Last weekend my wife and I travelled south to the Jervis Bay area. On our way we stopped off at the very important wader site, Lake Wollumboola near Culburra Beach. Winter means no migratory waders present, just small flocks of Pelican, various Cormorants, Crested Tern and Caspian Tern. The waders will begin returning late next month. You may remember in a previous post seeing this lake flooding during wild seas. (Click on photos to enlarge them.)
This next frame tickled me a little as to what these two birds were discussing…
The highlight of our stop here was the tiny Red-capped Plover pair which breed here each year. This is one of our most common shore birds, but is not seen so much in our Sydney area. The male has the red cap and the female only slightly red tinted.
It was lovely to capture pictures of the two together, they will be breeding soon…
My wife captured this sand scene of various sized and shaped tracks by the lake.
These photos show an immensly angry Masked Lapwing, and you can see why it use to be called the Spur-winged Plover…
We drove further south to the Booderee National Park, which though in New South Wales is actually a territory of the ACT because of the naval base at Jervis Bay. Sooo I was quite put out having to pay $11 to go in, considering I had a NSW Parks Pass, but it was worth it, as this is a beautiful park. It is owned and maintained by the local indigenous community who lease it back to the Australian Government. The symbol for the park is the White-bellied Sea-Eagle which we saw while there. Booderee means “Bay of Plenty” or “Plenty of Fish” but it is also “Plenty of Birds”…
On the coast near the historical lighthouse ruins, as we looked across the bay to the new lighthouse a large majestic White-bellied Sea-Eagle flew and circuited in front of us. Soon after a one year old immature White-Bellied Sea Eagle came across from the opposite direction returning to its parent.
An additional highlight was the fly by of this Peregrine Falcon, seldom seen from above, as we were blessed to observe.
In addition to the extensive coastal brush habitat and great ocean views, where passing whales can be seen…
Extensive heathland, similar to Barren Grounds NP exisits here, being a second important habitat for both the Eastern Bristlebird and the Eastern Ground Parrot. Both endangered species. Of course we saw neither on our visit, only on a sign.
The facilities for picnicking and walking through the Booderee Botanic Gardens are excellent, and can be recommended as a really well kept and serviced park. I am in the process of including this as a new book sales site. We were warmly met at the Visitor Centre by Morgan and Sonya, wardens of the park. You have to be careful not to accidentally drive into the local indigenous community area and the naval base. The reason I called the title Birderee is that the place is teeming with small passerine birds, including honeyeaters such as the Yellow-faced, New Holland and the Eastern Spinebill.
Another great blessing was the frequent siting of the White-naped Honeyeater, which we do not see in our area.
The rainforest walk through the Botanic Gardens is very worthwhile. Satin Bowerbirds are numerous and making their uniquely spooky sounds, but were very elusive to photograph, more so than any place I have been. This was the only decent shot I could get, considering there were so many of them.
In this brief footage you will hear them calling and get a very brief view of the bird at the very end of the clip.
Other birds seen include this tiny Brown Thornbill and this unexpected lone Noisy Friarbird. Of course Currawongs, Magpies and Kookaburras were also present as always but not pictured here.
A great feature of the rainforest walk was the siting of this Bassian Thrush in good light. The great thing about this well camouflaged bird is that it stands perfectly still when it sees you, thinking it will blend into the surrounding environment and make it invisible, which on many occasionas it does. This is the reason many people never see this elusive rainforest bird. It feeds on insects and grubs in the leaf litter of the rainforest floor and seldom flies. It is territorial and is usually found in the same area. Look at the second photo and see how well it blends in with its surrounds, especially well in a dark rainforest.
Another rainforest bird that eluded us even after much waiting and watching was this Eastern Whipbird. I did manage to get this photo of his head.
Spring was certainly in bloom there with wattles, Gymea Lilies and Grevilea in full bloom, among many other native nectar flowers in the Botanic Gardens.
This Eastern Grey Kangaroo was quietly grazing in the picnic ground.
Other birds include the Red Wattlebird, Eastern Crimson Rosella and the Eastern Yellow Robin.
We highly recommend a visit to this well kept park with its several coastal habitats and many birds. I leave you with this thought, as you view the photo below. The extensive thick scrubby heathland, which looks quite uninteresting to the ordinary observer, yet underneath lives the beautiful and very rare and endangered Eastern Ground Parrot.
Many rare and precious species are lost each year because of ignorant land clearing. If you destroy the habitat you destroy the birds and animals that live there and depend on the ecosystem for their life. The state government is currently, with its new laws, going to give permission for the clearing of forest areas, once protected. Birdlife Australia is trying to get as many protests as possible to speak up for our birds and native wildlife, while we still have a chance to save it.
“Premier Berejiklian is fully aware her new land-clearing laws will deal a deadly blow to many of our precious endangered species. Scientists and ecologists have explained time and again the tragic consequences of clearing land in an already over-cleared landscape. More than 30,000 of you have called, emailed, rallied, marched, signed petitions and written detailed submissions against the drastic weakening of our nature protection laws.
And yet the government is STILL pressing ahead, bowing to National Party pressure and ignoring 7000 submissions to allow these weak laws to come into effect before the details that underpin them are in place, and before they are understood by the people who’ll be using them.”
Quoted from a Newsletter I received from the Stand Up For Nature Alliance
Suggested text for the Premier’s online message form.
Dear Premier Berejiklian,
I am gravely concerned about the impacts your new land-clearing laws will have on bushland, wildlife and trees across NSW.
On August 25, your government will allow rampant destruction of nature, just like we’ve seen in Queensland since land-clearing laws there were wound back.
I call on you urgently to delay the legislation taking effect until the mapping, private land conservation package, and regulations are finalised and publicly available.
Further, I request that you strengthen protections for nature in the regime to ensure threatened ecosystems and koala habitat are off limits to clearing.
There can be no greater gift to future generations than a healthy environment. I seek your urgent support and action.