16 December, 2012

Kea

Scientific Name: Nestor Notabilis

Population Estimate: 5000

Range / Habitat: Endemic to New Zealand's South Island, kea are found from Nelson to Fiordland and in Marlborough.

Field Notes: These birds are predominantly olive-green in colour, with darker edges. The lower back and tail are reddish, whilst the underwings are orange with yellow markings. The dark, recurved upper bill is significantly larger in males than females

Personal Notes: A welcome sight at the top of Avalanche Peak. It also marked our 100th bird blog entry of 2012!

27 October, 2012

Goldcrest

Scientific Name: Regulus regulus

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Partial migrant, favoring wooded habitats throughout Europe and discontinuously in Asia through to Japan.

Field Notes: Small, flitty, olive-drab bird with pin beak. Darker wings with two white wing bars. Pale area around eyes. Golden crest that is often difficult to see.

Personal Notes: Seen at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, London.

Carrion Crow

Scientific Name: Corvus Corone

Population Estimate:
21M to 71M

Range / Habitat:
Occurs throughout Great Britain, south of the Great Glen in northern Scotland. There are two main carrion crow populations globally; one is distributed throughout most of Asia, the second occurs in western Europe.

Field Notes:
It is the same size and shape as the hooded crow, but differs in that the plumage is entirely black, with a green and bluish-purplish gloss. The thick black bill has a curved tip.

Personal Notes:
Some species consider this conspecific with Hooded Crow.

Hooded Crow

Scientific Name: Corvus Cornix

Population Estimate:
Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat:
In Britain, this crow mainly occurs in north and western Scotland, it also occurs in Ireland and on the Isle of Man. Elsewhere it is widespread throughout central and northern Europe between the Arctic in the north to the Mediterranean in the south.

Field Notes:
The Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) (sometimes called Hoodiecrow) is a Eurasian bird species in the crow genus. It is an ashy grey bird with black head, throat, wings, tail and thigh feathers, as well as a black bill, eyes and feet. Like other corvids it is an omnivorous and opportunistic forager and feeder.

Personal Notes:
Some authors consider this bird conspecific with Carrion Crow.

18 October, 2012

Western Jackdaw

Scientific Name: Coloeus Monedula

Population Estimate: 21.1 - 90B

Range / Habitat: Widely distributed throughout Britain, but scarcer in upland areas. The jackdaw is also widespread throughout western Europe. Scandinavian populations migrate to England, Scotland and the Low Countries for the winter.

Field Notes: Medium-sized crow with grey nape and pale yellow eye. Hooded Crow with black eye, all black hood and more grey on back.

Personal Notes: Richard captured the top photo on the Cechy Most across the Vltava River in Prague.

Eurasian Magpie

Scientific Name: Pica Pica

Population Estimate: 22.5 - 57B (including Black-Billed Magpie in the US)

Range / Habitat: Resident in open areas, including artificial habitats, throughout most of Europe, Asia, and northwest Africa.

Field Notes: Large, conspicuous pied corvid with brilliant sheen to the back and long tail. Unmistakable in range.

Personal Notes: 
 


17 October, 2012

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Dendrocopos Major

Population Estimate: 73.5 - 216B

Range / Habitat: Resident in temperate forest throughout Europe and northern Asia.

Field Notes: Medium-sized black and white woodpecker with a black line which zigzags from the shoulder halfway across the breast, then back to the nape; a black stripe, extending from the bill, runs below the eye to meet this latter part of the zigzag line. Large white shoulder patch, barred flight feathers. Undertail coverts red. Males have a crimson spot on the nape, which is absent in females and juvenile birds. Syrian Woodpecker similar but less well-developed zigzag stripe on the neck. White-winged Woodpecker also similar but with far more extensive white wing patch.

Personal Notes: A welcome sound and sight after nearly a year in New Zealand without woodpeckers.

Great Tit

Scientific Name: Parus major

Population Estimate: 300M - 1.1B

Range / Habitat: Resident in wooded areas throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central and Northern Asia, and parts of North Africa.

Field Notes: Hefty tit, with a black head and neck, prominent white cheeks, olive upperparts and yellow underparts.

Personal Notes: Some authors consider this to be a subspecies.

Eurasian Blue Tit

Scientific Name: Cyanistes caeruleus

Population Estimate: 20 - 44M pairs estimated in Europe

Range / Habitat: Temperate forest or scrubland in continental Europe, the Mediterranean, and in parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

Field Notes: Small, brightly colored songbird with yellow breast, blue cap and wings. Thin black eye stripe.

Personal Notes: Some sources consider this to be a subspecies.

16 September, 2012

Dunnock

Scientific Name: Prunella modularis

Population Estimate: >30M in Europe alone

Range / Habitat: Temperate areas throughout Europe and Asia with some migratory behavior. Found in woodland, scrub, and gardens. Introduced to New Zealand.

