Sunday, October 29, 2006

Brisbane area

Yesterday i went to The Gabba, brisbanes cricket ground to watch the Queensland Bulls playing The New South Wales Blues, was a decent days cricket with 350 runs and 11 wickets during the day, didnt think much of the ground tho, it was more sterile than Hampshire Cricket clubs "Stone Bowl" there wasnt even a pavilion, a cricket gorund without a pavilion!!!!! As outrageous as a drunk fox crapping in a church!
Today i joined up with Duncan and Paul Walbridge for a days birding near Brisbane, we started off at a Powerful Owl roost in the outskirts of the city but unforunately the only sign of the owls was a discarded primary feather, which was about as long as a tawny owl is high, that is one fucking big owl, cant wait to see one. Also saw my first Little Lorikeet. then we headed up to Samsonvale where we met up with Tom Tarrant for a days birding around his place, dipped on Spotted Quail Thrush but there were plenty of other good birds like Pallid Cuckoo, Olive backed Oriole, White Winged Triller, Leaden Flycatcher and Tawny Frogmouth. As well as the birds themselves it was great to spend a day in the field with other birders, something i've not done much of out in aus thanks to the dearth of "birdos" as they seem to call us out here.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


More Indy 300 pics, as requested by several people

Swimmwear comp- this travelling lark is so shit sometimes, i dont know why i put up with it!!

Miss Indy Volleyall player

V8 Ute- loud!!

More volleyball players

One for the traffic cops! the porsche was doing about 250kph at that point

Friday, October 27, 2006

more lamington pix

Crimson rosella

Wonga Pigeon


Russet tailed thrush

topknot pigeon

Lamington National Park

i'm back in brisbane now after spending the last few days camping in Lamington National Park, near the famous O' reilllys guesthouse. at over 700m above sea level it was far and away the highest i've ever camped, but it was a truly excellent site with a tent list including 2 bowerbird species, wonga pigeon, and several nocturnal mammals, including apossum that kepy trying to get into my tent at night to nick my food.
The birding was also great with 16 lifers. Star bird was Rufous Scrub bird, one of the hardest of australias resident birds to see, thanks to its skulking habits and the fact that it can only be found in the cool, damp Antarctic Beech nothofagus moorei forests above 1000m above sea level, that were an 18km trek from the nearest road. other great birds seen were noisy pitta, alberts lyrebird ,topknot pigeon, paradise riflebird,logrunner, australain owlet nightjar, black faced monarch and red browed treecreeper.

also, i've managed to get to a computer that allows me to upload photos, so theres plenty of new ones fro mrecent trips.

Lamingotn NP pics

Theiving gypsy possum bastard

Male Regent bowerbird, what a stunner

Lewins Honeyeater

Female satin bowerbird

Male satin bowerbird

Southport Pelagic Pics

THE BOY!! Tahiti Petrel

Wedge tailed shearwater

Crested Tern

Fleshy footed shearwater

Tahiti Petrel

indy pics

Miss Indy swimwear competition

Porsche Carrera (its much harder to take a pic like this than it seems)

Taken shortly before being removed by security

With two of the miss indy finalists at the vollevball competition

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Gold Coast- Spiffingly good!

after leaving rainbow beach i headed down to brisbane where i did naff all for two days.
then i went down to surfers paradise, in the Gold Cost for the Indy 300 race, which seems to be the bigest event on in austrlia at the moment, the place was absolutely heaving. i only had time to visit the first day which was mainly practice and qualifying, but a porsche carrera race at the end of the day was exciting stuff to watch, and so loud it was unbelievable, the off-track entertainment was also pretty damn good (pics to folow!). then i nipped a short way up the coast to southport where i am at the moment, staying in "trekkers" the best hostel i've been in in aus so far. Today was one of the most anticipated days of the trip, a pelagic.
The trip did not start well for me, i soon realised that 3 hours of sleep, a belly full of chep beer and a lack of food (thanks to the hostel kitchen being locked when i left at 4:30am) was not a recipe for a stable stomach when combined with a bit of a chop on the sea. luckily, the sea flattenned off fairly quick and the birds started to show, the steam out to the continental shelf was interrupted by a "wandering" albatross, probably gibsonii, several Wilsons Storm Petrels and my first fleshy footed shearwater. Soon after stopping and hoying out a load of shark liver (white pointer, the best stuff apparently) the prize bird appeared, a Tahiti Petrel, a cracking black (or very dark brown) pterodroma style petrel ,that flew very languidly, like a small albatross, an awesome bird. For the rest of the trip there was constantly something to look at, a small flock of Common Noddies were my first of this species, and by the end of the trip we had counted 11 Tahitis, 31 wilsons petrels and far to many wedge tailed shears to bother counting. a nice sighting of a humpback whale was had on the way back to port, and we were welcomed back to the harbour by a low flying F-111 jet burning off its fuel spectacularly over the nearby indy race, nicely topping off a wonderful few days.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

More Inskip photos

Lace Monitor (Goanna)


Mangrove Honeyeater

Butterfly sp.

