Wednesday, September 14, 2005

2005-09-08 Where is my Golden Angel?

Scene along Glen Davis Road, Capertee Valley
08 Sept 2005 was my 4th trip to Capertee Valley. There must be a good reason for visiting this part of NSW - the birdlife is rich especially there are many australian birds that are not easily found at other parts of Australia.
(A commonly seen sign boards in Capertee Valley, this is not national park)
However, a reminder to anyone who is not familar with this area that - Capertee valley is actually not a national park or a nature reserve! It is a valley surrounded by Wollemi National Park and Gardens of Stone National Park. In fact the whole area consists of farmlands, scattered woodlands and small villages. Most importantly, almost all the areas consists of private properties and therefore trepassing to this properties is NO NO.
Alas, I have no luck of Regent Honeyeater in this trip. The active nest that I discovered about 2 weeks ago had been abandoned. Somemore I hardly heard them calling this time. It was certainly not a good day for me and not a good day for Regent Honeyeater either. Looks like the place has become suboptimal for this endangered bird. (However, according to a friend who had visited Capertee Valley few days afterwards indicated that the situation is not that pessimistic. That means I should make another trip to catch up with them again)

All the photos shown in this blog were taken same day on 8 September, with the exception of two photos of Regent Honeyeater that were shot on my 2nd trip on 23 July.

(Glen Alice Road, Capertee Valley)

(Glen Alice Road in Capertee Valley. With Wollemi National Park in the backdrop)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

2005-09-08 Other Capertee Highlights

Besides the bad news with Regent Honeyeater, there was not any Swift Parrot seen either. The site where Swift Parrots were abundant about 3 weeks ago was now replaced by Musk Lorikeets and a small number of Little Lorikeets.

The White-plumed Honeyeater seems to do well in this breeding season. This fledging perched only one foot above the ground, about 5 meters away from the road. I was first alerted by the noisy parents as I had accidently stumbled too close to the fledging. As soon as I realised I was too close for the parents' comfort, I quickly stepped back and observed from a distance. Slowly, I followed the movement of the parents and soon then started feeding the fledging. This fledging actually stood out among the darker twigs. However it is not easy to spot it as the fledging remained motionless (did not even blink) most of the time, except when being fed by its parent.

On other sites, there seems to be alot of White-plumed Honeyeaters in group of 4 or five (Some may be juveniles). This is the most abundant and probably the most successful honeyeater in Capertee Valley.

How badly I wish I had witnessed Regent Honeyeater breeding successfully like this.

Breeding is not just confined to birds in Capertee but also for the Kangaroo. This is my first photo of the marsupial sharing pastures with the cattles. I only discovered after examining the photos at home, that the kangaroo actually had a joey in her pouch!! See inset photo on the right.

This is an Olive-backed Oriole. A lonely vocal bird in the woodlands. This is my first time recording this oriole in this trip. It is probably a migrant from the north turning up in this woodlands in spring time.

These two Rainbow Bee-eaters are probably also sping visitors. It seems like the bird on the top is a male as it has longer central tail feather.

It is always hard to see raptor on perch. This is a Collared Sparrowhawk. It looks very similar to slightly larger Brown Goshawk.

This is a 'bird-eating' raptor. However, the aggressive Noisy Friarbird is not its target, I think. The friarbird in fact stayed close with the sparrowhawk. When the sparrowhawk flew away, it looked as if it was being escorted by several Noisy Friarbirds.

Seeing a very elusive terrestial bird like this Painted Button-Quail must be a bonus, especially I did not expect to see one, let along to photograph one! This is probably a male and it has rich yellow legs, which is seldom observed in the fields.

Jacky Winter is another common birds seen in the open lands. A very active bird that often stand still on the fence or bare tree branch.

To compensate for not seeing Swift Parrot and not seeing many Regent Honeyeater, I was rewarded for a very good view of this pair of Turquoise Parrots - my first time of seeing them. Sometimes easily confused with another much more common Red-rumped Parrot (See my earlier postings). The pair was having an afternoon nap on a dead pine tree and posed well to me for almost 15 minutes. Female on the left and male on the right. The male has a small but diagnostic red patch on the shoulder (not seen in this photo).