gemfyre: (Default)
These photos are now almost a year old, but I figured I might finally get off my butt and post some. These were taking during a North-West Wader Study Group expedition cannon net carried out from Broome Bird Observatory - where I worked as an Assistant Warden last year. Except for three photos taken by my mum (who was visiting for a week), these were all taken by a guy named Rob Gegg, who attended the netting session and has a much better camera than my own.

The net is set on the beach early in the morning and/or during low tide. It's set on whatever is deemed the best beach for a catch by the team leaders. Today that beach was Two Dog Hermit on the northern shore of Roebuck Bay near Broome. A varied flock, consisting of mainly Godwits and Knots was spotted there in the previous days, and flocks tend to frequent the same beaches on the same tide cycle.

Before high tide, the team quietly makes their way to the hide (in the case it was in the rock formations at the base of the pindan cliffs). The team leaders usually place themselves in a closer hide with the detonator for the cannons and communicate with the main team via walkie talkies. Sometimes others are dispatched to "twinkle" the flocks. Twinkling involves slowly approaching a flock to make it move slightly - hopefully into the catching area. Only those with a lot of experience are allowed to determine when the best time is to fire the net. The flock should be a decent size to make it worth the effort, but not so large that it will take ages to process the birds - the longer they are in captivity, the more stressed they get. The birds must also be in the precise area, if they are straying to where the net edges will go, then you can't fire without risking the lives of many birds. The Australian Wader Study Group, which runs these expeditions has a record of a less than 0.2 percent deaths per netting, I think you're allowed 1% or something (could be lower), if you're consistently killing more birds than that you lose your licence, this in an exercise in banding and release, not retrieving dead specimens. The edges of the net can behead a bird and the weights at the corners of the net are hefty iron bars which move at speed once they're fired. Any fatalities are retrieved, examined and preserved for further research, so nothing goes to waste as such.

Anyway, on to the photos!

Lots of big pictures )
gemfyre: (Default)
These photos are now almost a year old, but I figured I might finally get off my butt and post some. These were taking during a North-West Wader Study Group expedition cannon net carried out from Broome Bird Observatory - where I worked as an Assistant Warden last year. Except for three photos taken by my mum (who was visiting for a week), these were all taken by a guy named Rob Gegg, who attended the netting session and has a much better camera than my own.

The net is set on the beach early in the morning and/or during low tide. It's set on whatever is deemed the best beach for a catch by the team leaders. Today that beach was Two Dog Hermit on the northern shore of Roebuck Bay near Broome. A varied flock, consisting of mainly Godwits and Knots was spotted there in the previous days, and flocks tend to frequent the same beaches on the same tide cycle.

Before high tide, the team quietly makes their way to the hide (in the case it was in the rock formations at the base of the pindan cliffs). The team leaders usually place themselves in a closer hide with the detonator for the cannons and communicate with the main team via walkie talkies. Sometimes others are dispatched to "twinkle" the flocks. Twinkling involves slowly approaching a flock to make it move slightly - hopefully into the catching area. Only those with a lot of experience are allowed to determine when the best time is to fire the net. The flock should be a decent size to make it worth the effort, but not so large that it will take ages to process the birds - the longer they are in captivity, the more stressed they get. The birds must also be in the precise area, if they are straying to where the net edges will go, then you can't fire without risking the lives of many birds. The Australian Wader Study Group, which runs these expeditions has a record of a less than 0.2 percent deaths per netting, I think you're allowed 1% or something (could be lower), if you're consistently killing more birds than that you lose your licence, this in an exercise in banding and release, not retrieving dead specimens. The edges of the net can behead a bird and the weights at the corners of the net are hefty iron bars which move at speed once they're fired. Any fatalities are retrieved, examined and preserved for further research, so nothing goes to waste as such.

Anyway, on to the photos!

Lots of big pictures )
gemfyre: (doe a deer)
There really IS a flock of budgies flying around down near the creek.

I assume someone gave them the gift of freedom yesterday.
gemfyre: (doe a deer)
There really IS a flock of budgies flying around down near the creek.

I assume someone gave them the gift of freedom yesterday.
gemfyre: (BJ tongue)
I've had a pretty decent day.

Got up, watched Mythbusters. Showered, ate, dressed and headed out.

Went to Jackadder Lake. Loads of water and nothing unusual among the birds. I did manage to ID one long-billed corella among the little corellas. Also dropped into Glendalough Open Space briefly. Loads of gallinule chicks everywhere but nothing special.

Then I went to this induction thing with Skilled. I applied through Seek for jobs they had advertised as a cook, usher and cleaner and got a call to come to the induction. I didn't really know what to expect.

Turns out it's kind of a temping thing. They provide workers for various employers. If you have skills that fit the job you get a call asking if you can do it on whatever day at whatever time. Not too bad for now.