Rufous Whistler

Varied triller


Red capped Plover


black breasted buttonquail in the gloom

sunset over fraser island from the campsite

Baby bush turkey that almost found its way into the wok

Beach stone curlew

i'm back in rainbow beach noe after a cracking weekend at inskipp point. as there are no buses between rainbow and the campsite at inskipp i decided to walk the 15km and try and hitch a lift on the way. luckily i was picked up after a few km (very handy as i was carrying rather a lot as all drinking water had to be carried in as there was no facilities on site) by a couple of ozzie blokes who were spending the weekend fishing at the point. they seemed alright so i pent the weekend with them in exchange for keeping the fire lit. The two target birds for the trip were picked up within half an hour of arriving with a pair of beach stone curlew a few hundred metres north of the campsite, and black breasted buttonquail were easily found feeding in the leaf litterbetween the cmapsite and the point. other new birds seen were red capped plover, red necked stint, grey tailed tattler and white cheeked honeyeater.
On saturday we went for drive in the guys 4X4 up to the rahter inappropriately named freshwater lake (its been empty for years apparently) and along the beach, great fun. spent the rest of the day fishing off the point which was livened up the prescence of a brown snake that swum across the strait fro mfraser island!
as i was in the area i thought it would be rude not to visit fraser as it is one of the main tourist spots of the area so i blagged a free trip on a barge over for a quick walk around this morning.
i'm expecting to feel a little sore tomorrow morning after spending the afternoon hurling myself down the sand dunes back here in rainbow beach, great fun!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rainbow beach

had an excellent days birding today. in the morning and in heavy rain ("sunshine coast" my arse) i headed out of rainbow beach to bymein picnic area along the telegraph track and saw 7 lifers, brown cuckoo dove, wompoo fruit dove ,rose crowned fruit dove, green catbird, spectacled monarch, white eared monarch and pale yellow robin, with a decent supporting cast of eastern whipbird, emerald dove ,golden whistler and rufous fantail.
will be spending th enext few days camping out on inskip point, 10km north of rainbow beach looking for the rare black breasted buttonquail and beach stone curlew ,then try back inland from rainbow beach for ground parrot on the cooloola heathland.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Enough of that Shite

arrived in rainbow beach having escaped bundaberg early this morning. hopefully i've now done enough work to see me through til the end of the trip, unless i do something silly like buy a new camera, charter a plane to some obscure place to see some obscure bird, or go on a mega week long bender in brisbane, or possibly all three ,sounds rather fun.
anyhoo, last weekend in bundy was alright, on saturday went on a trip to 'snakes down under' in Childers to see a steve irwin wanabee playing with the worlds 5 most venomous snakes, then got to handle a carpet python and a baby saltwater croc, spent the sunday recovering from a hangover on the beach (note to self: never drink vodka with estonians again). there was seven estonians staying at the hostel which i'm sure must be at least two thirds of estonias population, their economy must be properly up shit creek at the moment!!

managed a short bush walk around rainbow beach this afternoon which was quite productive with scarelt honeyeater, little bronze cuckoo and large billed scrubwren being new birds for me.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

(bitter)Sweet potatos

after pissing around doing shiity jobs for a few days here and there i'm 'settled' into a job on a sweet potato farm at the moment, picking them, packing them, and planting new ones all day. been doing it for a week and a haof now but finish on wednesday, which couldnt come a day too soon. the farm has some good birding, there are several pairs of banded lapwing and a loads of maskd lapwing. the overgrown rows which we are harvesting are swarming with singing golden headed cisitcolas and there are figbirds, rainbow bee-eaters and other good stuff around the edge of the farm.
life at the hostel has got a bit 'interesting'. theres a japanese girl in the same room who gets upfor work in a packing shed at 4:00am (i'm on one of the better shifts, work starts at 6am!), when her alarm went off this morning, she didnt wake up, and i couldnt turn the alarm off cos all the writing on it was in some wierd symbols (japanese probably), in my half asleep state the only logical way to shut the dammed thing up was to hoy it out of the open window, unfortunately i forgot that we were on the third floor. i returned home from work today to be greeted by the very iratre japanese girl, holding a savagely wounded alarm clock and screaming something about being sacked for not turning up the work, oops.

i've just realised, i've written an entire post, purely about sweet potatos, surely thats a first for blogger, who even eats the things anyway, whats wrong with normal spuds!

also, i've managed to get tickets for the 3rd and 4th days of the boxing day ashes test in melbourne so i'm feeling very smug.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

baldwin swamp

maybe bundaberg isnt so bad after all. i went out yesterday to look around the town and found a rather nice little reserve called baldwin swamp, even though it was more of a collection of ornamental ponds than a swamp it still has a decent 'birdy' feel to it. had two new birds for the trip there in cotton pygmy goose and white throated warbler, along with my first australian dollarbird and some other birds i hadnt seen since darwin like azure kingfisher, magpie goose and leaden flycatcher.