Tuesday, January 30, 2018

PURPLE-BACKED FAIRYWREN

Photographed at Lark's Quarry, Queensland, 2017
1238                 PURPLE-BACKED FAIRYWREN              Malurus assimilis

AUSTRALIA                   731

Classified as subspecies of Varigated Fairywren until split January 2018; now separate species which contains four subspecies. Found over much of the Australian continent. Usually inhabits scrubland with plenty of vegetation providing dense cover; prefers rocky outcrops and patches of acacia, Eremophila or lignum in inland and northern Australia.

Photographed in NW Queensland.

Photographed in western WA

Friday, January 26, 2018

GIBSON'S ALBATROSS

Photographed on Eaglehawk pelagic, Tasmania, January 2018
1237                GIBSON'S ALBATROSS                Diomedea gibsoni

AUSTRALIAN              730

Also known as Auckland Island Albatross or Gibson's Wandering Albatross. Considered by some to be a subspecies of Wandering Albatross and by some to be a subspecies of Antipodean Albatross and by others to be a full species. Breed only on the subantarctic Auckland Islands archaepeligo of New Zealand. Breeding females feed mainly in Tasman sea while male forage further in the sub Australian or mid Pacific sectors of Southern Ocean. Feed mainly on fish, cephalopods and crustaceans; feed on surface or shallow dives just below.





Monday, January 22, 2018

COMMON DIVING PETREL

Photographed on Eaglehawk pelagic, Tasmania, January 2018
1236                 COMMON DIVING PETREL                 Pelecanoides urinatrix

AUSTRALIA              729

Also known simply as Diving Petrel, it is the smallest of the Diving Petrels. Native to waters of South Africa and islands of the southern Indian Ocean, islands and islets off New Zealand and south-east Australian islands. Feeds on continental shelf during breeding season; movements during non-breeding season are poorly known. Catches prey by wing propelled diving, up to 60m; feeds on crustaceans, but known to forage at night on migrating plankton.


SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL

Photographed on Eaglehawk pelagic, Tasmania, January 2018
1235                  SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL                 Pterodroma mollis

AUSTRALIA                    728

Generally found over temperate and subantarctic waters in the South Atlantic, southern Indianand western South Pacific Oceans.In Australia the only confirmed breeding spot is Maatsuyker Island off southern Tasmania.



BULLER'S PETREL

Photographed on Eaglehawk pelagic, Tasmania, January 2018
1234                         BULLER'S SHEARWATER                   Ardenna bulleri 

AUSTRALIA                 727

Also known as Grey-backed Shearwater or New Zealand Shearwater. Migrates across north and south Pacific Ocean outside breeding season. Mainly feeds on squid, fish and crustaceans; sometimes follows ships as part of mixed species feeding flock. Breeding season starts in October and lasts nearly 6 months.





GOULD'S PETREL

Photographed on Eaglehawk pelagic, Tasmania, January 2018
1233                 GOULD'S PETREL                 Pterodroma leucoptera

AUSTRALIA               726

Sometimes known as White-winged Petrel. Spends most of its life at sea, coming to land only to breed; breeds on five islands off NSW coast. New Caledonian subspecies breeds on New Caledonia. Forages in the Tasman Sea during the breeding season, and may go as far as Indian Ocean, south of sw WA; after breeding migrates to central and eastern Pacific Ocean. Little is known about their diet or feeding behaviour.




















SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS

Photograph on Eaglehawk pelagic, January 2018

1232                    SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS                   Diomedea epomophora

AUSTRALIA                    725

One of the largest of sea-birds. Mostly found between 30 and 45 degrees south; the majority of the world's population nest on Subantarctic Campbell Island; range along southern oceans concentrating on west and east coast of southern South America, and waters around NZ. Named after Diomedes, whose companions turned to birds.






Friday, January 19, 2018

JUAN FERNANDEZ PETREL

Photographed on Eaglehawk pelagic, Tasmania, January 2018
1231                     JUAN FERNANDEZ PETREL             Pterodroma externa 

AUSTRALIA              724

Nests on single island, Isla Alejandro Selkirk, off the coast of Chile. During breeding season found off the cost of Chile, in non-breeding season forage in equatorial currents and counter-currents, as far north as Hawaiian Islands.  

NOTE:       First record for Tasmania, second record for Australia.






Tuesday, December 12, 2017

ALEUTIAN TERN

Photographed at Old Bar, NSW, December 2017
1230                 ALEUTIAN TERN               Onychoprion aleuticus 

AUSTRALIA                  723

Former Latin name was Sterna aleutica. Breeds in colonies on coasts and islands in Alaska and easternmost Siberia; migrates to Indonesia and Malaysia, though little is known about its wintering habits here. Feeds by plunge diving for fish, usually in saltwater environs.

NOTE:  In October 2017, birders Liam Murphy was looking through photographs taken in December 2016. He found an unidentified tern. It was tentatively identified as an Aleutian tern, never before recorded in Australia. He returned to the place where the photographs were taken in December 2017. Liam found a group of 13 Aleutian tern wintering there. (These photographs were taken the next day)





Monday, December 4, 2017

EASTERN GRASS OWL


Only just recording shots, will suffice until I can improve. Taken at Port Macquarie, December 2017
1229                EASTERN GRASS OWL                     Tyto longimembris

AUSTRALIA                   722

Also known as Australian Grass Owl. Found in grasslands coastal heaths, cane fields, agricultural land and swamps feeding on small rodents. Two distinct populations in Australia: one on flood plains of large rivers from Cape York to Manning River (NSW); the other on grasslands on Barkley Tablelands and Channel Country (WA)





















Sunday, November 26, 2017

SUPERB FRUIT DOVE

(Male) Photographed at Hatten, Queensland, November 2017
1228                   SUPERB FRUIT DOVE              Ptilinopus superbus

AUSTRALIA                721

Also known as the Purple-crowned Fruit Dove. Range: n-e Queensland to n-e NSW, less common further south, but has been seen in pockets near Moruya (NSW) and vagrants in Victoria and Tasmania. Inhabits rainforests and similar closed forest where forages high for the fruit of trees, such as figs and palms. Partly migratory and nomadic.

(Female)


SPOTTED WHISTLING DUCK

Photographed on the Daintree River, Queensland, November 2017

1227                  SPOTTED WHISTLING DUCK              Dendrocygna guttata

AUSTRALIA               720

Ranges throughout southern Philippines, Wallacea and New Guinea; has gradually been colonising northern Australia; now down as far as Daintree, though has been seen in Cairns.


Photographed at Wonga Beach, Queensland, November 2017



RED-BACKED BUTTONQUAIL

Photographed at Eungella, Queensland, November 2017

1226                  RED-BACKED BUTTONQUAIL                   Turnix maculosus

AUSTRALIA                  719


Also known as Black-backed, Black-spotted and Orange-bellied Buttonquail. Found also in indonesia, New Guinea,, Philippines and Soloman Islands. Fourteen recognised subspecies; subspecies melanotus found in northern Australia.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

RED-CHESTED BUTTONQUAIL

Photographed on The Postman's Track, Daybook, Queensland, November 2017
1225                RED-CHESTED BUTTONQUAIL             Turnix pyrrhothorax

AUSTRALIA                    718

Endemic to Australia; widespread though uncommon in NSW, Queensland, northern WA, and NT; classified as vulnerable in Victoria. Habitat is dense grasslands, and open, grassy woodlands of acacia, Red River Gums and Black Box; also in crops and weedy fields with dense cover.