Another handful of Geelong birds

It was Dad processing photos for a blog this morning that reminded me I didn’t have anything written. It’s nice to be home, briefly, for the holiday season. I’m still working – I now have most of the data for my thesis and am wrapping my brains around the analysis of it. But it’s nice to be able to do that from home for a while (and to get distracted by mountain biking occasionally…okay every day).

Today I’m going to share a few more photos from Geelong. Despite limited time it was quite a productive trip, photographically speaking. I also saw quite a few bird species I’d never seen before, which is always exciting. I definitely need to spend some time exploring Australia’s birdlife, it’s so wonderfully diverse (and big screamy rainbow parrots are fantastic).

We watched these wee Little grebes guard their nest and then feed their chicks every day. They got very upset when the lakes other inhabitants (Pacific Black ducks) got too close to their stripy babies.

Superb fairywrens were our constant companions, little flashes and flecks of blue that kept popping up in the edges of my vision.

Trying for yet more Superb fairywrens, but only the females were playing ball! I was overwhelmed by how many of these little birds we saw. There’s a few photos of them up on my instagram as well.

Crimson rosellas are gorgeous birds. There used to be a wild population in New Zealand, but they thankfully didn’t take off quite as well as their cousins, the Eastern rosella, which are now everywhere. It’s much nicer to see these birds where they actually belong. I love birds, but we have so many introduced invasive species in New Zealand that it’s hard to reconcile that love with the fact that they cause trouble for our native species.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Yellow-tailed Black cockatoos in the wild before. We stumbled upon a family of them while wandering in the Brisbane ranges National Park, and they kept popping up all morning. Usually they’d fly away before we were close enough to get any images, but this time they actually flew into a tree just behind us, and stayed until they were chased off by a big Sulphur-crested cockatoo.

It was definitely the first time I’d seen a Hoary-headed grebe. Dad found this beauty while I was stuck inside at the conference, and then took me to see it once I had finished!

I do love big screamy birds, and these guys are the biggest screamy birds that we saw. Sulphur-crested cockatoos have a look in their eyes that speaks of their intelligence and curiosity, and their beaks and claws look murderous. But they can be extremely gentle with each other when they’re preening, and the light shining through their soft white feathers is beautiful.

Another first – Red-rumped parrots! We saw a pair chased out of their nest-hole by a bunch of cheeky Rainbow lorikeets, and they sat in a nearby tree chattering in agitation for a long time afterwards.

Not the same Rainbow lorikeets that chased the Red-rumps, but another pair checking out a tree hollow for a nest.

Willie wagtail takes on a Little Raven. This was a fun interaction to watch, although the location (on a traffic bridge) left a bit to be desired!

 

One of my favourite things about bird watching is that it’s a largely free pastime, wherever you are in the world. Birds are everywhere, and the enjoyment I get out of observing and photographing them means I’m never bored.