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Tony

Trad climber
Pt. Richmond, CA
Oct 24, 2013 - 05:19am PT
Hi all,

Here I am. Sorry for the hiatus in posting photos. I’m just coming up for air after we left the group and flew to New Zealand for the last leg of our trip. Once we joined the group, the birding was almost non-stop other than travel. We started in Cairns and birded in North Queensland for about a week. The birding was fabulous with much more tropical rainforest than we had anticipated. Before we left Cairns we saw Bush Stone-curlews (or Thick-knees). Yvonne finally figured out that these birds were responsible for the strange wailing calls we heard in our room at night. There were 30+ in the cemetery.
Bush Stone-curlew <br/>
Cairns Cemetery
Bush Stone-curlew
Cairns Cemetery
Credit: Tony

We spent a couple of nights at Cassowary House and were able to see the namesake bird. It’s not actually a sure thing, since the male was on the nest and the female only occasionally visited. Fortunately, she showed up just as we were leaving.
Credit: Tony


She was quite imposing and regal, if a bit primeval-looking. We were warned not to leave the door open and let the dogs out as they could be killed. Apparently a large German Shepard is no match for a Cassowary!
We saw our first Bird of Paradise here, Victoria’s Riflebird. This young male was practicing his display skills.
Credit: Tony
Credit: Tony


We also saw two members of the Megapode family, Australian Brush-turkey and Orange-footed Scrubfowl. These interesting birds incubate their eggs by maintaining composting litter mounds.
Australian Brush-turkey <br/>
Cassowary House, North Queensland
Australian Brush-turkey
Cassowary House, North Queensland
Credit: Tony
Orange-footed Scrubfowl, North Queensland
Orange-footed Scrubfowl, North Queensland
Credit: Tony

Another fascinating family are the Bowerbirds. The males of these species construct elaborate bowers that serve as “performance spaces” for courtship display. The Great Bowerbird bower uses a lot of white objects for the base, such as stones, shells and bones. This one chose some interesting objects for decorations.
Credit: Tony

There were loads of other birds including numerous parrots, doves and honeyeaters. My camera died during this period, so I had to use a backup for several days. I purchased a new camera body in Cairns so I would be back in business for the next segment of our trip: Papua New Guinea. This was an amazing destination. It was like stepping back in time. We first spent a couple of days birding near Port Moresby in the lowlands. Here are a few birds that we saw here. This included the national bird of PNG, the Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise.
Credit: Tony

A Barred Owlet-nightjar was just visible in its hole
Barred Owlet-nightjar <br/>
Varirata NP, PNG
Barred Owlet-nightjar
Varirata NP, PNG
Credit: Tony

A pair of Papuan Frogmouths were more visible than usual.
Papuan Frogmouths <br/>
Port Moresby, PNG
Papuan Frogmouths
Port Moresby, PNG
Credit: Tony

The real experience began when we went to the Central Highlands at Kumul (Bird of Paradise) Lodge for three days. There were several more Birds of Paradise. For the trip we saw 10 species. Most of these afforded limited views, but two species come in to the feeders at Kumul Lodge, so we saw these exceptionally well.
Brown Sicklebill, male <br/>
Kumul Lodge, PNG Central Highlands
Brown Sicklebill, male
Kumul Lodge, PNG Central Highlands
Credit: Tony
Brown Sicklebill, female <br/>
Kumul Lodge
Brown Sicklebill, female
Kumul Lodge
Credit: Tony

Ribbon-taileed Astrapia, female <br/>
Kumul Lodge
Ribbon-taileed Astrapia, female
Kumul Lodge
Credit: Tony
Ribbon-tailed Astrapia, male <br/>
Kumul Lodge
Ribbon-tailed Astrapia, male
Kumul Lodge
Credit: Tony

Even so, the actual highlight for us was seeing and hearing a New Guinea Woodcock as it did its “roding” display overhead in the forest at night. This is a very little known species. Our local guide Max found a nest in his orchid garden last year. This may be the first ever found.
New Guinea Woodcock <br/>
Kumul Lodge
New Guinea Woodcock
Kumul Lodge
Credit: Tony

After 6 days in PNG we flew to Brisbane for 5 more days in Queensland and around Sydney. My final total for Aus-PNG was 336. An sizable number are endemics. In fact, of the 700+ species in PNG upwards of 430 are endemic.

We are now in New Zealand for about 10 days. The land birding is disappointing with the almost all of the species so far being introduced. It should get better as we head south as far as Stewart Island. The seabirding on the other hand is great. We took a 4-hour boat trip out from Kaikoura, north of Christchurch. The shelf drops off right away and as a result, albatrosses and petrels are seen after about 10 minutes. I’ll try to catch up with photos of this and of the last segment of the Australia-PNG trip.

I've uploaded a bunch of photos here. They are in a rather random order and I probably won't add captions until I get home:

Australia Birds

Papua New Guinea Birds

dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Oct 24, 2013 - 10:42am PT
That was awesome Tony and worth waiting for!
Willoughby

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Oct 24, 2013 - 11:37am PT
Fan-freakin-tastic stuff, Tony!
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Oct 24, 2013 - 11:38am PT
Amazing Tony..keep them coming.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 24, 2013 - 11:46am PT
Tony, pure awesomeness! Interesting that New Guinea Woodcock nests off the
ground. And Bowerbirds? I know, life isn't fair. Too bad some little kid
is missing his hand grenade.
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Oct 24, 2013 - 01:28pm PT
Wow Tony! thanks for taking the time to send us poor earth-bound folks those great photos so our imaginations can soar. Well worth the wait. Did you get to hear the Superb Lyrebird sing? their tails are pretty superb, but their song is even more superb. Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise! now there are some folks who really know how to pick a national bird. Good luck in kiwi-land, and enjoy those pelagics.