Field Notes: Small, solitary, ground-foraging passerine. Brown and black streaked back, grey head, fine black bill. Can be mistaken for House Sparrow, but no grey or rufous to head and no black bib.

Personal Notes: Hard bugger to get a photo of, for as common as they are. Also known as Hedge Accentor.

Morepork

Scientific Name: Ninox novaeseelandiae

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Forested areas throughout both islands of New Zealand and Tasmania.

Field Notes: Dark brown owl, spotted and barred buff. Yellow eyes set in dark facial mask. Call a loud double hoot - "more-pork". Little Owl is a locally common European introduction in the South Island of New Zealand but is smaller, lighter and has a shorter tail.

Personal Notes: Maori name Ruru. Some sources consider this to be Southern Boobook. We were so excited to get a daytime sighting of this bird at Karori Wildlife Sanctuary.

13 July, 2012

White-throated Treecreeper

Scientific Name: Cormobates leucophaea

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia, where found in forested areas in the eastern part of the country.

Field Notes: Medium-sized grey treecreeper with white throat. Dark flanks with white spots. No eye brown stripe.

Personal Notes: Photographed at Honeyeater Park in Chiltern, Australia.

Brown Treecreeper

Scientific Name: Climacteris picumnus

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found in forested areas throughout the eastern part of the country.

Field Notes: Medium-sized passerine, typical tree creeping behavior. Overall brown with grey cap and white eye brown. Breast is heavily streaked, under tail coverts with horizontal bars.

Personal Notes: Not a shy bird, photographed at Honeyeater Park in Chiltern, Australia.

Pied Butcherbird

Scientific Name: Cracticus nigrogularis

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found in forest, scrubland and savannah throughout most of the country, excluding Tasmania.

Field Notes: Medium-sized black and white passerine with upright posture. White collar extends completely around the back of the neck. Bill blue with black tip. Grey Butcherbird has grey wings, not black and collar does not extend entirely around neck. Australian Magpie much more gregarious and common, with forward posture, and large white patch on back on neck, not collar.

Personal Notes: Richard had a few sightings of this bird, but we found it harder to photograph.

12 July, 2012

Whistling Kite

Scientific Name: Haliastur sphenurus

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Found in open or lightly wooded areas, often near water, throughout most of Australia, Papua New Guinea, and parts of Indonesia.

Field Notes: Medium-sized raptor, generally brown. Light tail prominent. Distinctive underwing pattern with white streaming back from the wrists noted in above bird after alighting.

Personal Notes: Spotted among a group of cormorants in Chiltern, Australia.

Eastern Yellow Robin

Scientific Name: Eopsaltria australis

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found in forested areas in the eastern part of the country.

Field Notes: Inquisitive, small passerine with round, grey head, grey body and yellow breast.

Personal Notes: Always a welcome site in the national parks in southeastern Australia.

Southern Emu-wren

Scientific Name: Stipiturus malachurus

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found in scrubland in the south of the country, including Tasmania.

Field Notes: Small wren, generally brown with more rufous cap and blue throat. Distinctive, long and fan-like tail, nearly always cocked upright.

Personal Notes: Amazing photograph by Richard as we spent the better part of our hike in Ben Boyd National Park trying to capture these guys.

Grey Shrikethrush

Scientific Name: Colluricincla harmonica

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Forest and savannah throughout Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Field Notes: Medium-sized thrush with grey head and tail, brown back, and white underparts. White between eyes and bill. Typical thrush-like behavior. Strikingly melodic voice.

Personal Notes: A surprisingly difficult identification for us, especially given how common this bird easy, but we finally figured it out 10 days into our two week tour of southeastern Australia.

White-bellied Sea Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucogaster

Population Estimate: 670 to 6700 individuals

Range / Habitat: Costal areas from India and Sri Lanka through southeast Asia to Australia

Field Notes: Large bird of prey with white head, breast, and tail. Wings grey. Distinctive profile from underneath with black trailing edge contrasting with the white, as above. Unmistakable in range.

Personal Notes: Seen both perching and soaring during a glorious hike in Ben Boyd National Park, Australia.

Wedge-tailed Eagle

Scientific Name: Aquila audax

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Grassland, scrubland, savannah throughout Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Field Notes: Large, dark raptor with characteristic wedge-shaped tail, prominent in flight. Golden mantle on back.

Personal Notes: Seen at Ben Boyd National Park in Australia.

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater

Scientific Name: Lichenostomus melanops

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Medium-sized yellow-olive passerine, darker upper parts and lighter underneath, with typical honeyeater bill. Black mask, yellow throat with narrow dusky chin, small yellow ear tuft. Unmistakable in range.

