Documenting Birdsland Reserve

I’ve been spending the past month walking at Birdsland Reserve, Belgrave Heights, and gradually photographing all the birds I’ve been seeing there.  I thought it would be good to create a gallery of the bird life there.  I hope you agree.  You’ll find the gallery here.

This is a male Australasian Darterbird.

Australasian Darterbird

And this is a female. Their feet almost look jelly like. Quite amazing.

Australasian Darterbird

This is the first time I’ve seen one of these in flight.

Darter Bird in flight

Footprints in the sand

Walking around the lake last week I noticed these footprints in the sand, both bird and human.  I do find the bird footprints fascinating.

Footprints in the sand

The bird that made these footprints is the Purple Swamp Hen. Not the most attractive of birds by any means.

Purple Swamp Hen

Purple Swamp Hen

Visit to Lilydale Lake

I went to Lilydale Lake the other day and had a wander around the lake. Had a huge white bird fly over my head from behind me. Wish I knew it was coming otherwise I would have been ready to take shots but I didn’t. 🙁 Was looking the other way.  Below is a Darter bird, sometimes referred to as a Snake bird because of the way it snakes its head around on its long neck.  They do dive under water but then hold their wings out to dry as you can see below.  I hadn’t realised quite how big they were until I was able to get these close up shots taken between some bushes. The bird was aware I was there but was fairly well hidden away in a small inlet of water and bushes. Most people walking on the nearby path wouldn’t have noticed it. It was only because I saw the pale colour amongst the trees and went for closer inspection.

Darter Bird

355-366 Darter Bird

Darter Bird

Great Crested Grebe

I see this bird regularly in the lake at Lysterfield but had no concept of its real size till yesterday. I thought it was a small bird and I could only go by what I saw – its head, neck and top of its back. It didn’t look any bigger than the small black cormorants really. But yesterday I saw this bird in the distance on the beach preening itself and it looked like a Darter Bird from a distance. I thought I’d not seen one at the lake before – only up at Lilydale so I moved in for a closer look, taking shots every few steps, in case it flew away. In fact, I got much closer than I thought I might and was very surprised when I discovered it was the Great Crested Grebe, and indeed, much larger than I’d originally thought. Naturally I was delighted. I did see it last week with a bub but no sign of the bub yesterday, just three adults in different places.

Please forgive the graininess of the shot – it was before the sun had risen and I wasn’t close enough to use a flash – I had to stick with my long lens and a low shutterspeed – as low as I dared without a tripod.

Crested Grebe

79-366 Crested Grebe

Crested Grebe

Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)

I used to think these were moor hens but know different these days. I love that my love for nature photography has increased my knowledge, or my hunger for learning, so much more these days. I often get family and friends now asking me what bird is that when we see or hear one when out and about.

However, I believe I can be forgiven for thinking they’re moorhens. They are similar to the dusky moorhen which has yellow and orange on its head instead.

Eurasian Coot