Karen's Big Year 2022

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karentwemlow
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Karen's Big Year 2022

Here we go again woo hoo!

Just so that the Stats post has some data in it, I am kicking off 2022 with 3 of my locals. All these ones have nested here this season.

1. Australian Magpie

Gorgeous Mr Pie who is now my best buddy after swooping me the year before. He has three noisy babies who fledged on the 20th October but still scream to be fed. Mrs Pie is a little more wary and did swoop me a few times after the babies fledged. I will have to work on her for next season.

2. Laughing Kookaburra

This is one of the two recently fledged young ones. He has quickly learnt to feed for himself, unlike the baby Magpies.

3. Noisy Friarbird

I had two nesting pairs of Friarbirds. This one currently has some chicks in a nest above our barn.

dwatsonbb
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Ah great to see, Noisy Friarbird would be a lifer for me.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

AbbyGrace
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Woohoo to a new year! Hopefully we get more chances for birding this year!! Nice photos Karen.

sue818
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Great start, Karen... I love the Kookaburra with the little bit of blue showing nicely on the wings. Happy birding this year!

michaelrt71_1
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Thanks for setting things up, Karen. You must have quite the backyard to fit in so many nesting birds!

Alex Rogers
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Thats a sweet little Kookaburra :-) And love the pollen on the Friarbird's head! Nice shots

karentwemlow
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Thanks all. Yes Michael I'm on 10 bush acres but my property backs on to the Wollemi National Park, so a very big yard indeed!

4. White-throated Nightjar

For the last two weeks I have been listening to, and watching, a pair of White-throated Nightjars. I hear them call at 8:30 and within 15 minutes they fly over my house toward some bush on the other side. They are very predictable with their routine. After about my 7th attempt to photograph them without using a flash, I caved tonight and tried it just once. I took about 4 photos, and finally got a clear enough one for ID. So now I can leave them alone and/or perhaps just observe without disturbing them.

Couldn't find factsheet.

sue818
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Well done, Karen, persistence certainly paid off. What a nice backyard bird.

dwatsonbb
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Wow that's cool. Would have been a difficult shot to get.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Thanks :-). Yeah I think I got lucky in the end. Right place, right time.

I also had some luck while out volunteering for the day with Science for Wildlife on Friday. We spent the day checking camera traps and doing vegetation surveys in Mountain Lagoon and we bumped into this beautiful boy. He watched us intently from way up high in the treetops. My camera battery died while taking pics of him, so am glad I at least got this one in.

Alex Rogers
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Wow, you got a shot of the nightjar - fantastic! Well done, that wasn't easy at all. And love the koala shot :-) 

michaelrt71_1
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Wow, 10 acres sounds like plenty of room for nesting!

dannyka6
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Nice start to the year! How nice to have your "own" nesting birds, I love that. We've had nesting butcherbirds and I do feel quite protective towards them even though I know they aren't mine, just around for a while.

TommyGee
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Great start Karen :) I am envious of your backyard! We've just moved into a new place that has exactly NO backyard space at all, and I'm really feeling it. Fortunately there are still a number of pockets of green and wetlands in the area but it's not the same as having trees and grass at your back door.

And I love the Friarbird :) I have yet to see one of those in real life.

karentwemlow
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Thanks all, yes I love my backyard, but it means I'm a bit of a homebody so my big year is usually mostly birds that I see at home. And I'm the same Danika, I do get protective of the ones that nest here. Tommy the Friarbirds are so common here and so bossy, for a while there I was chasing them off as they significantly reduce the biodiversity, they won't share!! But as soon as I saw they were nesting, I let them be. The latest two have fledged now but are hanging around mostly in the grevilleas near the house. I won't be chasing them off :-).

Here's a few more from around my place, and some from a recent trip up to Mount Tomah gardens. Some pretty EBC shots, but when I have some time I will try to get replacement shots of better quality.

5. Black-faced Cuckooshrike

6. Oriental Dollarbird

7. Grey Butcherbird

8. Grey Shrike-thrush

9. Jacky Winter

This is one of two recently fledged ones that I see regularly, usually sitting on the power lines.

10. Rufous Whistler

11. Sacred Kingfisher

This guy was a long way off, I think maybe he's eating a spider lol

12. Satin Bowerbird

These are the ratbags of the 'pool'. I always need to top it up after they have been through.

13. Variegated Fairy-wren

Probably my most EBC shot ever, but no doubting what it is. 

14. White-throated Treecreeper

The next lot are from a trip to Mount Tomah gardens last Saturday.

15. Superb Lyrebird

Finally got me a Superb Lyrebird pic! I saw two but they were well hidden in the bushes, just managed to get this one. The boy was putting on a show for her nearby but she was more interested in digging up the ground.

16. Australian Raven

This one was stealing people's hot chips and hoarding them. At one point I saw him with 5 in his beak. Perhaps a family to feed nearby.