Field Notes: Endemic to Australia where found in sclerophyll forest and woodland in southeastern part of the country.

Personal Notes: A very dramatic bird, which you can partially see here. Photographed at Bartley's paddock in Chiltern, Australia.

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater

Scientific Name: Gliciphila melanops

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia, where founding scrubland in the southern part of the country.

Field Notes: Medium-sized, overall brown passerine with typical honeyeater bill. White breast with rufous flanks. Tawny crown, white eye brow strip, black mask that extends down shoulder.

Personal Notes: Photographed at Ben Boyd National Park, Australia.

White-plumed Honeyeater

Scientific Name: Lichenostomus penicillatus

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found in woodland, usually near water, in southeastern central, and midwestern areas of the country.

Field Notes: Medium-sized olive-grey passerine with short but decurved honeyeater bill. Yellow head, wings, and tail. White cheek plume. Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Grey-frounted Honeyeater, and Fuscous Honeyeater all similar but with yellow plumes, not white.

Personal Notes: Common winter bird in Chiltern, Australia.

Diamond Firetail

Scientific Name: Stagonopleura guttata

Population Estimate: 200K

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found in open woodland and wooded grassland in southeastern part of the country.

Field Notes: Small grey-brown passerine, usually found on the ground. Red bill, rump, and eye. Black mask and black flanks, spotted white. Unmistakable in range.

Personal Notes: Quite a photo by Richard taken while hanging out of the car window in Chiltern, Australia.

Intermediate Egret

Scientific Name: Egretta intermedia

Population Estimate: 180K - 1.3M

Range / Habitat: Found in a variety of wetland habitats -- inland, marine, even flooded fields -- from east Africa across the Indian Subcontinent to Southeast Asia and Australia.

Field Notes: Large white heron, with yellow bill and black legs. In breeding plumage bill orange and white plumes). Intermediate in size between larger herons, such as Great Heron (which never has orange bill, neck most often in '?' shape, and yellow gape extending past eyes), and smaller birds, such as Cattle Egret.

Personal Notes: Seen on a beautiful day of birding in Chiltern, Australia.

11 July, 2012

Azure Kingfisher

Scientific Names: Ceyx azureus

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Inland wetlands and forested areas near water in eastern and northern Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea.

Field Notes: Small kingfisher with stubby tail and long bill. Bright blue head and back, orange breast. Unmistakable in range.

Personal Notes: Wee kingfisher seen in Chiltern, Australia.

Restless Flycatcher

Scientific Name: Myiagra inquieta

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Dry forest and savannah throughout eastern, northern, and southwestern Australia. Also found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Field Notes: Shiny black flycatcher with white breast extending to neck. Active, often hovering. Willie Wagtail and Satin Flycatcher similar but with black throat.

Personal Notes: A bonus find on a rainy day in Chiltern, Australia. This photo was taken through the front windshield between the wiper blades! This taxon is considered a subspecies by some authors.

Satin Bowerbird

Scientific Name: Ptilonorhynchus violaceus

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found in forested areas in the southeastern corner of the country.

Field Notes: Medium-sized to large passerine, stocky with stout bill. Male glossy black with violet-blue eye and greenish-yellow bill. Female overall green with extensively scalloped breast, rufous wings, and violet-blue eye. Juveniles similar to females and take up to seven years to attain adult plumage.

Personal Notes: It took us quite a while, with many sightings, to figure out what this bird was. Though bowerbirds are typically associated with their ground-based bowers, these birds were quite prominent in the canopy. We even were witness to a group of birds mauling a fruit-laden tree on the Drummer Rainforest Walk, with the remnants of the feast falling all around us....

Red-capped Plover

Scientific Name: Charadrius ruficapillus

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Marine intertidal areas throughout Australia, including Tasmania, parts of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea.

Field Notes: Small plover with rufous cap, extending down back of neck, and around to an incomplete breast band. White forehead. Juvenile and non-breeding forms with rufous cap grey-brown instead. Kentish Plover similar but non-overlapping.

Personal Notes: A lucky find at Mallacoota Beach, when we were really just looking for the path to the nearby Croajingolong National Park in Victoria, Australia.

Peaceful Dove

Scientific Name: Geopelia placida

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Scrubland in eastern and northern Australia, parts of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea.

Field Notes: Small grey-brown dove with barring on wings and neck and blue eye ring. Diamond Dove is similarly sized but with spots, not barring, and red eye ring.

Personal Notes: Part of productive birding morning in Chiltern, Victoria, Australia.

Wonga Pigeon

Scientific Name: Leucosarcia melanoleuca

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia, where found in woodlands and scrubland in the southeastern corner of the country.

