gemfyre: (Red Eye Platinum)
Observed yesterday on the way home from work - 2 crested pigeons at the corner or Abernathy and Gt Eastern Hwy Bypass
gemfyre: (Inconceivable!)
I deliberately didn't make any resolutions, but since the new year I've been upping my exercise routine. Ideally every day I've been doing at least half an hour of WiiFit (usually boxing and free step while I watch an episode of Batman The Brave And The Bold. :), 20 minutes on the exercise bike (averaging 15kph) so far, and going for a 2km walk with Matt. Heat, other plans or headaches have sometimes interfered, but I've done at least one of the 3 activities every single day. Despite this, my weight keeps going up - go figure, when I wasn't doing anything it stayed pretty steady.

We are also doing a catering job. A friend of Matt's apparently required someone to make dinners (and snacks for one day) for about 20 students making a movie. We are getting $100 a day for it - we pay for the food out of that and keep the profit. Hoorah for mince recipes that are easy to make in bulk and cheap. We should make $200-$300 profit over all. But bloody hell, if it's a total disaster it's his fault. He just told me that 'dinner' apparently occurs around 11pm. Would have been handy to know THAT beforehand as it stuffs up lots of previous plans. But I think he's willing to do the serving/delivery, and I can do the majority of the cooking I guess. If it does go off okay, would be interesting to offer services again for budget, small scale, homestyle catering. I would definitely need more prior notice and a lot more details before I'd do it again.

And today. This morning I was going to go on the Lake Gwelup bird walk, seeing as it's just down the road, but after another sticky, warm night I woke up with a splitting headache (thank God it's cooler tonight) and decided not to go. We did end up going to the new markets down the road and having crepes for breakfast - sitting in the breeze and shade there was very pleasant and did wonders for the headache.

A bit later - after Matt had headed off to deliver snacks and then go to gaming I got a call from mum. She had checked her e-mail but I hadn't checked mine recently - lucky she is also a member of the Birds WA e-mail list. There was an e-mail from Frank O'Connor saying that a White Wagtail (a rare vagrant bird that has only been reported in Australia a few times) had been seen that morning at Lake Gwelup. My initial response was "bull", but this was Frank O'Connor - birding guru of W.A. So I figured I'd head down some time today and see if I could get a glimpse. Apparently it was hanging about near the boardwalk - how useful.

I arrived at the lake just as Frank was leaving, but there were plenty of other birdos on the boardwalk as well. He told me that yes, the bird was easily viewable from the shaded platform on the boardwalk, so I wandered out and it was immediately pointed out to me. What an incredibly obliging little birdy. I think I need to go to Gwelup more often - unlike Lake Monger and Herdsman, which still have way too much water in them (and thus no mud), Lake Gwelup has plenty of mud and water at the moment, so there is an abundance of ducks and the like, plenty of stilts (but no migratory waders - at least today) and rails and crakes! I saw multiple Buff-banded Rails, Spotted Crakes and Baillon's Crakes, all from the boardwalk/viewing platform. Couldn't ask for better birding.
gemfyre: (Splendid Fairy-wren)
And to think I was possibly going to go to Perry Lakes for lunch, or even stay in the office. Really, on a day like today I'm glad I wasn't stuck inside.

Only at Herdsman lake can you see 10 species of duck in your lunch hour I'm sure.

1. Pacific Black Duck
Mallard (I'm not counting these)
2. Grey Teal
3. Australian Wood Duck
4. Australian Shelduck
5. Pink-eared Duck (with a funny looking duckling)
6. Australasian Shoveller
7. Hardhead
8. Blue-billed Duck
9. Musk Duck
10. FRECKLED DUCK! A single female (or possibly a non-breeding male, but at this time of year males would be in breeding plumage). Just sitting under the melaleuca in front of the carpark with the Pacific Black Ducks, minding her own business.

I is happy now. Sunshine and birdies for lunch.

P.S. I am smitten with Herdsman Fresh.
gemfyre: (Splendid Fairy-wren)
And to think I was possibly going to go to Perry Lakes for lunch, or even stay in the office. Really, on a day like today I'm glad I wasn't stuck inside.

Only at Herdsman lake can you see 10 species of duck in your lunch hour I'm sure.

1. Pacific Black Duck
Mallard (I'm not counting these)
2. Grey Teal
3. Australian Wood Duck
4. Australian Shelduck
5. Pink-eared Duck (with a funny looking duckling)
6. Australasian Shoveller
7. Hardhead
8. Blue-billed Duck
9. Musk Duck
10. FRECKLED DUCK! A single female (or possibly a non-breeding male, but at this time of year males would be in breeding plumage). Just sitting under the melaleuca in front of the carpark with the Pacific Black Ducks, minding her own business.

