-tailed Tattler. I'll change based on this as I know he's one of the best at bird IDs. It's still a new one for me, doesn't change my count.

sue818
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Pleased that it does not change your tally, Karen. The two Tattlers are challenging without really good detail as length of nasal groove is considered along with other pointers. Great that is a new one for you.

Devster
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Yes Nokolas Haas is amazing and ID not just birds but many species. I miss him on ABID but I just guess some people didn't click with his personality

karentwemlow
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Yes I have had him ID other animals on other pages for me too, he seems like such an amazing person. I miss him on ABID too and love his personality and his passion, it's a shame that he's not there anymore. But at least I know where to find him....

Alex Rogers
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Hi Karen, some cool birds there, and love the Junior Fireman shots :-) 

I started with the P900, its quite an amazing camera, that lens is just astounding, and with some patience and practise you can get really good photos with it. I agree, the viewfinder is a shocker - I persevered for a year, but when Sue showed me the view through her DSLR, I traded up as soon as I could. The small sensor is also an issue ultimately for quality. But its a super veratile camera for all round use, has very good programs and manual capacity for learning with, and the modest size and mega-range from wide angle to monster zoom makes it a very portable all round camera, so enjoy using it too :-) 

karentwemlow
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Thanks Alex. Yeah I went the other way, from a DSLR to the P900. I have my replacement 300mm lens for the DSLR now so using that around home. The P900 was good to take on a day trip up to the Blue Mountains on the weekend where I could get some scenery shots and pics of the boys too.

karentwemlow
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No new birds from our day out in the Blue Mountains National Park in Grose Vale yesterday, but I managed to get this pair at home after setting up my wildlife camera near some water I recently found on my property. A temporary 'creek' was established after heavy rain, along with a small pond and dripping 'waterfall'. I thought animals might come there to drink so put the camera out. These were the only animals it spotted. A previous regular at my place, but not seen yet this year.

113. Brown Cuckoo-Dove

karentwemlow
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114. Little Eagle

Went for a walk this afternoon with Leo, just down the trail at the back of my place.... when we got back I spotted a bunch of what I thought were Pardalotes but they weren't making the usual Spotted Pardalote sound so I thought maybe I'd finally found a Striated Pardalote. Only got a backside shot of the pardalote but through the trees I saw this guy circling up high. Of course I had the 300mm lens with me and not the P1000. Took a few pics then ran up to the house to get the P1000 but he had gone.

I'm still excited though, as this is a new bird for me and it is number 97 for my 'yard list'. 

karentwemlow
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115. Little Pied Cormorant

Just realised I haven't got one this year, took this pic on Saturday from the verandah of a cafe, overlooking a dam below. I just wanted to see what it was, and actually thought I already had one, so glad to have taken it now.

Devster
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Well done with the wildlife camera. I've been meaning to get one. Also congrats on the Little Eagle at your place

sue818
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Well done, Karen... your list is climbing nicely. Pleased that you found the wildlife camera so useful. Thanks for the company and the bushwalk last weekend ... that was an amazing view.

Alex Rogers
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Huh, that wildlife camera takes credible photos, doesn't it? Its a great addition to the armoury :-) 

TommyGee
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Nice get on the Little Eagle, Karen :) 

karentwemlow
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Thanks all, yes I love the wildlife camera and experimenting with it in different locations. I have a couple of them but the one with the solar panel gets the most use. I haven't needed to change batteries in over 2 years. The other needs batteries and just haven't gotten around to replacing them. Definitely worth it to get the solar panel. 

I also have an audio device that I need to set up again, it's great to put it out at night and then use as a soundtrack while working the next day.

And yeah, still stoked about my Little Eagle, will need to print out to add to my album. It has 150 spots in it for all birds previously recorded in this area.... 97 down, 53 to go!

dwatsonbb
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Little Eagle is awsome. Funny how we forget the common birds, I have a few that I will need to look out for, most are easy to get, but remembering what I need is my problem, might have to make a shopping list!

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Yes I'm the same Dale, I sometimes take a photo thinking I've got a new one, but already had it.... or don't take a pic thinking I've already got it but I don't. I've been checking the birds that have been seen by everyone except me. But they doesn't work as well for you being in Tasmania I guess?

dwatsonbb
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Karen, most of the birds you northerners have, we don't, so your right, I don't concentrate too much in what others have, but almost always overlook the commoners.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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We were lucky enough to get a week away before the sudden lockdown. Leo has 3 weeks holidays so we spent the first week at 'the lakehouse' - a holiday park near Lake Macquarie. A few new birds for me there. And I will include a replacement Grey Butcherbird, this lovely little one visited us most days, looking for food. He wasn't impressed with the strawberry I offered him (we are mostly vegetarian so didn't have any of the 'good' stuff that he was after!!). He did eat some cooked carrot and picked up crumbs from pie and toast.

