Monday, May 7, 2012

Superb Parrot and others

Last week I made a quick trip to the Griffith area with my son, so I took the opportunity to check out the Willbriggee State Forest on the Murrumbidgee River.

Superb Parrot
There was still plenty of water running in the river after the recent rains, however thankfully not much surface flooding left.

Heading south from Griffith the most obvious birds were the  Black-shouldered Kites and Nankeen Ketrels perched on the power lines.
The first birds to be seen as I entered the State Forest from Darlington Point was a family group of White-browed Babblers. A little further on an even noisier family of White-wing Choughs made an appearance. It was soon apparent that there was not much flowering in the forest, so there were no obvious trees to stake out for honeyeaters. A quick drive along a sandy track to the river bank drew a blank, so I headed back to the birdiest spot I had seen, which was near the entrance. I didn't have to wait too long before a large number of Yellow Rosellas turned up. What I hadn't noticed on the way in was a small water hole just off the track that was attracting the birds. I didn't bother with a hide which probably explains why didn't get any worthwhile Rosella images. I did try bringing the birds in with playback. The Rosellas definitely responded, but not enough to come down low for a decent  shot. One species that did show a lot of interest was a group of Blue-faced Honeyeaters. These are a fantastic species to photograph with their boisterous behaviour and distinctive facial skin.

Blue-faced Honeyeater
Yellow Rosella
While photographing the Yellow Rosellas I noticed a pair of Superb parrots fly high into an adjacent tree. I quickly found an open area with a suitable perch (best that I could manage) and put on the call. To my great surprise one bird responded immediately landing exactly where I had hoped. The only problem was the bird was bigger than I thought, so I had to back off to fit it in the frame.

Other birds seen were: Eastern Rosella, Australian White Ibis, White-necked Heron, Great Egret, Galah and Noisy Miner.