I also managed to get out of there early enough to scarper over to Ascot to check out another house. This one we're actually putting in the application for. It's close to the city (in a lovely area, just around the corner from Garvey Park), the house is nice (not perfect, but hey nothing is. So far it's certainly the best overall). Clare will most likely be in with it too which lessens the rent, seeing as it's at the top end of our budget. Now, if my luck keeps going like the rest of today we'll get the house. :)

I got a call about half an hour ago from Skilled. I'm working Fri, Sat, Sun 9am - 4pm and possibly Mon, Tue from 6pm - 9pm. I'm going to the cricket and Matt isn't. The work is at the WACA during the Test Match. The first 3 days I'll be flipping burgers and making hot dogs, that kind of stuff. If the test goes on I'm cleaning the next two evenings.

So. There you go. That was sudden, but the money will be much appreciated. I hope we get the house.


What breed of horse are you? Find out!
gemfyre: (BJ tongue)
I've had a pretty decent day.

Got up, watched Mythbusters. Showered, ate, dressed and headed out.

Went to Jackadder Lake. Loads of water and nothing unusual among the birds. I did manage to ID one long-billed corella among the little corellas. Also dropped into Glendalough Open Space briefly. Loads of gallinule chicks everywhere but nothing special.

Then I went to this induction thing with Skilled. I applied through Seek for jobs they had advertised as a cook, usher and cleaner and got a call to come to the induction. I didn't really know what to expect.

Turns out it's kind of a temping thing. They provide workers for various employers. If you have skills that fit the job you get a call asking if you can do it on whatever day at whatever time. Not too bad for now.

I also managed to get out of there early enough to scarper over to Ascot to check out another house. This one we're actually putting in the application for. It's close to the city (in a lovely area, just around the corner from Garvey Park), the house is nice (not perfect, but hey nothing is. So far it's certainly the best overall). Clare will most likely be in with it too which lessens the rent, seeing as it's at the top end of our budget. Now, if my luck keeps going like the rest of today we'll get the house. :)

I got a call about half an hour ago from Skilled. I'm working Fri, Sat, Sun 9am - 4pm and possibly Mon, Tue from 6pm - 9pm. I'm going to the cricket and Matt isn't. The work is at the WACA during the Test Match. The first 3 days I'll be flipping burgers and making hot dogs, that kind of stuff. If the test goes on I'm cleaning the next two evenings.

So. There you go. That was sudden, but the money will be much appreciated. I hope we get the house.


What breed of horse are you? Find out!
gemfyre: (Default)
New Holland and White-cheeked Honeyeaters tend to exclude each other from their territories.

Our yard has been a disputed border for a few years now it seems.

P.S. I've updated the band list again.
gemfyre: (Default)
New Holland and White-cheeked Honeyeaters tend to exclude each other from their territories.

Our yard has been a disputed border for a few years now it seems.

P.S. I've updated the band list again.
gemfyre: (doe a deer)
Eastern Rosella - at Woodman Point.

Obviously an aviary escape, but surreal all the same.
gemfyre: (doe a deer)
Eastern Rosella - at Woodman Point.

Obviously an aviary escape, but surreal all the same.
gemfyre: (doe a deer)
After having a lovely stint on the balcony this morning, this afternoon I decided to head up to John Forrest National Park again. Seeing as it's hardly 10 minutes up the road it's ideal, and a lovely spot, consisting of many granite outcrops and a lot of Jarrah dominated dry sclerophyl and banksia heathland. I decided I'd go right into the park and pay for an annual parks pass, which was $17 (it costs $9 for a mere day trip so it's well worth it for me, who wants to be able to drop in for maybe an hour frequently). There was no-one around to take my money however and seeing as I only had $20 notes on me they didn't get ANY money from me today (there is an honour box). I will have to get the pass some other time.

I first stopped at the lookout to see how things were. No Elegant Parrots at the nest hollow and the whole forest was surprisingly quiet. I continued on to the picnic area and was immediately greeted by many New Holland Honeyeaters frolicking in the grevillia garden in the centre of the carpark. The sprinkler was on which I'm sure created more of an attraction to them, a Red Wattlebird also lurked in a nearby tree.

I made my way along the creek and saw a few Red-Capped Parrots, I could hear a Sacred Kingfisher calling and found him quickly. A couple of Australian Ringnecks (the local sub-species, the '28 parrot') foraged on the ground very near to me and I could hear White-Tailed Black Cockatoos and Western Gerygones, but failed to locate them. I soon reached a picnic ground with a large gum tree. I put my binoculars on the commotion in the treetop and saw to my surprise a Brown-Headed Honeyeater - a new bird for me. In the same tree were New Holland Honeyeaters, one White-Naped Honeyeater and a few of the ubiquitous Grey Fantails.