I'll predict Dave's next fantastic warbler (starting to run out of choices!) - Worm-eating.
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
Oct 24, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
Dang so many great pictures from all of you.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 24, 2013 - 11:42pm PT
I just discovered a very cool site:

http://www.Xeno-canto.org

It is a Site for sharing bird calls all over the world.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 24, 2013 - 11:54pm PT
dee ee. your got your nerve, dominating a thread! :D

PS--Nice warbler shot!

Turkey season coming, guys...
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Oct 25, 2013 - 12:59pm PT
Only a couple to offer from my hike today at Walden Ponds near Boulder.

Beautiful Song Sparrow and a lovely Northern Pintail.

Credit: Bob D'A

Credit: Bob D'A
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Oct 26, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
Snow Goose hybird?

Credit: Bob D'A

Snow Goose
Snow Goose
Credit: Bob D'A
john hansen

climber
Oct 27, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Red billed Leiotrix


Credit: john hansen
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Oct 28, 2013 - 10:51am PT
Wow, really cool pics Tony...
from the net
from the net
Credit: dirt claud
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Oct 28, 2013 - 01:14pm PT
Super cool OZ bird pics! And a nest in a boot!! Great stuff all.
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Oct 29, 2013 - 12:55am PT
From the sunny! commute today:

Autumn is here:
Credit: Darwin


and, every fall I have to re-figure out at least the juveniles:

Credit: Darwin
first winter White Crowned(?), although I tried to turn it into a lot of other birds. In the sun the crown looked much more rufous.

And just one more in celebration of the sun that is supposed to go away for good in a little over 24 hours. (edit: not really for good, but a weather system is moving in)
Credit: Darwin
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Oct 30, 2013 - 02:22am PT
A few from Beijing last week. Click them for larger versions.

Hoopoe
Hoopoe
Credit: Mike Bolte
Yellow-bellied Tit
Yellow-bellied Tit
Credit: Mike Bolte
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Credit: Mike Bolte
Azure-winged Magpie
Azure-winged Magpie
Credit: Mike Bolte
Light-vented Bulbul
Light-vented Bulbul
Credit: Mike Bolte
Black-billed Magpie
Black-billed Magpie
Credit: Mike Bolte

and from today

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Credit: Mike Bolte
Peregrine with a Bonapart's Gull
Peregrine with a Bonapart's Gull
Credit: Mike Bolte
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 31, 2013 - 03:07pm PT
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
All he surveys is fair game, mice included.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Oct 31, 2013 - 03:11pm PT
Had a really beautiful morning out at Walden Ponds this morning.

Here are a few.

Heading to Bosque del Apache tonight for three days. Should be great birding.

Northern Shrike
Northern Shrike
Credit: Bob D'A


Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Credit: Bob D'A

Red tail Hawk
Red tail Hawk
Credit: Bob D'A
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Nov 2, 2013 - 10:03pm PT
Time to bump the bird thread.

Common Loon

Credit: dee ee

California Gnatcatcher

Credit: dee ee

Brandt's Cormorants

Credit: dee ee

California (Brown) Towhee

Credit: dee ee

Red-tail Hawk

Credit: dee ee

Long-billed Curlew

Credit: dee ee
Tony

Trad climber
Pt. Richmond, CA
Nov 3, 2013 - 12:44am PT
We’re now at the Christchurch airport on our way home from the last leg of our trip. I finally have sufficient bandwidth to post some more photos from the last part of the Australia and from New Zealand. We did see both Lyrebirds and also heard them, but in each case they were far off, so we didn’t get the full experience. These are the largest and second largest passerines in the world.
Albert's Lyrebird <br/>
O'Reilly's, Lamington NP
Albert's Lyrebird
O'Reilly's, Lamington NP
Credit: Tony
Superb Lyrebirds <br/>
Royal NP
Superb Lyrebirds
Royal NP
Credit: Tony

As dee ee reported, the Crimson Rosellas and Australian King-parrots at O’Reilly’s were quite friendly. They were remarkably gentle in landing and perching on us. My expression resulted from trying to focus the camera, not fear. Really.
Crimson Rosella
Crimson Rosella
Credit: Tony
Credit: Tony

It took a lot of tries to get the fanned tail of this Rufous Fantail.
Credit: Tony

Dave probably saw this Satin Bowerbird bower. They prefer blue objects to decorate.
Credit: Tony

We were lucky to see a Koala in the wild as well as several up close in a rehab facility near Brisbane.
Credit: Tony

This Tawny Frogmouth with chick was pretty cute.
Credit: Tony

I was amazed to find out that kingfishers, including Kookabarras, use termite nests to nest in.
Sacred Kingfisher <br/>
Royal NP
Sacred Kingfisher
Royal NP
Credit: Tony


Almost the last bird for Australia was a White-bellied Sea-eagle.
Credit: Tony

I’ll try to load some NZ photos during our wait in Auckland.

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