Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bowra Station - Afternoon Birdwatching - Hall's Babbler

Back at camp and the bird keen caretakers generously offered to help out those of us less well equipped with some 4WD assistance. Aim of the afternoons trip was Hall's Babbler, but as always, when you have a chance of spending some time with experienced birders with local knowledge, you are likely to see much more than you hoped for :-) This lovely afternoon at Bowra I was in excellent company with some lovely people and some seriously good bird eyes!

First rarity of the day was Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush, another bird where my photos unfortunately does not do it justice. These beauties will dart between cover made up of small bushes or grass and it takes a lot of patience to get in close. I saw Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush during my trip to Gundabooka National Park, but it is a bird I will happily spend time chasing down everyday and it was good to at least get a few adjoining pixels for the blog.

Next - and the target of our afternoon excursion - was Hall's Babbler. Once again patience and local knowledge was key and after 20 min of searching through the habitat our efforts where rewarded with a little family of Hall's Babblers jumping around not understanding what the fuss was about.

Great bird! I really enjoy seeing babblers in general, they are exciting opportunistic birds and it seems that there is always something going on around them. The sun moves fast in the outback and it was time to head back to the homestead. Walking back to the cars we noticed a clay nest with at least 3 inhabitants. My guess is that it is an Apostlebird nest.

Back at the homestead it was getting dark, under these difficult conditions I surprisingly managed to get a decent photo of a Diamond Dove. All day I had tried, but despite of having all the light you can possibly hope for, I could not get that red eye sharp ... It is obviously a lens problem ;-)

What a day! Full speed from first light and not a dull moment. I was knackered and hungry and was seriously considering just getting some food in my belly and allow myself a monster sleep .. as soon as the darkness fell, the frogs started their nightly serenade and I knew I had to give the macro lens a little workout before giving myself some rest - but that is another story :-)

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