Not far further I came across some low scrub consisting of a lot of grevilia. There was quite a commotion in here also and I discovered many New Holland Honeyeaters hassling more Brown-Headed Honeyeaters and a female Western Spinebill. I stuck around in the hopes that I'd finally see a male spinebill (a gorgeously patterned bird), but no such luck. I did however also see in the area a Jacky Winter and a few Brown Honeyeaters.

A little further along I heard an insectlike call and stalked around some fallen logs searching for the source. Eventually I found my quarry, a White-Browed Scrubwren, these are very vocal birds but extremely hard to find due to their habit of hiding in thick undergrowth. Around this time I discovered that this was going to be the day of the "little brown bird" (I put that in quotes because birds like the pardalote or fairy-wrens are hardly dull brown). In the drooping branches barely a metre from me a Striated Pardalote foraged closely followed by a Weebill. Investigating a rustling in the leaves I got awesome views of a Common Bronzewing (okay, so this is a large pigeon, not a little brown bird). I then discovered the male of the pair was showing off on top of a small rock! I saw plenty more bronzewings on my walk, they are relatively bold in this area. I was now beside the road into the parking area and thought to myself, "I haven't seen a fairy-wren yet. Weird, I haven't even HEARD one." I then looked across the road and, speak of the devil, there was a bright blue male Splendid Fairy-Wren probably wondering if I'd gone blind. I crossed the road for a closer look and discovered a Western Thornbill in the scrub over there.

I made my way back across the carpark and to the pool caused by the damming of Jane Brook. There were plenty of Australian Wood Ducks here as well as a few token Pacific Black Ducks. A couple of Magpie Larks also dabbled around while Australian Magpies and Australian Ravens flew about in the trees overhead.

As I walked beside the lake there was suddenly a huge commotion in the trees above me. Galahs and Wood Ducks burst from the canopy and Laughing Kookaburras began to call. This could only mean one thing. I scanned the sky and found the cause of the alarm - a Little Eagle patrolling the skies.

The undergrowth in this area was also teeming with little birds. A large flock of Silvereyes was doing the rounds accompanied by pardalotes, weebills, a few female fairy-wrens and two Inland Thornbills.

I was pretty chuffed as I made my way back to the car. As I got in a male Splendid Fairy-Wren showed off his stunning blueness on the path nearby. A fitting way to end a great birding day.

So, the entire list for today. Birds in brackets were seen around my house, not at the national park. A (H) indicates the bird was heard but not seen.

The list )
gemfyre: (doe a deer)
After having a lovely stint on the balcony this morning, this afternoon I decided to head up to John Forrest National Park again. Seeing as it's hardly 10 minutes up the road it's ideal, and a lovely spot, consisting of many granite outcrops and a lot of Jarrah dominated dry sclerophyl and banksia heathland. I decided I'd go right into the park and pay for an annual parks pass, which was $17 (it costs $9 for a mere day trip so it's well worth it for me, who wants to be able to drop in for maybe an hour frequently). There was no-one around to take my money however and seeing as I only had $20 notes on me they didn't get ANY money from me today (there is an honour box). I will have to get the pass some other time.

I first stopped at the lookout to see how things were. No Elegant Parrots at the nest hollow and the whole forest was surprisingly quiet. I continued on to the picnic area and was immediately greeted by many New Holland Honeyeaters frolicking in the grevillia garden in the centre of the carpark. The sprinkler was on which I'm sure created more of an attraction to them, a Red Wattlebird also lurked in a nearby tree.

I made my way along the creek and saw a few Red-Capped Parrots, I could hear a Sacred Kingfisher calling and found him quickly. A couple of Australian Ringnecks (the local sub-species, the '28 parrot') foraged on the ground very near to me and I could hear White-Tailed Black Cockatoos and Western Gerygones, but failed to locate them. I soon reached a picnic ground with a large gum tree. I put my binoculars on the commotion in the treetop and saw to my surprise a Brown-Headed Honeyeater - a new bird for me. In the same tree were New Holland Honeyeaters, one White-Naped Honeyeater and a few of the ubiquitous Grey Fantails.

Not far further I came across some low scrub consisting of a lot of grevilia. There was quite a commotion in here also and I discovered many New Holland Honeyeaters hassling more Brown-Headed Honeyeaters and a female Western Spinebill. I stuck around in the hopes that I'd finally see a male spinebill (a gorgeously patterned bird), but no such luck. I did however also see in the area a Jacky Winter and a few Brown Honeyeaters.