I is happy now. Sunshine and birdies for lunch.

P.S. I am smitten with Herdsman Fresh.
gemfyre: (NoWaiJay)
When I read the report of a Dollarbird at Blue Gum Lake (near Garden City Shopping Centre) on Birding-Aus I scoffed.

But today, I actually saw it. It was just sitting on a log, occasionally hawking for insects. Probably wondering what all the fuss is about.
gemfyre: (NoWaiJay)
When I read the report of a Dollarbird at Blue Gum Lake (near Garden City Shopping Centre) on Birding-Aus I scoffed.

But today, I actually saw it. It was just sitting on a log, occasionally hawking for insects. Probably wondering what all the fuss is about.
gemfyre: (Splendid Fairy-wren)
Bad news : my squeaker has fallen off my binoculars. Haven't managed to find it yet. Damn.

Good news : I just walked about 1km around Star Swamp Reserve. Without any crutches. I think I'll be good to go on the Lake Coogee walk next Sunday. Seeing as most of the birders are over 50 anyway I should be able to keep up. ;)

Star Swamp itself has a bit of water in it, and many frogs croaking. But a dearth of birds. I seem to have this ability to tune out the calls of junk birds. I wasn't hearing the Rainbow Lorikeets and Magpies and Ravens and Wattlebirds. All I heard was silence apart from a racket of song from about 6 Grey Butcherbirds on the western side of the swamp, and the 'whit-whit' of a Striated Pardalote when I was back in the car.
gemfyre: (Splendid Fairy-wren)
Bad news : my squeaker has fallen off my binoculars. Haven't managed to find it yet. Damn.

Good news : I just walked about 1km around Star Swamp Reserve. Without any crutches. I think I'll be good to go on the Lake Coogee walk next Sunday. Seeing as most of the birders are over 50 anyway I should be able to keep up. ;)

Star Swamp itself has a bit of water in it, and many frogs croaking. But a dearth of birds. I seem to have this ability to tune out the calls of junk birds. I wasn't hearing the Rainbow Lorikeets and Magpies and Ravens and Wattlebirds. All I heard was silence apart from a racket of song from about 6 Grey Butcherbirds on the western side of the swamp, and the 'whit-whit' of a Striated Pardalote when I was back in the car.

My Lake

May. 7th, 2008 08:37 pm
gemfyre: (Tawny Frogmouths)
I went to Herdsman Lake today. Parked at the south-west corner and wandered through the bushy bit to the bridge and back again, then drove to the Gould Leage Centre/Panda Cottage and checked out that area (and didn't see either Rufous Night-heron, which is a dead cert for that area, or Buff-banded Rail, which are a pretty good chance there).

Anyway, what did I see? )

That's 9 species of duck there! Which is situation normal for Herdsman. There is a tenth duck that I have seen there, but only once - the highly sought after Freckled Duck. 46 species in all, which is a nice change from the max of 15 I've been getting stuck around the house and maybe doing some shopping.

WARNING - meme approaching.

My Lake

May. 7th, 2008 08:37 pm
gemfyre: (Tawny Frogmouths)
I went to Herdsman Lake today. Parked at the south-west corner and wandered through the bushy bit to the bridge and back again, then drove to the Gould Leage Centre/Panda Cottage and checked out that area (and didn't see either Rufous Night-heron, which is a dead cert for that area, or Buff-banded Rail, which are a pretty good chance there).

Anyway, what did I see? )

That's 9 species of duck there! Which is situation normal for Herdsman. There is a tenth duck that I have seen there, but only once - the highly sought after Freckled Duck. 46 species in all, which is a nice change from the max of 15 I've been getting stuck around the house and maybe doing some shopping.

WARNING - meme approaching.
gemfyre: (Tawny Frogmouths)
An Australian Hobby chasing a Pelican.

And the full list for the day...
Australian Hobby
Australian Raven
Australian Ringneck
Australian White Ibis
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Caspian Tern
Galah
Great Cormorant
Grey Butcherbird (H)
Laughing Kookaburra
Little Black Cormorant
Little Corella
Little Pied Cormorant
Long-billed Corella
Magpie
Magpie Lark
New Holland Honeyeater
Pacific Black Duck
Pelican
Peregrine Falcon
Rainbow Lorikeet (H)
Red Wattlebird
Rock Dove
Senegal Dove
Silver Gull
Silvereye (H)
Singing Honeyeater (H)
Spotted Dove (H)
Striated Pardalote (H)
Tree Martin
Willie Wagtail
gemfyre: (Tawny Frogmouths)
An Australian Hobby chasing a Pelican.

