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Two Months of Lifers Down Under

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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 20:25   #1
delia todd
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Two Months of Lifers Down Under

Part 1: 21 September to 4 October
Based in Wellington Point, Brisbane

As the title suggests I spent two months in Australia with Life Birds hitting me in the face at every turn (I didn't see too many introduced species).

After the long flight from Edinburgh a very tired old lady landed in Brisbane and was met by BF member Mzungo (Ken Doy) and his lovely wife Judy who had invited me to stay with them for 12 days at their house on Wellington Point, a city suburb on the coast.

The first bird I saw as we left the airport was a Noisy Miner, followed shortly after by a Masked Lapwing feeding on a grass verge. I discovered they were all over the place in Queensland.

Before going to their house we detoured to the promenade at Wellington Point (hereinafter will be reduced to WP, if that's OK with you) to see what was there; the main species was my first ever pelican - Australian Pelican.

Arriving at their house more new birds in Australian Magpie, Rainbow Lorikeet, Grey Butcherbird and Laughing Kookaburra. These were all constant visitors to the garden.

All these before I'd even got into the house and unpacked. Ken and Judy kindly left me alone to recover from the journey; two nights in a plane with not much sleep. I found myself falling asleep at the dinner table that night! Early night called for.

The next morning I did wake early, knowing that Ken planned to walk out onto the beach. But I never heard him moving about and when I went through soon after 7am Judy said he'd gone. So she took me down and spotted him in the far distance - so off I set through the mud to catch up with him.

En route I found a Silver Gull, then some more having a battle with an Australian Ibis taking no notice of them.
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 20:41   #2
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Nice one Delia I look forward to reading this, looks like it could be a fun one!
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 21:20   #3
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Nice photos and can't wait for the next installment
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 21:25   #4
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I finally managed to attract Ken's attention before he headed off out of sight and we met up near the island, when up popped a [/b]Brahimmy Kite[/b].... needed to practise flight shots, got one or two reasonable ones.... well at least IDable birds!

Then Ken spotted a White-breasted Woodswallow on top of a tree (a mangrove I think). Wandering back along the beach near the tide line Ken found for me Red-necked Stint (tiny, distant, in the mud doesn't make for a great picture). Then a Pied Oystercatcher, quickly followed by a Grey-tailed Tattler with another group of stints.

My head was beginning to spin!!!
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 21:26   #5
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Thanks both.... next installment now done.
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 22:20   #6
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Continuing our wander my first view of a White-faced Heron was as he flew by. I then got a rather closer view of an Australian Ibis (these guys were everywhere, so easy to spot flying over the city streets). Shortly after I saw one of my favourite larger waders, the Pied Stilt, such handsome birds these. I got a fly-by of a Pelican shortly after that.... how these big guys manage to take off I don't know LOL.

That finished the beach, but on the walk back up the road there was a Masked Plover on a grass patch between some houses (probably had a nest in there somewhere).
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 23:35   #7
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That pelican photo is terrific - looks like its levitating. Presumably shot just as it was coming in to land?
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 23:40   #8
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Thanks Mike.

No.... he just flew straight past me and kept going.
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 06:22   #9
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Sorry Delia but I just can't picture you as a "tired old lady"!

Some lovely photos of some great birds! I have family in Oz I have been talking about visiting for years - I have a feeling this report is going to strengthen my resolve! Keep it coming Lass!

Chris
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 09:42   #10
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Just to finish off that day a couple of oddity pictures.

An unidentified shell. Sorry, not in focus, An attempt to take it one-handed didn't really work out!

A baby mangrove - apparently the beach was all mangrove before humans arrived and there's more and more being destroyed I understand.

Some coconuts growing in Ken's garden. Wouldn't fancy one of them falling on my head.
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 09:43   #11
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Quote:
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Sorry Delia but I just can't picture you as a "tired old lady"!

Some lovely photos of some great birds! I have family in Oz I have been talking about visiting for years - I have a feeling this report is going to strengthen my resolve! Keep it coming Lass!

