Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Voice

Pied Butcherbird
adult

Prince Henry Drive, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

January 6, 2016


This is my 300th post on this blog. I was going to do something special but decided this is nice enough. There is something special about hearing the song of one of these when you wake early in the morning.

I saw this Pied Butcherbird family when walking around Prince Henry Drive in early January with Michael Atzeni. The parents were so busy finding food for the young and pretty much ignored my camera. 



Juvenile Pied Butcherbird


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Square-tail in a Cloud

Square-tailed Kite

Prince Henry Drive, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

January 6, 2016


Michael Atzeni and I enjoyed a walk around Prince Henry Drive back on January 6. Such a special place with a number of beautiful species. The highlight, however, was a pair of Square-tailed Kites playing in the breeze. I ran up ahead and was lucky one passed right overhead, but alas, a single grey cloud cloaked the encounter and I watched the raptor disappear into the blue sky beyond the trees.











Friday, January 15, 2016

Wyreema Wastewater Treatment Plant

Royal Spoonbill and Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Wyreema Wastewater Treatment Plant, Wyreema, Queensland, Australia




In the last few years I have enjoyed some visits to the Wyreema Wastewater Treatment Plant with members of the Toowoomba Bird Observers.

Wyreema is a small town on the south-western outskirts of Toowoomba.





It is a wonderful place to see some extraordinary Australian wildlife. Some highlights include, Royal Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Australian Pelican, Pink-eared Duck, Plumed Whistling-Duck, Black Falcon, and the list goes on. Apart from such large birds there are also tiny masters of beauty such as Zebra Finch and Superb Fairy-wren. During the drought, we even encountered Black Honeyeaters, Black-tailed Native-hens and Freckled Duck. Yellow-throated Miners are on the eastern edge of their range here, and nested nearby. Eastern Grey Kangaroos bound around the facility.



Black Falcon

Pink-eared Ducks and Plumed Whistling-Ducks


Sadly, I have heard the plant is soon closing down and the ponds or lakes could be filled in. I feel this will be a loss to the community as there are no other places such birds would gather in this area. 

It could be a nice opportunity to turn the place into a natural wetlands parkland, don’t you think? Plant a few eucalypts for koalas, make a nice circuit path with wheelchair access, and a couple of seats and where else better for international visitors arriving at the Wellcamp Airport to seek a close encounter with some of Australia’s natural treasures...




If you like the idea, please send a “Like”, to the Toowoomba Bird Observer's Facebook page.

Click here for a pdf of bird species




Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Australasian Darter

Cockatiel

Australian Pelican

Galah

Zebra Finch

Yellow-throated Miner

Waterfowl on stormwater runoff dam adjacent to the final treatment pond.

Golden-headed Cisticola

Golden-headed Cisticola

Grey Teal, Eurasian Coots, Chestnut Teal

Hardhead (White-eyed Duck)

Australasian Grebes

White-winged Triller

Freckled Duck

Sunday, January 3, 2016

In with the New

Black Falcon

(above and below)

Peter's Farm, Queensland, Australia

January 1, 2016

(click on the pictures for a better view!)



I enjoyed two magnificent days of wildlife viewing to see out 2015 and welcome 2016.

In the morning of Friday, January 1st 2016, Glenda, Chris, Mick and I visited Peter's Farm. Peter was hard at work on his tractor where he flushed various species of quail including Stubble Quail. Although a couple whizzed by my nose I was far too useless to make the most of the skeet chances. However, it was very exciting to watch a pair of Black Falcons arrive to make the most of the tractor's movements and dart about the place with ease. Within a split second I watched a quail zoom by my nose then I glanced up to see one of these super-hero falcons appear just above where the quail had disappeared. What a way to start the year.

There were many wonderful birds on Peter's Farm including Red-backed Fairy-wrens, a family of Plumed Whistling-Ducks, a family of Pacific Black Ducks, numbers of Ibis, a little Pied Cormorant, pipits etc, etc.

Thank you Peter and family for the invitation, and thank you Mick, Chris and Glenda for taking me.




Black-shouldered Kite

In front of Peter's Farm, Queensland, Australia

Brown Falcon

Up the road from Peter's Farm, Queensland, Australia

Plumed Whistling-Duck

On Peter's Farm, Queensland, Australia


It wasn't necessarily out with the old on Thursday, December 31, 2015. 

A very kind Rod Hobson took me out to Goomburra National Park where Rod introduced me to an incredible selection of beautiful wildlife. Rod has an incredible wealth of knowledge of all of Australia's natural treasures and taught me a lot.

Thank you to Rod for getting back to me to correctly identify many of the images.

I enjoyed getting about with a couple of different lenses and having a go at some damselflies and dragonflies, birds, marsupials and frogs. And of course there were beautiful landscapes that I'll post later. Sadly, I can only enter 200 characters in the Labels tab and can't input all the species I'd seen in the two days.

Probably the most important encounters of the two days were two Fleay's Barred Frogs. An extremely beautiful upright native frog with a very confined range and now critically endangered.

Rod and I had a big day that lasted well into the night and finished off with the startling falling bomb call of a female Sooty Owl. Ended the year standing in the dark with the hairs on my neck quite ruffled!

Thank you Rod.


Whitewater Rockmaster

Diphlebia lestoides

female

Identified by Rod Hobson

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

December 31, 2015

Flame Flatwing

Austroargiolestes amabilis

Identified by Rod Hobson

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

December 31, 2015

Flame Flatwing

Austroargiolestes amabilis

Identified by Rod Hobson

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

December 31, 2015


Whitewater Rockmaster

Diphlebia lestoides

male

Identified by Rod Hobson

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

Satin Bowerbird

male

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

Satin Bowerbird

female

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

Southern Vicetail

Hemigomphus gouldii

Identified by Rod Hobson

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

Red-necked Wallaby

Identified by Rod Hobson

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

Eastern Stony Creek Frog

Litoria wilcoxii

Identified by Rod Hobson

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

Short-eared Brushtail Possum

Trichosurus caninus

Identified by Rod Hobson

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

Fleay's Barred Frog

Mixophyes fleayi

Critically Endangered

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

December 31, 2015

(above and two below)

Identified by Rod Hobson



Austral Cornflower

Rhaponticum australe

Identified by Rod Hobson

Zebra Finch

Galah

Notice the two sexes: Brown eye left = male    Pink eye right = female

Superb Fairy-wren

male

Bell Miner

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

Superb Fairy-wren

Goomburra, Queensland, Australia

December 31, 2015