A little further along I heard an insectlike call and stalked around some fallen logs searching for the source. Eventually I found my quarry, a White-Browed Scrubwren, these are very vocal birds but extremely hard to find due to their habit of hiding in thick undergrowth. Around this time I discovered that this was going to be the day of the "little brown bird" (I put that in quotes because birds like the pardalote or fairy-wrens are hardly dull brown). In the drooping branches barely a metre from me a Striated Pardalote foraged closely followed by a Weebill. Investigating a rustling in the leaves I got awesome views of a Common Bronzewing (okay, so this is a large pigeon, not a little brown bird). I then discovered the male of the pair was showing off on top of a small rock! I saw plenty more bronzewings on my walk, they are relatively bold in this area. I was now beside the road into the parking area and thought to myself, "I haven't seen a fairy-wren yet. Weird, I haven't even HEARD one." I then looked across the road and, speak of the devil, there was a bright blue male Splendid Fairy-Wren probably wondering if I'd gone blind. I crossed the road for a closer look and discovered a Western Thornbill in the scrub over there.

I made my way back across the carpark and to the pool caused by the damming of Jane Brook. There were plenty of Australian Wood Ducks here as well as a few token Pacific Black Ducks. A couple of Magpie Larks also dabbled around while Australian Magpies and Australian Ravens flew about in the trees overhead.

As I walked beside the lake there was suddenly a huge commotion in the trees above me. Galahs and Wood Ducks burst from the canopy and Laughing Kookaburras began to call. This could only mean one thing. I scanned the sky and found the cause of the alarm - a Little Eagle patrolling the skies.

The undergrowth in this area was also teeming with little birds. A large flock of Silvereyes was doing the rounds accompanied by pardalotes, weebills, a few female fairy-wrens and two Inland Thornbills.

I was pretty chuffed as I made my way back to the car. As I got in a male Splendid Fairy-Wren showed off his stunning blueness on the path nearby. A fitting way to end a great birding day.

So, the entire list for today. Birds in brackets were seen around my house, not at the national park. A (H) indicates the bird was heard but not seen.

The list )

Sunbaking

Dec. 8th, 2005 11:47 am
gemfyre: (Frogs)
Despite it being a week into Summer here the weather is still cold enough to warrant me wearing a jumper, jeans and ugg boots. I just had a bask outside in the sun on our balcony, binoculars in hand of course.

Earlier this year mum and dad deemed the large branches of the 3 Marri trees in our yard to be hazardous, so they were lopped off, leaving trunks and a few small branches. These have since grown a lot of leaves, but alas, the lack of flowers and nuts means they don't attract parrots (among them my beloved red-capped parrot) anymore.

However, I just discovered that the leaves (and accompanying lerps) seem to be a haven for small birds. As I watched through my binoculars (keep in mind this tree was about 5 metres from me) I saw a silvereye putter about for a moment. Then it flew off only to be replaced by a gorgeous little striated pardalote - a very vocal, but very tiny bird that haunts the tops of tall trees, making it almost impossible to see most of the time. The pardalote departed and was immediately replaced by a brown honeyeater - one of the most common birds in this area. Across the road I also spotted a white-cheeked honeyeater.

As I sat there a couple more pardalotes flew in and I think I got my best ever looks at them, right outside my back door.

Sunbaking

Dec. 8th, 2005 11:47 am
gemfyre: (Frogs)
Despite it being a week into Summer here the weather is still cold enough to warrant me wearing a jumper, jeans and ugg boots. I just had a bask outside in the sun on our balcony, binoculars in hand of course.

Earlier this year mum and dad deemed the large branches of the 3 Marri trees in our yard to be hazardous, so they were lopped off, leaving trunks and a few small branches. These have since grown a lot of leaves, but alas, the lack of flowers and nuts means they don't attract parrots (among them my beloved red-capped parrot) anymore.

However, I just discovered that the leaves (and accompanying lerps) seem to be a haven for small birds. As I watched through my binoculars (keep in mind this tree was about 5 metres from me) I saw a silvereye putter about for a moment. Then it flew off only to be replaced by a gorgeous little striated pardalote - a very vocal, but very tiny bird that haunts the tops of tall trees, making it almost impossible to see most of the time. The pardalote departed and was immediately replaced by a brown honeyeater - one of the most common birds in this area. Across the road I also spotted a white-cheeked honeyeater.

As I sat there a couple more pardalotes flew in and I think I got my best ever looks at them, right outside my back door.
gemfyre: (Red Eye Platinum)
And I finally saw Lake Eda - dry as a bone.

The bit where a Red Eye fell out of the fridge door and smashed on the floor made me sad.

The bit where I had a Red Eye in the shower and washed off the day's goop and mud made me happy.
gemfyre: (Red Eye Platinum)
And I finally saw Lake Eda - dry as a bone.

The bit where a Red Eye fell out of the fridge door and smashed on the floor made me sad.

The bit where I had a Red Eye in the shower and washed off the day's goop and mud made me happy.

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