Tom's Big Year 2022

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TommyGee
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Tom's Big Year 2022

Here we go again :) 2021 was a bit of a stop-start year for all of us, me included. I never reached my goal of 150 birds but I had a lot of fun trying, before things got a bit grim towards the end of the year.

But 2022 is a new year, and I'm starting over! I'm sticking to my goal of 150 birds but I'm also hoping to improve on the quality and variety of my photos this year. There is so much friendly advice, technical pointers and so on in this forum, I intend to put it to good use :D

New Year's Day I popped down to Woodlot Lane Reserve for an early morning look around.

1. White-Plumed Honeyeater.

2. Eastern Yellow Robin.

3. White-Eared Honeyeater.

4. Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper.  A lifer on day one :) when the path opened up onto the tidal flats there were maybe a dozen or so of these birds splashing around.

5. Crested Pigeon.

dwatsonbb
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Great start Tommy. I think it is good your setting goals. Thinking 150 is totally achievable subject to things going our way.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

michaelrt71_1
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Love the white-eared HE. Super-sharp!

TommyGee
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Thanks Dale, I've got my fingers crossed for this year. Not sure it's going to turn out but we can only hope.

Thanks Michael, I was really happy with it! The original is even nicer, this little guy just sat up and begged to be photographed.

sue818
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Great start, Tommy... love the White-eared Honeyeater.

TommyGee
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A few days into the new year, I accompanied an old mate down to Stockyard Point at Jam Jerrup. I worked with John for years but our paths only crossed again recently; he's been an avid birdwatcher for over a decade now and he's made a standing offer to show me the ropes, which I gratefully accepted this day!

You have to check the tides before visiting Stockyard Point, and allow time to walk along the beach to the sandbar but when you get there, it's worth the trip. I've posted a couple of photos of most of the birds, I had so many to choose from.

6. Grey Fantail. Escorted us along the beach from the scrub.

7. Gull-Billed Tern. Lifer #1, there were a couple of adults and more than a few juveniles in the crowd.

8. Terek Sandpiper. Lifer #2 and a highlight!  A flock of around a dozen birds dropped in just a few metres away from the sandbar, splashed around for 5 minutes and then left. Totally unexpected.

9. Red-Necked Stint. Lifer #3. Hundreds of these little guys, running back and forth.

10. Caspian Tern. I love that they can look so sleek in the air, yet so Cockney on the ground (if you know what I mean) :)

11. Crested Tern. Just one of these in the crowd, wandering around.

12. Silver Gull. Sooooo many gulls!

13. Australian Pied Oystercatcher. Lifer #4. Really stood out against the brown and white.

14. Curlew Sandpiper. Lifer #5, not as many as the Stints but they ran in the same area.

15. Red-Capped Plover. Lifer #6! Only a few of these, adult and juvenile, but they were just lovely.

There were other birds and I got some terrible photos :) but it's so early in the year, I'll hold them back in case something better comes along.

dannyka6
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Wow what a day out!!

I love every single one of your shots from Stockyard Point! Isn't it an amazing place?

I'm so jealous, I've been there several times over the last couple of years and STILL have not seen a Terek Sandpiper! I guess I'll just have to make another trek out there. It's definitely high on the list of birds I'd love to see this year. 

I especially liked your Gull-billed Tern shots and the Curlew Sandpiper shots.

And imagine having 6 lifers in one day!! How epic! Well done, so fabulous!

dwatsonbb
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6 lifers well done. I reckon you should get all the help you can, and it is sometimes nicer to bird with someone, rather than by yourself. Having said that, I like to be alone a lot, as I feel I might be holding others back with my slow but steady pace.

4 out those would be lifers for me to. Looking forward to more, thanks for sharing.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Wow, what a great day out... so many lifers and some wonderful pictures. Well done, Tom.

AbbyGrace
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Nice start to the year Tommy. I need to get to Stockyard Point again by the looks!

michaelrt71_1
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A great session at the beach and a superb selection. Well done on spotting all the individuals amongst the crowd.

TommyGee
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It was a great day. I usually prefer birding solo, so I can take my time, not to mention I just don't walk that fast! But I really enjoyed the joint trip, my friend has a wealth of knowledge and patience :) and it was also fun just catching up.

Of course, sorting through the resulting glut of photos took a while, but that's a nice problem to have.

TommyGee
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A relaxed trip to Wilson Botanic Park in Berwick:

16. Chestnut Teal. 

17. Hoary-Headed Grebe.

18. Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo.