Field Notes: Large, ground-dwelling pigeon with slaty-grey upper parts and white under parts. White forehead, white 'V' on breast, and black spots on flank

Personal Notes: One of the birds spotted at the lovely Double Creek Nature Trail in northeastern Victoria, Australia.

Glossy Black Cockatoo

Scientific Name: Calyptorhynchus lathami

Population Estimate: 17K

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia, where found in dry forest in the southeastern corner of the country.

Field Notes: Large, black cockatoo with red tail panels. Female with yellow splotches on face. Other black cockatoos in Australia differ in either tail panel or head markings.

Personal Notes: A spectacular sighting by Richard while on the Princes Highway at the border of New South Wales and Victoria.

Superb Lyrebird

Scientific Name: Menura novaehollandiae

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found in forested area in the southeast of the country.

Field Notes: Medium-sized, grey-brown, ground-dwelling bird with long dramatic tail. Unmistakable in range.

Personal Notes: One of the highlights of our foray into Ben Boyd National Park.

Pied Oystercatcher

Scientific Name: Haematopus longirostris

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Coastal estuaries and mudflats around the entire coast of Australia, including Tasmania, parts of Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Field Notes: Medium-sized wader with black head, neck, bib, back and tail. White breast and underparts, extending up to shoulder. Bright orange bill and eye. Unmistakable in range.

Personal Notes: Photographed at Ben Boyd NP.

White-eared Honeyeater

Scientific Name: Lichenostomus leucotis

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found in dry forest and savannah in the eastern and southwestern portion of the country.

Field Notes: Medium-sized olive-green passerine with typical honeyeater bill and profile. Underparts more yellow, black throat and mask, grey cap, and white ear patch. Yellow-faced Honeyeater similar but ear patch yellow, extending to bill, and grey throat.

Personal Notes: Seen at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, outside Canberra.

Musk Duck

Scientific Name: Biziura lobata

Population Estimate: 13K - 33K

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found on inland wetlands in the southeast and southwest corners of the country and Tasmania.

Field Notes: Low-slung black duck with wispy tail and wedge-shaped bill. Male with large lobe under bill as above.

Personal Notes: Photographed at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, outside Canberra.


Magpie Goose

Scientific Name: Anseranas semipalmata

Population Estimate: 1M

Range / Habitat: Inland wetlands of northern and eastern Australia, parts of Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Field Notes: Large goose with black head, neck and tail. Body white. Light bill. Knob at the top of the head. Unmistakable in range.

Personal Notes: Seen at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve outside Canberra

10 July, 2012

Hardhead

Scientific Name: Aythya australis

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Inland wetlands throughout most of Australia. Vagrant to surrounding items.

Field Notes: All brown duck, darker upper parts, lighter underneath. White rump and white tip to bill. Male with white eye. Unmistakable in range.

Personal Notes: Photographed at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, outside Canberra.

Brolga

Scientific Name: Grus rubicunda

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Inland wetlands in northern and eastern Australia, parts of Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Field Notes: Large, grey waterbird with red on head. Sarus similar but red extending through eye.

Personal Notes: Photographed at Tidbinbilla Wildlife Refuge, outside Canberra.


Emu

Scientific Name: Dromaius novaehollandiae

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia where found year-round throughout the country in open, unsettled areas.

Field Notes: Extremely large, flightless bird. Brown overall with white face. Southern Cassowary black with different coloration on head.

Personal Notes: Seen at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, outside Canberra.

Scarlet Robin

Scientific Name: Petroica boodang

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Found in forest and savannah of southern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, and Samoa.

Field Notes: Small passerine with large round head, large eye, and small bill. Male with black head, back, wings, and tail. White patch above bill; white wing bars. Bright red chest patch on white belly. Female similar but with grey instead of black, less distinct wing bars, and dull orange chest patch. Flame Robin with smaller white patch above bill and chest patch extending up to neck. Rose Robin without white wing bars. Red-capped Robin with red patch above bill.

Personal Notes: Bright, welcome sight on our tour of southeastern Australia. This bird is considered a subspecies by some authors.

Red-browed Finch

Scientific Name: Neochmia temporalis

Population Estimate: Unknown, but Least Concern status

Range / Habitat: Endemic to woodlands in eastern Australia.

Field Notes: Adult male and female identical and unmistakable in range, as above.

Personal Notes: Dramatic-appearing little bird, seen in a variety of locations on our holiday throughout southeastern Australia.

Black-shouldered Kite

Scientific Name: Elanus axillaris

Population Estimate: 100K

Range / Habitat: Endemic to Australia, where found in open would lands and grasslands throughout the mainland.

Field Notes: Small grey and white falcon with black shoulder patch and red eye. Similar to nocturnal Letter-winged Kite in central Australia

Personal Notes: