Sydney Botanical Gardens

It’s not my first time visiting Sydney but definitely the first time as a birder. It was Christmas when i visited and as I predicted the shops were closed for the festival and not many people seen on streets. “Great, less people means more birds”, I anticipated with hope. 😛 Afterall I am not into shopping…hehe

On the day of arrival, I quickly made a trip to the park in the late afternoon; To my surprise, I saw many flying foxes hanging on trees….flapping their wings and making loud noises. I stood under a tree to get some photos (BAD IDEA)! Apparently one flew out and pooped on me (Grrr….)! Anyway, after cleaning up the mess, I made my way to the central pond area. Below were some of the birds seen. 😛

Indian myna and noisy miner

Blue billed Duck and Australian Magpie

Pacific black duck and Bell myna

Golden whistler and little pied commorant

I read about a frogmouth and buff banded rail being residents in the park, but I didnt get to see them that afternoon. I knew I have to go back again. On the morning before I head off to Melbourne, I went to the park again and saw a park ranger. My instincts told me that I should ask him if he knew the whereabouts of the frogmouth (I was so smart!)… he pointed at the Pyramid and told me to search there. I took his advice  and soon found them! YAY!

tawny frogmouth

After bagging the frogmouth, I headed back to the store to get some soveniors for my friends…but the store is still closed. And as i walked around the back of the store, I suddenly saw this rail scurrying off! I sneaked behind him and to my delight, I found a family of buff banded rails! What luck!

Mission accomplished, and moving on to the next city- Melbourne! 😛 😛

buff banded rail

Australia- Sydney, Cattai National Park- Part 2 of 2

When I drove in the park, I didnt really know where to go. Fruiting trees and shrubs were plentiful, but no signs of birds. As I sat in the car, windows down- gazing dreamingly at the blue sky, I saw something gliding gracefully. “It’s a small plane gliding” I thought to myself. “Hmm, doesnt look like a plane….and it’s not Superman…” Only many seconds later did I realise its a Pelican. 😛

flying plane…I mean pelican!!

As I watch the “plane” glide away from me, a raptor flew towards the direction of the big bird! I just couldnt afford to miss this one! Grey Goshawk!

grey goshawk!

As I head back to my car, birds flew in from all directions, as if in a concerted behavior and landed in the patch of green right in front of me. Perhaps they were too busy with their breakfast…they didnt seem to be daunted by my appearance!

eastern spinebill

Red browed Finch

rufous whistler

Varigated Fairy Wrens

After an exciting hour ( there were more than 10 species), I was soon joined by a local birder (forgot his name, sorry!). I was truly amazed at his skills of pishing…something I have yet to learn. The guy was really friendly and knowledgeable- he helped me with some birds ID, and even pished a few birds for me!

scarlet honey eater

mistletoe bird

spotted pardalote

brown thornbill

As we drove on, we came to a golf course. On the other side of the course was a marsh wetland. We couldnt get into the wetland as it’s fenced all round.  But still, I managed to get the Australasian Grebe, Little Black Commorant and White Faced Heron. 😛

white faced heron

little black commorant and Australasian grebe

When noon arrived, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. My drive back to Sydney downtown was 1.5 hours ( I made a wrong turn somewhere ). >.<“

Australia- Sydney, Cattai National Park – Part 1 of 2

I was recommended to do some birding in this park- Cattai National Park, as it’s supposed to be an easy drive from Sydney downtown. And thank God it was a pretty straightforward 50 mins drive.

The morning breeze was refreshing and as I drove along the quiet suburbs with beautiful landscapes, it somehow gave me this sublime feeling of loneliness, but yet makes me happy.  As I stop to watch some horses, I was interrupted by a loud bird calling repeatedly. It almost felt creepy! I looked up, Oh that’s the Laughing kookaburra! Somehow the bird reminded of the nursery song that I used to sing when I was just a kid!

laughing kookaburra

As I turned, a white and statue-like object on the barn roof caught my eye. It’s a Barn Owl! It seemed to realise his cover was blown and took off very quickly! Hang on! I’ve got an owl in flight photo (pat on the back)!

Barn owl in flight!

The drive towards the entrance of the park was truly amazing. The photos below are only some of the many bird photos I have taken before entering the park. They include Little Wattle Bird, Common Kestrel, Rufous Fantail, Yellow Rumped Thornbill, Willie Wagtail, White Throated Treecreeper, etc.

common Kestrel

little wattle bird

rufous fantail

yellow rumped thornbill

white throated treecreeper