And the full list for the day...
Australian Hobby
Australian Raven
Australian Ringneck
Australian White Ibis
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Caspian Tern
Galah
Great Cormorant
Grey Butcherbird (H)
Laughing Kookaburra
Little Black Cormorant
Little Corella
Little Pied Cormorant
Long-billed Corella
Magpie
Magpie Lark
New Holland Honeyeater
Pacific Black Duck
Pelican
Peregrine Falcon
Rainbow Lorikeet (H)
Red Wattlebird
Rock Dove
Senegal Dove
Silver Gull
Silvereye (H)
Singing Honeyeater (H)
Spotted Dove (H)
Striated Pardalote (H)
Tree Martin
Willie Wagtail
gemfyre: (Tawny Frogmouths)
Over the past few weeks I've been hearing the calls of Fantailed and Pallid Cuckoos at Tutanning Reserve.

And I just got a great look at a Shining Bronze Cuckoo calling away in the tree in my backyard. :)
gemfyre: (Tawny Frogmouths)
Over the past few weeks I've been hearing the calls of Fantailed and Pallid Cuckoos at Tutanning Reserve.

And I just got a great look at a Shining Bronze Cuckoo calling away in the tree in my backyard. :)
gemfyre: (Default)
Guess what I forgot to take to the bird walk today?

My binoculars. Of all things. Luckily for me someone had a spare pair and lent me them so the day wasn't a complete loss.

It was lovely to see Western Rosellas again and to get such good views of White-breasted Robins.

And later Maree, Conrad and I headed down to the main resevoir (Bickley Brook) and I got great views of a MALE Western Spinebill! Yay!! I have finally seen one in all his finery. Happy B.J.
gemfyre: (Default)
Guess what I forgot to take to the bird walk today?

My binoculars. Of all things. Luckily for me someone had a spare pair and lent me them so the day wasn't a complete loss.

It was lovely to see Western Rosellas again and to get such good views of White-breasted Robins.

And later Maree, Conrad and I headed down to the main resevoir (Bickley Brook) and I got great views of a MALE Western Spinebill! Yay!! I have finally seen one in all his finery. Happy B.J.
gemfyre: (Default)
Yesterday's walk was about 80km out of Perth on the Darling Scarp at Avon Valley National Park. The main habitats here are jarrah forests with an understorey of dryandra, a river valley and open wandoo forest.

Unfortunately we didn't see the hoped for Crested Shrike-tit but I did get one new bird - Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus ornatus). Got good looks at two of them. :)

Also got stuck at the gate for an hour with a few other people. The overzealous ranger closed the park about 20 minutes early.

Avon Valley list )

Birds seen elsewhere today )
gemfyre: (Default)
Yesterday's walk was about 80km out of Perth on the Darling Scarp at Avon Valley National Park. The main habitats here are jarrah forests with an understorey of dryandra, a river valley and open wandoo forest.

Unfortunately we didn't see the hoped for Crested Shrike-tit but I did get one new bird - Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus ornatus). Got good looks at two of them. :)

Also got stuck at the gate for an hour with a few other people. The overzealous ranger closed the park about 20 minutes early.

Avon Valley list )

Birds seen elsewhere today )
gemfyre: (Default)
It's that time of year. Unlike in the northern hemisphere, Australia doesn't get the sharp temperature drop that winter brings. Here this is the time of year when rain is getting more regular, plants are greener and flowers are blooming, and birds are breeding.

I started my day with a visit to the Birds WA office. Bought a fairy-wren sticker so now my car is recognisable on excursions now too and also got a CD of south-west bird calls. Now I can study the call of the emu-wren so I'll know it when I go hunting for them soon.

Being in the area I checked out Perry Lakes and Bold Park. Before I'd even got out of the car I noticed a Black-shouldered Kite hovering over one lake (the lakes are mostly dry right now). As I wandered around I was almost hit by careening Red Wattlebirds in what I can only imagine was courtship flight. Rainbow Lorikeets are abundant as usual and breeding and I wonder, if humans could make the passenger pigeon extinct, why can't we get rid of this pest? The noise and movement makes it hard to spot other birds. Found a Laughing Kookaburra (another introduction from eastern Australia, which unfortunately has a taste for nestlings) taking a bath in a drink fountain, very cute and fluffy. Eventually I found some of the Striated pardalotes that I could hear, doing their gorgeous little spreading the wings display.

Back at the car I got my bag of trail mix. And threw a peanut out the door. I was soon inundated with Magpies. They quite daintily took the peanuts straight from my hand. I wish I'd had some mince or something more nutritious for them.