19. Little Raven.

20. Common Blackbird.

TommyGee
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Followed by a walk around Lower Sweetwater Creek nature reserve in Frankston. A lovely little pocket of bush not far from the beach.

21. Rainbow Lorikeet.

22. Laughing Kookaburra.

23. Brown Thornbill.

24. Silvereye. A little obscured, but I do like this pose.

25. Easter Spinebill.

TommyGee
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And a walk around Cranbourne Botanic Gardens.

26. Welcome Swallow.

27. Common Bronzewing.

28. Little Wattlebird.

29. Pacific Black Duck.

30. Dusky Woodswallow. This little fella scolded us away from its nest (and rightly so!), but was kind enough to strike a pose once we were safely distant.

31. Spotted Pardalote. So pleased :) I have such trouble finding and seeing Pardalotes, let alone photographing them! 

AbbyGrace
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Tom you have been busy! Nice sets of photos. Do like it when the Welcome Swallows sit for a moment.

dwatsonbb
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Some great photos Tom. Love the eye colour on the raven, and your Dusky Woodswallow is so cute with that pose. Plenty of Woodswallows around here, but they are usually high up. I find Spotted Pardalotes hard to locate.

Enjoying your contributions, thank you.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Some more great shots, Tom. I especially like the Spotted pardalote and the Eastern Spinebill to name just a couple. 

dannyka6
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Nice to see you've been out to a few lovely spots getting some more birds. 

I really love that Common Bronzewing shot, usually I accidentally flush them back into the bush or they scurry away, that one looks beautifully calm on its pedestal :)

Pardalotes are hard because you can hear them from a long way away, but its hard to pinpoint where they are, and I find they are often up high. It's always satisfying to capture one on camera! 

TommyGee
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Thanks all :) it has been a nice start to the year, and the weather has been mostly kind. Makes such a difference!

These next photos are from no one spot in particular... just making the most of walks around the area and seeing what I could find.

32. Australian Reed Warbler.

33. Dusky Moorhen.

34. Pied Currawong.

35. Superb Fairywren (female and male).

36. Australian Pelican.

37. Royal Spoonbill.

38. Australian Wood Duck.

39. European Goldfinch.

40. Willie Wagtail.

41. Eurasian Coot (with chick).

42. White-Faced Heron, including close-up because she obligingly held still. Love the grey eye :)

43. Common Myna.

TommyGee
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And, just for fun :)

Southern Brown Bandicoot, zipping past at the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens. Naturally the only photo in focus is of its back.

Amazing native blooms at Cranbourne Botanic Gardens.

Rabbit, looking pensive at Willson Botanic Park.

Turtle, also at Wilson Botanic Park.

And what I believe is a Copperhead snake, who slid by as I sat in the Dandenong bird hide. Just off camera there was a Superb Fairywren screaming bloody murder at the snake, who seemed less than troubled.

dwatsonbb
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Agh some more great photos, and yes your snake is Copperhead, snakes were my passion, it is birds now (wifey banned me from scales, bitten once too often).

Loving seeing everyone's contribution to date. Seems like we will have a large collective number of species.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

TommyGee
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dwatsonbb wrote:

Agh some more great photos, and yes your snake is Copperhead, snakes were my passion, it is birds now (wifey banned me from scales, bitten once too often).

Loving seeing everyone's contribution to date. Seems like we will have a large collective number of species.

Bitten once too often? Sounds like there are some stories there :)

TommyGee
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A few more locals.

44. Little Pied Cormorant. Just hanging around in a tree in the sunlight, looking foofy.

45. Australian Magpie. I think this is a young-ish adult? Quite friendly.

46. Rock Dove. Sitting atop the playground equipment on the Frankston foreshore. I like the hint of green on the chest.

sue818
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Good to see the variety, Tom, we often forget the locals. Rock Doves show some beautiful irridescence in the right light.

dwatsonbb
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Yes Tom, there are a few stories there. Used to be a Snake Catcher, relocating from peoples homes. 3 bites, 5 nights in ICU (total), anti venom to the point of being allergic to the anti venom.

As one of my colleagues says - "there is still no cure for stupidity".

Some more great photos, your building nicely.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

AbbyGrace
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Nice shots Tom! Do love a pelican shot!

Alex Rogers
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Tommy, what a great set of photos! Especially love the Stockyard Point set, I'm really getting into my shorebirds (and starting to recognise a few lol) but I'd have had to look up your Tereks for sure, as well as the Gull-billed tern - what cool sightings! Thanks for sharing. Also love the other wildlife shots, its so cool to see these as well as the birds. 

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