I also got a couple of new ones around home yesterday - a flock of about 30 Musk Lorikeets stopped by. They often fly over, but this time they stopped in a tree. They seemed to be chasing off a pair of black cockatoos, not sure why. They moved on pretty quickly but I snapped a pic. And a lovely little Yellow Thornbill (I think? Please correct me if I'm wrong?).

116. Long-billed Corella

117. Pied Butcherbird

118. Common Blackbird

119. Musk Lorikeet

120. Yellow Thornbill

dwatsonbb
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That Grey Butcherbird is a great shot. Some nice photos of the others as well. Thanks.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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Yeah that Grey Butcherbird is so very cute. We don't get the Blackbirds or Musk Lorikeets up here

sue818
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Well done, Karen... some nice birds there but that Grey Butcherbird is a cutie!

karentwemlow
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Thanks, yes we loved having the butcherbird visit us at our holiday cabin. 

Today I have a photo of an owl who visited overnight and was caught on my wildlife camera. Unfortunately the camera was not quite at the right angle and it has chopped off the head!

The diameter of the branch it is sitting on is 8cm. I am thinking most likely a Boobook Owl? I know not identifiable for inclusion here, but I'm still excited to have my first Owl yard photo. I do hear Boobooks often, I have occasionally heard a Sooty and neighbours have had a Powerful Owl visit.

AbbyGrace
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A nice set of birds Karen. And thats pretty exciting about your night visitor. (I'm no help there sorry)

sue818
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Think you could be correct with Southern Boobook on size comparison and general shape but no expert. Hope you see it again.

karentwemlow
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121. Tawny Frogmouth

This is the same tree and wildlife cam that took the previous shot, so perhaps it was not a Boobook? In any case, this one is a Tawny Frogmouth. My first sighting this year, was on the camera from Monday night. I had put a bowl of native grass seeds out to see if there might be any takers. Not sure the Tawny was into the seed but I do have a few resident frogs in watering cans near this tree. Well, I did have some... 

dwatsonbb
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Great you got to see it again, enough to confirm ID. Tawnies are one of my favourite of the nocturnals, not that I have seen very many.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Well done. We have Tawnies in the area but have not seen one at home for a while ... also have had Powerful Owl a couple of times (they are really loud!) and Southern Boobook is often heard but hides in the neighbour's tree. That camera is working well for you.

karentwemlow
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Took the camera out for a walk alongside the swamp nearby my mum's place, and this one flew over. Happy to get a replacement for my #57 Swamp Harrier which was a bit of a dodgy pic I thought. No other new birds, however plenty of birdlife around here.

dwatsonbb
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Nice work Karen. Don't see swampier that often, and when I do they are usually high up or a fair way off.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Thanks Dale, yeah he wasn't too high up and flew over as soon as I walked out the door, timing was great.

Alex Rogers
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Nice catch!

sue818
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Well done, Karen.

TommyGee
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Nice Karen :) glad you can still get out and about a bit.

karentwemlow
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Thanks all, yes has been good to be able to get up to see my mum who lives alone. I am also more able to work from there than in a tiny house with a 6yo!

Today I saw my first introduced species at my place, this brings my home tally to 98, and as far as introduced species go, this one is not so bad.

I do know that it is land/habitat clearing rather than any particular bird species that does most of the damage to our native birds. There's too much development going on in my area so introduced species may become more common in the coming years. The way we do housing estate development in Sydney is to completely remove all greenery first, including hundred year old trees, create a brown patch of dirt, then a few bespoke plantings of native trees and a zillion tiny plots with each owner planting their own exotic garden. An environment for introduced birds to thrive, then the exotic garden owners have someone else to blame for the demise of the native birds.

122. Red-whiskered Bulbul

TommyGee
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I hear you Karen... it's not that different here in Melbourne. I live in a growth corridor and the amount of land that has been cleared and turned into suburbia is incredible... and the plantings can never match what was there before.

The one thing we do have is the lake. This area used to be swamp and Melbourne Water is focused on building/retaining wetlands throughout new developments. Berwick Springs lake is fairly mature now and there is a lot of native vegetation, which is great for the native wildlife, but it's still just a pocket of greenery and water compared to what was here before.

Alex Rogers
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I do have a soft spot for bulbuls, they are so cheerful with their calls and very smartly presented :-) But yes, they love the borders of cleared land and are a sure sign of creeping urbanisation :-( 

dwatsonbb
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Unfortunately man is putting too much pressure on our native species, and it is a world wide problem. I didn't realise the Bulbul was introduced, so today is a good day, I have learned something new.

Glad you can have some movement, and it must be nice for mum to catch-up with Leo (hope I have got the right kid with the right mum?)

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Nice one, Karen, We had them nearby but building work has disrupted the birds.

Dale, only a few areas in Australia have Red-whiskered Bulbuls and Sydney - Wollongong area has the largest population. I believe they were introduced in the 1880s but not sure why.

Devster
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Nice catch Karen. The silhoette also reminds me of a Whipbird with its crest up. 

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