Friday, September 23, 2016

Join the Aussie Backyard Bird Count

It's on again. Join the Aussie Backyard Bird Count for one week from 17 to 23 October. It takes just 20 minutes a day. Register here

Last year my most common bird in the Perth Karrinyup region was the introduced Rainbow lorrikeet .
Check the 2015 Aussie Backyard Bird Count results.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tawny frogmouth at Star Swamp in Perth






No wonder we find it hard to spot these guys. As I said in my previous post on Tawnies they are masters of disguise. This one was pointed out to me on a BirdLife Western Australia walk through Star swamp today. I took several photos and this is probably the best. Shame he didn't have an eye open, but you can't have everything.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bookbook on campus

The Southern bookbook owl (also known as the Mopoke owl) is reasonably common around Perth and you are most likely to hear and see them in spring.

One sure indication that an owl is around can be the commotion made by other birds in the vicinity, registering their protests at the perceived intruder.

A few years ago I was walking around Karrinyup when I heard vigorous squawking coming from a gang of Wattlebirds in a tree. I looked up and there were three baby Bookbook owls sitting quietly in a row on a branch of a gum tree, trying to ignore the Wattlebirds. They were being "creched" there by the parent owls. When baby owls have fledged, but not yet able to feed themselves, the adult owls leave them in a "creche" during the day, while they go off to find food. This group of three were in the creche when they were discovered by the Wattlebirds.

This Bookbook owl below was photographed a few years ago on Mount Lawley Campus of Edith Cowan University.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lake Gwelup on a cold May morning


On May 8th 2016, the photography group of BirdLife Western Australia had an early morning excursion to Lake Gwelup. I didn't manage to get any fabulous bird photos, but this scene of reflections in the water, swans dipping their heads, and the mist rising from Lake Gwelup, captures the morning I hope.

 

Friday, August 5, 2016

One very cheeky parrot

This very cheeky Ring-necked parrot was hanging around our table outside the Yanchep Park coffee shop, trying to beg for some sugar.


They really are a very pretty bird close up when you can see the subtle colour variations of their feathers. Ring-necked parrots are not as common as they used to be in Perth. One suspects that the growing numbers of introduced pest species, such as the Rainbow lorrikeets, have taken nesting sites away from the Ring-necks. But up at Yanchep National Park there are still plenty of Ring-necks and thankfully no Rainbow lorrikeets.



Here he is again proudly promoting Yanchep National Park!

According to the Noongar people the ring-necks keep the evil spirits away.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Masters of camouflage




Can you spot these Tawny Frogmouths in the banksia tree?




The cropped image below shows them more clearly



 


They are masters of camouflage and during the day will perch quietly in a tree, unless disturbed.

The Tawny Frogmouth may look like an owl, but it is more closely related to the nightjar. Although they are nocturnal, like the owl, their feet are smaller and they do not have the curved talons of the owl.

Tawnies are found across Australia.
These photos were taken in the south west of Western Australia, but we do see Tawnies in Perth as well. Photos taken by Peter Wiese, reproduced here with permission.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Osprey nests around Perth and the Swan River




Birdlife Western Australia is interested in knowing about osprey nests around the Swan River and at other spots along the Perth coast.
 
Known osprey nest sites around the Swan River are: 

1. Salter Point, Mt Henry, Aquinas
2. Claremont Peppermint Grove, Devil’s Elbow
3. Old Swan Brewery, Riverside Drive
4. Radio mast, Garrett Road Bridge, Ascot Waters
5. Ron Courtney Island, Garvey Park, Ascot
6. Alfred Cove
7. Pelican Point, Nedlands
8. Comer Street overpass, Como

If you know of any other sites please contact Marcus Singor at msingor at bigpond.com

Here are photos of a nest I found on top of a mobile phone tower at Whitford Nodes Beach Park, north of Hillarys Boat Harbour. 



The telltale signs that there are ospreys around are the sticks and of course you can see the osprey in the top photo.

Eggs are generally laid from mid August to late October. Incubation takes 36 days and the nestling period around 50 days.

Ospreys were nesting at this site last year too. I will be keeping an eye on this nest over the next few months