Several white-plumed honeyeaters constantly roved our patch of bush, probing bark for insects and dangling from eucalyptus blossoms. Hard to pin them down with the Nikon D3000 as they flitted from place to place, well above the ground.


Thanks for looking.



White-plumed Honeyeater


While on our camping trip, we would go for a stroll every now and then to check what was going on around us. On one such walk, I missed photographing a straw-necked ibis foraging in the dry grass – it loves grasshoppers and locusts. Next day, I hoped for another sighting. This time it wasn’t poking about on the ground but on high, soaring around like a bird of prey. This is what I got.








Get dizzy? I was, by time I lost it against the sun. I can’t believe how I can see its eye in the first picture. Apparently, these also have naked heads and some bareness under the wings.

When I checked the bird book (The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds), I discovered we only have three sorts of ibis: glossy, sacred, and straw-necked. The first is a dark bird, the second is mostly white, so this is a straw-necked. I think it’s a juvenile, though, as there aren’t any obvious yellow straw-like throat plumes. They’re common to the mainland but will pop up in Tasmania, too, as well as Indonesia, New Guinea, Norfolk Island, and Lord Howe Island.

Thanks for looking. Do have a great week!



Birds, Other Stuff

Straw-necked Ibis on High



I’ve Googled the name origin for this large honeyeater, the Noisy Friarbird. As I expected, it relates to his bald head – think Friar Tuck with the tonsured scalp. My eyesight isn’t that great, so I never really noticed – just thought it an oddly shaped black head. That explains why his neck feathers begin so abruptly.



The friarbird frequented the wattle tree by our camp spot by the Murray River – that tree on the right in the photo above. I first spotted it late on the Thursday night, the day we arrived. I could see the outline of it’s beak and got all excited but had to wait for the next day before I could confirm it was a friarbird. I always pack my bird book in the camera bag. Obviously,  this one was used to campers for I was able to get close.



I still haven’t mastered the art of capturing flight. I took my tripod but it never came out of the bag. I got out my Nikon D3000 for Dummies book only the once. I always say I’ll spend all this free time learning, but it takes four days of camping before I get bored. No internet again, this time, but we did get an intermittent phone signal. We were camped the next spot up from where we were last time. Mr R. laughed when we ended up there – saying it’s not often one stays in a spot first visited by your dog. Vika ended up here when she went missing last time.


We ended up cutting our trip short, coming home on Tuesday afternoon instead of Wednesday. The wind showed no sign of dropping. We couldn’t cope with yet another night of campfire smoke constantly keeping us on our feet. Yes, we wimped out!

Thanks for looking. Do have a good day.




Birds, Other Stuff

Philemon corniculatus: Noisy Friarbird


Isn’t this just the … ugliest … bird you have ever seen? I was enthralled by this friarbird finding himself a feed in a wattle tree on the edge of our camping spot by the Murray River. I only took about 450 photos this trip and I reckon 25% were of the friarbirds.



Thanks for looking! There will be more.





Sometimes, whistling in the female Superb Fairy-wren works!


She sings to me, or maybe complains.


She ventures into the cypress tree, right by me.




The male Superb Fairy-wren finally moved in. He hates my whistling.


Superb, indeed!





Just how many honeyeaters can one yard have!

This morning, while I was enticing the fairy-wrens to come closer, this White-naped Honeyeater landed in the lilac to investigate my whistling.


Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve seen one before.  The other recent birds shown here – the Yellow-faced Honeyeater and the Singing Honeyeater – have similar colouring. From a distance, I might think this a plump White-plumed Honeyeater!


Reading up, I find it is endemic to the eastern and south-eastern parts of mainland Australian – from near the top of Queensland down to Victoria and around into South Australia, and is partially migratory within its range. Another race lives in south-west Australia.


Mid-shoot, the sun popped out from behind a cloud.



Spring is in full swing. The fruit tree blossoms are nearly spent. The bees are back. The elm canopies are greening. My two lilacs are budding, and I’m looking forward to their gorgeous fragrant flowers.  My magnolia has survived many a frost, so I guess I should plant it. Poor thing is still in its little pot.

Thanks for reading and/or looking.




Melithreptus lunatus: White-naped Honeyeater