Apostlebirds just puddling around

Apostlebirds just puddling around

Apostlebirds in Peterborough

Over recent post I have written about some birding I did while visiting family in Peterborough in early March. Peterborough is in the mid-north of South Australia and is just over three hours drive from home in Murray Bridge which is south-east of Adelaide. We were staying with family and while there my wife attended a quilting seminar.

Early one morning during our stay I headed off to do some birding before the heat of the day. One of the places I often visit while in the town is Victoria Park. This park has an artificial lake and is adjacent to the caravan park and the swimming pool. It is one of several quite reliable places to see Apostlebirds.

Apostlebirds are quite common in some other states, especially New South Wales. In South Australia, however, the species is uncommon. It can only be found in about a dozen or so locations in the whole state. Recent observations could indicate that it is becoming more common and is extending its range.

There appear to be several family groups in and around the town of Peterborough. These groups can be fairly mobile over quite a range covering most of the town and the immediate environs. One of the most reliable spots seems to be around Victoria Park where I took these photos, and in or near the grounds of the hospital.

As we were approaching the town late in the afternoon of the previous day, we encountered a heavy downpour as we drove along. I actually had to reduce the car’s speed to drive safely. The next morning, there were still quite a few puddles left around town, including a few large ones in the park. The Apostlebirds were having a great time paddling in the water, as were several other species. I didn’t stay long enough to see if they took advantage of the puddles to make one of their mud nests. I guess that this group didn’t really need to because they have a constant supply of mud from the edges of the lake only 20 metres from where these shots were taken.

Apostlebirds just puddling around

Apostlebirds in Peterborough

Apostlebirds just puddling around

Apostlebirds in Peterborough

Apostlebirds just puddling around

Apostlebirds in Peterborough

Apostlebirds just puddling around

Apostlebirds in Peterborough

Apostlebirds just puddling around

Apostlebirds in Peterborough

 

A bunch of thirsty Galahs

Galahs near peterborough

Galahs near Peterborough

In my post a few days ago I posted several photos of several Mallee Ringnecks taken just north of Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia. As I left the reserve where I took those photos, I drove slowly along the dirt road back towards the town. I stopped several times to take a few photos of the local birds.

This was early in March and we were having a particularly hot spell of weather. By the time I had left the nature reserve, the air was beginning to really heat up. I thought that it might be prudent to head back to my brother-in-law’s home and lay low during the worst of the heat. On my way home, I spotted several small flocks of Galahs having a drink at several old baths in the nearby paddocks. The local farmers had placed these bath tubs in their horse paddocks, brought the water pipe to the bathtubs, installed floats and thus provided a water source for their horses and sheep.

Naturally, the Galahs have endorsed this installation by also indulging in an early morning drink before the heat of the day to come. The second photo (the one immediately below) is unfortunately spoiled by the thin line of the fencing wire passing across the face of two of the birds. I did not notice this when taking the photo. It was only when I downloaded the photo and enlarged it on my computer that I noticed the wire. Such are the hazards of photography.

 

Galahs near Peterborough

Galahs near Peterborough

Galahs near Peterborough

Galahs near Peterborough

A very noisy Mallee Ringneck

Mallee Ringneck

Mallee Ringneck, Peterborough South Australia

On the first weekend of March earlier this year my wife and I travelled to Peterborough in the mid-north of South Australia. My wife was attending a quilting seminar and we stayed with family while there. While she was attending the seminar I did a few hours of birding around town before the day became too hot.

The first place I ventured to was the Greg Duggan Reserve on Lookout Hill on the northern outskirts of town. This lookout gives a great view in all directions over the adjacent farming country surrounding the town. This small reserve is also a fine retreat for some of the local birds with over 70 species having been recorded there over the years. I had a good look around and managed a few good photos of a Western Grey Kangaroo (see photo below).

As I was leaving the lookout, which has a good ramp with wheelchair access, I heard the unmistakable and noisy call of a Mallee Ringneck Parrot. With very little effort I tracked it down and managed a few good photos which I have shown above and below. Next thing this bird was joined in a noisy duet with another bird which was walking along the railing of the lookout (see photo below). This chorus continued for several minutes before both birds flew off towards the town.