17. Little Wattlebird

18. New Holland Honeyeater

19. Striated Thornbill

20. Superb Fairywren

I still wasn't quick enough to get a good pic, but this one came right up to me and almost stepped on my foot. Just moving too quick for me...

21. White-browed Scrubwren

22. Wonga Pigeon

And this last one from a recent trip to the Grose river with the boys. 

23. White-faced Heron

sue818
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Well done, Karen, I love the Satin Bowerbird and the Superb Lyrebird and the little Jacky Winter is cute. This year is flying!

dwatsonbb
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Love the bowerbird also, a nice range of birds. Thanks.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

dannyka6
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I really like the Wonga Pigeon as I rarely see them, and same for the Australian Raven - I hear them but don't see them up close, I feel like your shot is a classic photo that would be terrific to use to help me ID these ravens compared to our usual Little Ravens around Melbourne. 

I also love the bowerbird eye of course, so stunning!

What a great range of birds, amazing land/garden you have there!

TommyGee
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Nice, Karen! The Satin Bowerbird gets my vote too :) 

karentwemlow
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Thanks everyone, funnily enough I took the pic of the Satin Bowerbird from inside my house, through a dirty window. And it turned out one of my better shots lol

AbbyGrace
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Nice finds Karen. Do love your Satin Bowerbird shot!

Alex Rogers
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Some lovely birds Karen - so cool to have a lyrebird visit, also loved the bowerbird and wonga pigeon - even more than whipbirds, they tend to be the birds I hear most but never see! Nice work. 

michaelrt71_1
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What a great range within your yard! Do you plant anything specific, or remove the introduced plants?

karentwemlow
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Thanks all :-) 

Hey Michael it's a natural bush block with limited cleared area and is essentially part of the Wollemi National Park. We have also planted hundreds of flowering natives since moving here, mostly ones with the smaller flowers to attract smaller birds. We get most of the plants from the local community nursery so that they are indigenous to the area. There aren't any introduced plant species here, but would be removed if we found any. We had a guy from Land for Wildlife come out and wandered around the property collecting cuttings. He took them away and then sent me back a list of all the plants we have here. There is a lawn area which was here when we moved in (but we'd like to remove and replace with rock gardens and natives) and I think he found one other weed but said it was not posing a problem.

I also put lots of water out for the animals, 7 bird baths and 4 shallow dishes on the ground. Water is not a problem this year but during the drought we had an even bigger variety of birds and other animals visiting to get a drink. 

We've been here 4 years and I only saw my first two introduced bird species in the last few months. There are neighbours nearby cutting down trees and the local council just approved a new land clearing law, allowing property owners to clear more of their property without council permission. Many of the natural wildlife corridors will be destroyed due to this, the local koala population is probably not going to survive. And I think I'll start seeing more Common Mynas. We will keep planting trees though.

Not sure how much difference we can make but I read a great quote recently 'Do what you can, where you are, with what you have'. So that's what we will do.

dwatsonbb
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Love what your doing/done Karen, maybe look at some native grasses (they tend not to need mowing) as well as your planned rock gardens. We can only hope you can keep the natives happy.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Thanks Dale, yes will definitely do that. I have some native grass seeds I bought in an attempt to feed the King Parrots. But they turned up their noses at it lol. We have some native grass on the other side of our house, which definitely doesn't need mowing as often. We have some wild orchids that come up in that, along native carnivorous plants. Sometimes it gets quite long before my husband will mow as he wants the plants to go to seed first. But with snakes around, we do need to keep it low close to the house.

Alex Rogers
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Doesn't it drive you mad when councils/states open up for even more land clearing? Grrrrr. You are doing a fab job on your place, good for you. May you long be mynah-free (and minimal miners too!)

michaelrt71_1
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Wow, what a spot! Sounds like you are making the most of it, and certainly doing more than 'your bit' for the local ecosystems.

TommyGee
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Now that's a bush block! Just beautiful Karen :) keep doing what you're doing!

karentwemlow
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Thanks guys, yes I love it here, my sanctuary, I rarely leave lol. And yes Alex it is extremely frustrating. The biggest problem as I see it is that the majority of people don't place enough importance on the environment and wildlife. The governments of the day at all levels will just do what the people want, otherwise they won't be in government. I hope next generations will think differently.

But to end on a positive note, a bunch of these lovely birds stopped by this morning. I heard their creaky call during my morning 'lap' with the dog. One of my all time favourites.

24. Gang-gang Cockatoo

dannyka6
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What a beautiful shot! Absolutely gorgeous, I really love it!

TommyGee
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Yep, that's a keeper :) Nicely done Karen.

Alex Rogers
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Ooooh, beautiful! 

AbbyGrace
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What a stunner! Looks like we need to visit your place! :D

dwatsonbb
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Another bird that would be new to me, love that shot.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

michaelrt71_1
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Beautiful bird and photo; you must have a patient, understanding dog :)

sue818
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How beautiful, Karen... so lucky to have them as backyard birds.

karentwemlow
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I have been a bit MIA lately, just very busy with work and uni and Leo etc, and I'm also learning the piano which keeps me inside a lot, as does all the rain we've had recently.

