birds a-f

female zebra finches

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P1200142These girls are a little shyer than their male counterpart, preferring the shade and anonymity of the tree and each others company. They are the same as the male in plumage, save they lack his chestnut ear-patch and his barred breast, instead opting for a more demure fawn-grey breast befitting to Ladies.

zebra finch

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P1190974I am on a road trip through four of Australia’s seven states, I’ve travelled 2,800 kms from my home on the New South Wales north coast to the middle of South Australia. Currently house-sitting in Cooper Pedy, the Opal capital of the world. It’s a desert region and not a lot happening in the landscape but these Zebra Finches, small seed eating birds, seem to be thriving. This is a male, identified by the chestnut ear-patch. They are a tiny 10cm, like the Southern Whiteface in the previous post and the Double-barred Finch

emu

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P1190831So far on my driving adventure I have driven 2800kms across two states.. yes Australia is a big country! It’s sometimes hard to be driving with half a thought for spotting birds or a scenic vista and by the time I pulled the truck over this female emu and her gaggle of offspring were well down the road, and unfortunately those cute chicks were now hidden by the shrubs. Emus are large flightless ground birds (ratites), standing 1.5 – 2 m tall, they love open country in unsettled areas. They feed on fruit, seeds and insects.

rain dancers

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p1130836The Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo is a cheeky character. This male (sex identified by the hot pink eye ring) is feasting on the flower buds of the banksia tree, a tree native to where I live. Behind it is a she-oak, another native tree the cockatoos fancy. Cockatoos tend to stick together, their loud cawking sounds pre-empting their arrival, and their arrival pre-empting rain. 

wandering whistling-duck

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P1180481.jpgWater birds have many haunts, and while the Wandering Whistling-Duck is seen in north/west Australia I snapped this one in Kensington Gardens, London. Easily identified by the chestnut underparts, barred wings and cream side feathers. Not a great capture but as I don’t have another in my bird log making do. 

little black cormorant

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The Little Black Cormorant is around 60-65cm and mainly found in fresh water and estuarine environments throughout mainland Australia and island Tasmania. This one was spotted at North Coast Regional Botanical Gardens in Coffs Harbour on the north coast of NSW, at the fresh water ‘Japanese’ lake.