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A Lucky 3rd Year for Elefromoz


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2017 BY fizzled a bit for me, so time to have another “crack at it”. When the subject of New Years resolutions came around, with friends, I boldly said I was aiming for 300 Aus Birds this year. They can all lose 10kgs, learn the language of Klingon, Hike the Four Beasts Mountains..etc etc, I’ll be enjoying fresh air, solitude, watching for any movement in the leaves and grasses, and trying not to stress over my ambitious plan. And Yes @Galana, this is not a Blog, so I’ll just waffle for my first post , then I’ll shutup.

Funnily, last year, it became very clear at the end that I had neglected some of our very common Birds, even some that are in my garden year round. I think I was saving them for desperate times then forgot all about them. This time round, New Years Day, I took a walk around the River in my suburb, I decided to photograph whatever I saw. First up was a Crow. Well there was no way that was going to be my number one, Luckily this flew over a couple of minutes later,

1. Eastern Osprey, Jan 1st, Pt Walter



The next set were all taken on the Spit at Pt Walter 1/1/18   A small area right at the end has been fenced off to give the  Terns and Shorebirds a chance to feed and raise their young without too much disturbance.

 2.Australian Pelican   3. Little Black Cormorant



4. Pied Oystercatcher







5. Red-capped Plover, with a snack





6. Red-necked Stint





7. Fairy Tern (Adult), numbers falling, these little Birds like the same coastal real-estate that we do. This tiny Sanctuary is doing well this year with about 40 pairs breeding.




and Juvenile



8. Crested Tern



9. Terek Sandpiper, a new one for me



10. Australian Shelduck






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The next set were taken on Jan 2nd , again on my local River foreshore, but now in more of a Estuarine Samphire habitat.

11. Singing Honeyeater



12. Australian Spotted Crake

The Crake caught me out first on New Years Eve when he suddenly appeared and bolted around the corner and out of sight before I could barely lift the camera. I was ready for him two nights later, exactly the same route and behavior, I managed to fire off a couple of quick blurry shots before he disappeared again. I’m onto you now….





13. Black Winged Stilt





14. Common Greenshank



15. The Little Grassbird, another first ever sighting on New Years Eve, but at least I had his territory pegged now, that was the easy bit. This tiny little Bird lives in the reeds and Samphire, you only know hes there by his call, he flutters up very briefly when on the move then drops back down and disappears again.Two nights later I was back, I sat staring for 2 hours, for the slightest movement, then this...a tiny little dark "dot" at full zoom, just to the right of centre



Then I spotted him on a reed, not the best photo but at least you can make him out



16. I love the elegant Great Egret







17.The Magpie, common as, resident and breed in my Garden and I forgot them last year. This one is eyeing off my "Poached Eggs on a Rocket and Avacado Smash with a Dukkah Crumb" Brunch. Two weeks ago it would have had my eye out given the opportunity, its Chick is now pretty independent so the parents  are not so aggressive,  nevertheless, Im not sharing.Magpie.thumb.JPG.bcb778c185892f7d4fbf88fc8226b642.JPG

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A wonderful start to your Big Year. I look forward to seeing 300 Australian birds!

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Peter Connan

Great start! I am looking forward to more of your wonderfully whacky Aussie birds.

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Dave Williams

Yes, a great start . Your BW Stilts look different to the ones I have seen, they have a very distinct black collar. The Magpie is totally different too.

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Thanks all,  @TonyQ, I am a bit nervous about that number, even my OH is feeling pressured:unsure:,  @Peter Connan, Im probably projecting my personality onto my Birds,  @xelas, not a chance of overlooking the Crow this Year, I need every one I can get,  @Dave Williams, you had me reaching for the WA Guide in case I had it wrong, but no, BW Stilt it is,  @Treepol, Im hoping I can improve on the Little Grassbird, but I don't like my chances

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5/1/18   Booragoon Lake

An exciting half hour, had I found a new Crake, a new Rail?? Skulking around so's not to frighten them, silently snapping away dozens of shots trying to get a half decent photo in the trying conditions. Walked on and saw even more of them.....  no, Rookie error.

18. Dusky Moorhen (imm) !!



19. Pink-eared Duck, my favourite little Duck







20. Pacific Black Duck



21. Australasian Grebe




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Peter Connan

I was talking strictly about their appearance, as I know nothing about their habits or personalites, so I doubt you are to blame in any way.



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I set out this morning to get all the “common as muck” Birds, so I wouldn’t make the same mistake as last year, and forget them. Well for the first half hour I could barely find a Bird, any Bird, even the pests were in hiding. Finally I spotted a movement in the reeds

22. Buff Banded Rail




Then a couple of very common ones

23. Willy Wagtail


24. Mudpie Lark



25. Silver Gull



26. Black Swan (imm)



and Adult, preening





I walked back out the Spit to check on the Fairy Terns. whilst the Adult is out fishing, the Chick sleeps



As the Adult comes in with a Fish, it chirps away frantically, the Chick wakes, searches for the Parent,



Then it too starts chirping excitedly, calling its Parent in



notice this little guy is standing on a jelly-fish, bit of elevation



The food/Fish transfer is all over in seconds, gone in a gulp, then back to sleep 5a51a8e255163_FairyTernfeeding5.thumb.JPG.6dc7b9ae2db6b7fd30a2b27b05311de0.JPG

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Dave Williams

You have some lovely species over there, the Buff-banded Rail is a stunner. Incidentally, I wasn't doubting your Stilt ID, just noting the difference. 

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A great start indeed.And if you want to chat feel free, it is your thread.

Love those Pionk eared Ducks synchronised swimming act and the Banded Rail.

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Peter Connan

Banded rail is a beautiful bird, and the Tern feeding is beautifully photographed!

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9/1/18 Alfred Cove foreshore

Well I guess I had to put it in eventually, 

27. Australian Raven, a Crow thats not a Crow, how to make it look interesting, pirouetting maybe



and a younger one, today



28. Pink and Grey Galah



29. Australian White Ibis



30. Grey Plover



and pushed up into the Samphire when the tide rises


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10/1/2018, John Oldham Park, Perth City, the trees were full of Waterbirds

31. Australasian Darter


A Bill to be reckoned with





32. Little Pied Cormorant





33. Eurasian Coot and Chick



34. Hardhead (Male)





And a repeat, Australasian Grebe, usually dive away as soon a they are spotted, this one putting on a show




And a slightly better look at the Spotted Crake, took me another two afternoons and a dose of sunburn to get this


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13/01/18, Big Carine Swamp, on a group Birdlife WA Walk.

Corellas are in the news at the moment for all the wrong reasons, they are not a "local" Bird and their massive flocks are causing destruction, mess, disturbance etc etc in both Town and City. So much so that local Councils have taken to culling them or chasing them off at a huge expense, by all sorts of "creative" means. Of course, whilst not West Australian, they are an Australian Bird and therefore enjoy a level of protection, and of course there are many who oppose such practices. I'll just stick to taking photos and leave the big decisions to those who hopefully know what they're talking about.

35. Long Billed Corella


36. Little Corella



37. Yellow-billed Spoonbill


38. Musk Duck





39. Australian Reed Warbler, he sat very quietly, in my experience they usually duck for cover as soon as you approach


40. 14/1/18  Booragoon Lake, Yesterday was a very weird day, a huge fire in the Hills caused the sky to cloud over, a yellow haze covered the City and ash fell like snowflakes, except it was 37 degrees. I got out briefly before the forecast rain hit...it never did.  

Grey Teal



41. Purple Swamphen



42. Australasian Shoveler


Short Billed Corella 2.JPG

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Whilst the promised rain never came yesterday, it has certainly come down this morning, we have the remnant of a cyclone passing by. Most unseasonal Summer weather for us, although we never complain about Rain. As I walked through the house i looked out the window and noticed these two taking shelter from the downpour and looking somewhat bedraggled and confused by the weather conditions. I tried not to disturb them and fired off a few quick shots.  Nice to see Birds enjoying my Garden, hopefully they are feeding up on the Rats that have made the Vege Patch their local cafe.

43. Tawny Frogmouth








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Wow! That’s in your garden. I’m very jealous 

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Me too.

Are the Corella's expanding their territory naturally or has some clown introduced them?


Rain? If you like I can send you five days worth f.o.c.

Some great photos. Keep em coming.

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@ImSA84 (for some reason your 'name" doesn't auto print when I type it....), I'm feeling pretty lucky today myself!

@Galana, most of the literature says "aviary escapees", those opposing culling say "what if they just flew over the border??"Aside from their mega flocks being a pest to people, they occupy precious tree hollows putting even more pressure on our local endangered Black Cockatoos. Meanwhile the Rain still falls....so you can keep yours, five days of it is a bit grim

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Dave Williams

@lmSA84  try lowercase L=l for the first digit/letter @elefromoz


Jealous isn't the word for Frogmouths in the garden. The Rats you are welcome to! Hope the rain killed the fires too.


You are off to a flying start , I feel reptilian in my pursuit! 

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Some great additions again, with even a Frogmouth in your own garden! You’re making good progress here, but then I’m not far behind with 5 already...;)!

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@Dave Williams, @PeterHG, I think you two are both tricking, I sense a surge in numbers combined with excellent photography coming soon. I'll keep plodding along with my City dwellers til I run out of them....


19/1/18, Local foreshore, Alfred Cove, an hour or so to kill before it got too dark, thought I'd nip down, theres usually something going on

44. Rainbow Bee-eater, I'd seen them flying over the house earlier in the day, nice to have them back for Summer. Dragon Flies were on the menu today, they were feasting, catching one after another





45. Little Egret



In the lull between new Birds, there was the Dolphins to look at. Now I know this is a Bird count, not a Dolphin count, but as I was watching I was thinking how Dolphins and Pelicans have the same relationship as say, Lions and Jackals, ones the Hunter and ones the Hanger-on.



Dolphins have this Hunt strategy whereby they suddenly accelerate, flat-out over a couple of hundred metres, then suddenly throw their body in a 180 degree turn, herding the Fish. In come the Pelicans then to pick off the Fish on the surface. Then all goes quiet again.






46. The Caspian Tern are overhead waiting for their opportunity for easy pickings too, (and a Qantas photobomb)





47. Great Cormorant, 21/1/18 Garvey Park5a646dded214b_GreatCormorant.thumb.JPG.01ccc5c019ee4eaeb921fe5231ec1e01.JPG


48. Sacred Kingfisher, another that migrates in over Summer


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