On our property in Murray Bridge, we have a noisy family of Mallee Ringneck parrots which are a resident breeding species in our garden. We get a little annoyed with them when they nibble at our pears as they are ripening on the trees. Mallee Ringnecks are a widespread species in the drier mallee areas of Australia. The Mallee Ringnecks are a sub-species of the Australian Ringneck, a widespread species with several other sub-species.

For more about the fauna of the Greg Duggan Reserve in Peterborough read my article called The Wildlife in the Greg Duggan Nature Reserve.

Mallee Ringneck, Peterborough Sth Aust

Mallee Ringneck, Peterborough South Australia

Mallee Ringneck, Peterborough South Australia

Mallee Ringneck, Peterborough South Australia

From the lookout at Peterborough in South Australia

From the lookout at Peterborough in South Australia

Western Grey Kangaroo (?) near Peterborough

Western Grey Kangaroo near Peterborough

Peaceful Doves in our garden

Peaceful Doves are a regular visitor in our garden

Peaceful Doves are a regular visitor in our garden

I have written about Peaceful Doves on a number of occasions on this site; check out the articles I have linked to in the ‘Further Reading’ section below. I must admit that I love seeing and hearing this small dove in the Australian bush. They are aptly named and their gentle call is so part of the Australian environment, especially in the drier parts of the country.

Over the 30 plus years, we have lived in our present home, I have recorded this species on quite a few occasions. In the last year or so their visits have become far more regular. In fact, at present, we probably hear or see them on most days of the week. It is still too early to call this a resident species, but it must be close to that. Late last year we are fairly sure that they could also now be added to the list of birds observed breeding on our five-acre block of land. Although we saw them mating, we never found a nest.

More recently – perhaps over the last two months, we have often seen two or three birds come to our bird baths. Then on one occasion we had at least six birds present. I would like to think that this sighting included the successful breeding outcome, and that this little flock is actually one family of birds.

On other occasions, we have only one bird visiting the bird baths for a drink. On one of those occasions I took the bracket of photos shown in today’s post. All of these photos are of the same bird. Although I like this series of shots, the bird in question refused to turn around and face my camera. Some days the birds cooperate, and on other days they just do as they please. That’s the delight – and the frustration – of nature photography.

Further reading:

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

Peaceful Dove

 

 

Shearwaters apartments

Shearwaters Apartments

Shearwaters Apartments

Over recent posts here I have written about our recent short holiday at the Brighton Caravan Park in the southern parts of Adelaide, South Australia. While we were staying there for an extended weekend, I managed to squeeze in some birding along the coast there. On the Sunday afternoon, many of our friends who were also staying in the same park went for a walk. My wife had a little snooze in the van so I decided to take my camera and try to get some bird photos along the beach. You can see some of those photos in recent posts.

Now for something different

As I was walking back along the foreshore I came across some magnificent housing. In fact, most of the housing along this part of the coast is of a very high quality and very modern and probably with price-tags to match. The views from many of the homes and apartments along this coast are truly magnificent, plus one has the safe beach as an added bonus. One apartment building caught my attention in particular – that shown in the photo above. It had a ‘For Sale’ sign out the front but it was the name “Shearwaters” which caught my attention.

Shearwaters are seabirds and there are about 30 species of this family. Some of them are present in Australian waters and on occasion some can be seen along this stretch of coast. In fact, Australia’s most abundant seabird is the Short-tailed Shearwater which is also called a ‘Muttonbird‘ because in the early days it was caught in huge numbers as a meat bird (among other uses).

Various species of Shearwaters are seen occasionally in South Australian waters, but I can’t ever recall seeing any here. I do recall seeing the Short-tailed Shearwater in Victoria some years ago. While they aren’t seen here in large numbers, those in the Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania can number in the many millions and are an impressive sight when they all fly off in their migration to the northern hemisphere.

Near Marino Rocks near Adelaide

Near Marino Rocks near Adelaide