Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tromso 18-21 Feb

Tromso is deep inside the arctic circle. May seems to be the best time for birding, so potential limited at this time.

However, in the town harbour outside our hotel were Long Tailed Ducks as well as Mallards. Hooded Crows are the ubiquitous sight here. Herring and Greater Black Backed Gulls everywhere, Cormorants frequent. Magpie in the trees.

On our dog sledding trip in a remote valley 90kn inland near the Swedish/Finnish border, Leo and I saw a Golden Eagle overhead. Wolverine, Lynx and Bear are in this region.

On a naturalist guided tour to the Island, we saw White Tailed Sea Eagle, Red Breasted Merganser and a crowd of Common Scoters.

On final day, found Leo’s first drake Eider.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sungei Buloh 7 Feb 2010

Correct pronunciation Sun-Gai Buloh

From the bridge, a 2.5m saltie, Little Heron, Redshank, Greenshank, Pacific Golden Plover, Collared Kingfisher, Little Egret, Great Egret, White Breasted Water Hen.

376 species on Singapore a young lad tells me.

Pied bird of prey floats past - I thought it might be a Pied Harrier, but the expert reckons couldn't have been that and maybe Black Baza. Greater Coucal, Black Naped Oriole.

Glad I have a broad-brimmed hat, as a sign reminds me that there's a flying tree snake here.

Common Sandpiper, Grey Heron, White Throated Fantail, Oriental Magpie Robin, Dollarbird.

The prawn pond loop was not much good, but out at the furthest point, the freshwater ponds, were some big trees which had the special something and were full of birds. Yellow Vented Bulbul, Pink Breasted Green Pigeon, more of those Orioles and a russet headed chap as yet not ID.

And finally, from the café, a Common Kingfisher.

The trick for getting back to the centre seems to be to get the 925 bus to Kranji station, where taxis are easy.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sydney Olympic Park 6 Feb

A free day in Sydney before an evening flight, but the day dawned wet and unpromising. I thought about going on to Brisbane early but the concierge said ti was even worse there! So I took th eferry out to Olympic Park again and had a good long damp twitch!

Aus Pelican, Pied Cormorant, Little Pied Cormorant, Silver Gull from the Ferry.

Along the river, Noisy Miner, Aus Magpie, Pied Currawong, Crested Tern, Little Black Cormorant, White Faced Heron, Superb Blue Fairy Wren, Aus Raven, Aus White Ibis, Red Browed Finch, Great Cormorant, Willy Wagtail, White Plumed Honeyeater, SilverEye, Leaden Flycatcher, Masked Lapwing, Welcome Swallow, Common Myna, Red Whiskered Bulbul, Striated Heron, Magpie Lark, Yellow Thornbill.

As I arrived at the Aus Birds hut a chap there pointed out an Aus Hobby overhead. I asked his advice about other '1 day public transport' birding spots and he suggested Royal National Park (train), and the lagoons along the northern beaches (bus). He had seen a Terek Sandpiper amongst Sharp Taileds, but I couldnt get to that spot on foot.

Moving inland Crested Pigeon, Swamphen, Aus Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Chestnut Teal, Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike, Black Winged Stilt, Grey Teal, Bar Tailed Godwit, Great Egret, Red Wattlebird, Coot, Sacred Kingfisher, Tree Martin, Dusky Moorhen.

And finally in Centennial Park a Sacred Kingfisher. So 41 for the day!

Melbourne 31 Jan

On Friday I went for a pre-flight run along the river in London - cold and wet, but I saw a superb male Sparrowhawk shoot into a riverside tree, then get chased away.

By Sunday morning, I was in sweltering in Melbourne! Went down to the Botanic Gardens and found Silver Gull, Rainbow lorikeet, Grey Fantail, a mystery blackbird (looked pretty much like a Blackbird - see photo) but can't work out what it is?, also saw a blackbird with brown tinges - what's that?, Brown Thornbill, Aus Magpie, Brush Wattlebird, Magpie Lark, Black Swan, Coot, Dusky Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Hardbill, Aus Wood Duck, Spotted Turtle Dove, Common Myna, Bell Miner, Little Pied Cormorant, Pacific Black Duck, Crested Tern.

In the afternoon I speculatively went out to Studley Park, which turned out to be a good move with Noisy Miner, Grey Butcherbird, Willy Wagtail, great parrot views of Rainbow Lorikeet, Red Rumped Parrot, Eastern Rosella, Galah on the cricket pitch, Crested Pigeon, Welcome Swallows until the rain drove me off.