Chris
Thanks Chris.... you gotta believe it.... I really was tired and I'm old
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 10:15   #12
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Some fine pictures (and lifers) to start your trip in Australia. Looking forward to seeing more and reading about your trip down under Delia.
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 10:24   #13
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Sandy Camp Road Wetlands

23 September 2019

We were off early the next morning and headed off to the wetlands, first stopping off at (I think) Lindum to see what was there. Mainly Pied Stilt, but leaving I got my first sightings of a Galah - I was to see these almost everywhere I went

Arriving at the wetlands a Willie Wagtail was displaying at the side of the track, such fun birds to watch these and another species I saw in most places. Also at this spot was a little flock of Double-barred Finches and a Peaceful Dove.... couldn't believe how tiny these doves were.

On the water first to be seen was a Pacific Black Duck together with a Dusky Moorhen.
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 11:04   #14
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Forgot the pictures, sorry.
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 11:06   #15
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Delia love this, thanks so much for sharing. You have got quite a list there and more to come :)
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 11:13   #16
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Yes, Nora... plenty more to come.

Are you back home now? Such a shame we didn't manage to meet up.
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 11:49   #17
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Nice one Delia, there's nothing quite like a first visit to Aus for a European birder. I recall how mindblown I was on my first day. Landed in Darwin at night time, borrowed a pushbike and spent an exhausting day just exploring and saying "Wow!" all day long.
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 11:53   #18
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[quote=delia todd;3922912]Yes, Nora... plenty more to come.


I'm enjoying your report, Delia. Even if I've never heard of most of the sightings - I really am a European birder!

I'll hang fire with my report on Scotland. I can't live up to this!!

Good to have you back

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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 11:55   #19
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LOL yeah... it really was a bit like that for me too Larry. My head seemed to be constantly on the turn looking at new things ... and not just birds. Everything was different, trees, flowers, animals and the culture too.

I had to give up trying to write a list as I went along but had to try and do it when we got back home!
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 12:18   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
Just to finish off that day a couple of oddity pictures.

An unidentified shell. Sorry, not in focus, An attempt to take it one-handed didn't really work out!

A baby mangrove - apparently the beach was all mangrove before humans arrived and there's more and more being destroyed I understand.

Some coconuts growing in Ken's garden. Wouldn't fancy one of them falling on my head.
Delia,

Don't forget you are in Australia and everything is trying to kill you

I know nothing of Australian sea shells but look up "cone shell" and decide whether picking up beach debris is wise or not....

Enjoying your report!

Cheers

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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 12:24   #21
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LOL John.... only saw one scary beastie while I was there and that was a Red-bellied Black Snake! He slithered off into the long grass after I'd taken a picture.

This one was empty, so safe enough. Had no idea sea shells were dangerous LOL.
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 14:13   #22
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You have brightened a dull rainy day with your trip report, Delia!

Loving the posts and pics so far, what an awesome trip it must have been!

I am looking forward to reading more about your trip!
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 14:30   #23
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What a great read this has been and looking forward to all the rest of your marvelous trip
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 14:58   #24
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Thanks Pam and KC. It's rather nice reliving this remarkable trip.

We walked down between two lakes so I didn't know where to look right or left, then realised I should be looking up too, when Ken called an Australasian Darter flying over. I was too late for a picture of that one (well... and many other things over the weeks too!!).

We then turned into what was more like a flood forest and in there found an Intermediate Egret, some more Willie Wagtails, White Ibis, Australasian Grebe, so like our Little Grebe, and I was to later find they have a similar call too. Wandering Whistling Duck and Australasian Swamphen.
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 16:04   #25
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Then, I suppose, one of the birds nearly everyone wants to see (birder or not), the Laughing Kookaburra. These two were singing a duet, which Ken and I just adored listening to.

I don't get to see Reed Warblers up here in Scotland (though I think they're now moving in) so was pleased to get a picture of an Australasian Reed Warbler, in the same area, a Magpie-Lark was pottering around.

Moving on I saw a Great Egret, not a lifer, though I've only seen a couple before, but this one is a different subspecies of course, along with him was a Royal Spoonbill - my only previous sighting of a spoonbill was a distant fly-by many years ago in Pagham Harbour.
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