But this afternoon I heard a distinct call from my kitchen and while I couldn't immediately recognise it, I knew it was one I'd only heard here once or twice before. I grabbed the camera and followed the sound.... and then I spotted him as he flew over the house. This is the 3rd sighting I've had of them here, and not for over a year. Made my day :-)

25. Glossy Black Cockatoo

Terrible blurry photo I know, but it's better than the other pic I have, with some black bits in amongst a gum tree. Hopefully identifable enough?

dannyka6
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Cool, great to see a Glossy! I've been chasing some sightings about 30min from here, some come down this far every year to a particular area around Frankston, but so far no luck! Will have to keep trying!!

karentwemlow
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Oh I hope you see one soon, keep trying :-).  I have missed them. I hope they come back and I can get a better photo. But I think they have inspired me to get out a bit more, and get a few more runs on the board here! 

dwatsonbb
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A great bird to have fly over your backyard, and I am guessing their is not much else it could be? Certainly it is obviously not a Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, which is my only experience with large black cockies.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Thanks Dale. Yes I hear and see the yellow-tailed black cockatoos daily. Have a family who visit with their very loud baby! I have a pic of the family of 6 but my memory card is being difficult. Hope to resurrect it soon but they visit often so should be able to get another photo. 

karentwemlow
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A few more to add today after a day out yesterday at the Tiny Homes expo. Saw the Swamp Harrier at the expo, then we walked back from it to Richmond afterward and I snapped a few other bird pics along the way.

26. Swamp Harrier

27. Little Corella

28. Common Myna

29. Red-rumped Parrot

30. Crested Pigeon

Also some more from a trip up to the Central Coast a few months back, that I'm just getting around to uploading now.

31. Magpie-lark

32. Common Starling

33. Australian White Ibis

34. Masked Lapwing

35. Noisy Miner

36. Olive-backed Oriole

37. Australian Pelican

38. Silver Gull

39. Welcome Swallow

And one last one from around home. We don't get these visitors often, but they do like our grevillea trees when they do stop by.

40. Rainbow Lorikeet

michaelrt71_1
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Hey Karen. The big beefy beak looks like that of the glossy black cockatoo to me.The swamp harrier looks cool, and taking a sharp corner. Great that you're getting out again, and that you have seen some blue sky by the look of your photos. 

AbbyGrace
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Nice set of photos Karen! Love your Rainbow Lorikeet. 

karentwemlow
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Thanks Michael, yes Merlin recognised the Glossy Black too. I definitely know it was one but I also know my photo is not a great capture, so I'm glad you are able to recognise it! And yes we had a weekend with quite a bit of blue sky, so that was nice.

Thanks Abby, there was a pair of Lorikeets in this grevillea right next to my kitchen and they didn't seem fussed with me being close by :-).

One more for today, which is also from a little while ago. I think they are breeding nearby as they have been here with their young on quite a few occasions. I managed a pic of the family of 6 in a tree in my yard, but my memory card suddenly tells me it can't be accessed. So I will just go with this blurdy pic for now. They visit often so hopefully I can get a better pic later.

41. Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

TommyGee
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Welcome back Karen! Great get with the Glossy, I'm jealous :) not to mention having a family of Yellow-Tailed cockies nearby, they are one of my absolute favourite birds.

karentwemlow
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Thanks Tom, I saw the Glossy again today! It flew over roughly the same time (an hour early really, given daylight savings ended) while I was doing my afternoon 'lap' of the property. Again just the one. And flew over the house and off in the same direction. I hope he (I think a he, didn't see any yellow patches) has a partner somewhere nearby.

Still a blurry shot.... but seeing it twice in a week, how cool! 

dannyka6
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Great update Karen, nice to see your birds.

Love the Silver Gill shot walking in the foam at the beach, and also the cute Little Corella. So cool having the Glossy come by often, would love to see that. You've got some really cool local birds.

dwatsonbb
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Great you getting some nice pics of some great birds. I to love the Rainbow Lorikeet, a bird I have seen but never photographed. Sadly they have made their way to Tassie, but not yet as far south as we are, but they're getting closer.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Yes Dale it's a worry that the Rainbow Lorikeets are making their way down toward you. I don't get them often here which I think is good. They are one of those birds that tends to dominate. It's also one of the reasons we have planted very small flowering plants rather than the large grevillea and bottle brush types. The previous owners planted grevilleas which I'm thinking to prune a bit to reduce their size. The Noisy Friarbirds and Wattlebirds tend to dominate those.

Thanks Danika, yes the Silver Gull is one of my favourites. I was out with my son and husband that day, it was extremely windy and we were flying a kite. I didn't have a lot of time for photography but tried to snap as many as I could, so I was at least happy with that pic.

Just one more for me to add today.

42. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Another fairly common bird that we don't really see often. I actually see the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos more often than these guys. But this one made a huge noise as he stopped briefly yesterday so thought I should add him to my tally.

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