I then decided to head to City Beach just because I wanted to see the ocean. Not much there birdwise, the ubiquitous Silver Gull and a few Crested Terns to add a bit of interest.

Heading home I got to the corner of Grantham and Harbourne, intending to turn left. Then I realised straight ahead was Lake Monger. What the heck. So I went to Lake Monger and didn't intend to spend anywhere near as long as I did there. Black Swans and Blue-billed Ducks were abundant, both breeding. I found one Blue-bill pair with 4 cute little ducklings and at least 7 swan nests. Had the pleasure of watching a swan building the foundations of a nest too. In a couple of months it's going to be hazardous walking around there with cygnets everywhere and cranky parent swans. I came across a small peninsula of mud and reeds and got 3 more species to the day list right there - Grey Teal, Pink-eared Duck (they're back at the lake for the year) and one Black-fronted Dotterel. Nearby a Great Egret flew off in a racket and I discovered the cause of the consternation - a Swamp Harrier gliding over the lake perimiter.

I was intending to head back to the car then, but no, I wanted to see a Great-crested Grebe and Wood Duck. So I kept walking. Got great views of two Clamourous/Australian Reed Warblers. They seem to be particularly visible at Lake Monger. Found one juvenille Great Crested Grebe but no Wood Duck. If I had found a Woodie I would have got all 8 of the common duck species.

The Great Egrets are now in breeding colours as are the Australian White Ibises. The strange bloops, blips and squeaks of courting Musk Ducks fills the air. The Dusky Moorhens are chasing each other incessantly and the swans are singing to each other beautifully.

Unfortunately my stomach eventually demanded that I go home and eat lunch.

Today's list )
gemfyre: (Default)
It's that time of year. Unlike in the northern hemisphere, Australia doesn't get the sharp temperature drop that winter brings. Here this is the time of year when rain is getting more regular, plants are greener and flowers are blooming, and birds are breeding.

I started my day with a visit to the Birds WA office. Bought a fairy-wren sticker so now my car is recognisable on excursions now too and also got a CD of south-west bird calls. Now I can study the call of the emu-wren so I'll know it when I go hunting for them soon.

Being in the area I checked out Perry Lakes and Bold Park. Before I'd even got out of the car I noticed a Black-shouldered Kite hovering over one lake (the lakes are mostly dry right now). As I wandered around I was almost hit by careening Red Wattlebirds in what I can only imagine was courtship flight. Rainbow Lorikeets are abundant as usual and breeding and I wonder, if humans could make the passenger pigeon extinct, why can't we get rid of this pest? The noise and movement makes it hard to spot other birds. Found a Laughing Kookaburra (another introduction from eastern Australia, which unfortunately has a taste for nestlings) taking a bath in a drink fountain, very cute and fluffy. Eventually I found some of the Striated pardalotes that I could hear, doing their gorgeous little spreading the wings display.

Back at the car I got my bag of trail mix. And threw a peanut out the door. I was soon inundated with Magpies. They quite daintily took the peanuts straight from my hand. I wish I'd had some mince or something more nutritious for them.

I then decided to head to City Beach just because I wanted to see the ocean. Not much there birdwise, the ubiquitous Silver Gull and a few Crested Terns to add a bit of interest.

Heading home I got to the corner of Grantham and Harbourne, intending to turn left. Then I realised straight ahead was Lake Monger. What the heck. So I went to Lake Monger and didn't intend to spend anywhere near as long as I did there. Black Swans and Blue-billed Ducks were abundant, both breeding. I found one Blue-bill pair with 4 cute little ducklings and at least 7 swan nests. Had the pleasure of watching a swan building the foundations of a nest too. In a couple of months it's going to be hazardous walking around there with cygnets everywhere and cranky parent swans. I came across a small peninsula of mud and reeds and got 3 more species to the day list right there - Grey Teal, Pink-eared Duck (they're back at the lake for the year) and one Black-fronted Dotterel. Nearby a Great Egret flew off in a racket and I discovered the cause of the consternation - a Swamp Harrier gliding over the lake perimiter.

I was intending to head back to the car then, but no, I wanted to see a Great-crested Grebe and Wood Duck. So I kept walking. Got great views of two Clamourous/Australian Reed Warblers. They seem to be particularly visible at Lake Monger. Found one juvenille Great Crested Grebe but no Wood Duck. If I had found a Woodie I would have got all 8 of the common duck species.

The Great Egrets are now in breeding colours as are the Australian White Ibises. The strange bloops, blips and squeaks of courting Musk Ducks fills the air. The Dusky Moorhens are chasing each other incessantly and the swans are singing to each other beautifully.

Unfortunately my stomach eventually demanded that I go home and eat lunch.

Today's list )

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