Porphyrio porphyrio aka Purple Swamphen, Pukeko, African Purple Swamphen, Purple Moorhen, Purple Gallinule, Purple Coot
St Peters Billabong, South Australia – April, 2010
Photos & Text: Michal Dutkiewicz
I took these photos a few years ago, and I suspect the bluish colour on the body is a little off. I will do a new post on this species soon. Purple Swamphens occur across a large part of the world, and there are several subspecies. They occur in wet areas like swamps and lake edges and are good swimmers and flyers, despite their ungamely appearance. They eat eggs and young of other birds, as well as plant material. They are larger than Coots and Dusky Moorhens which are often seen nearby. Their larger red bill and red shield distinguish it easily, as well as the purple-blue front.
Egretta novaehollandiae aka White-faced Heron
Findon, South Australia – April 20th, 2014
Photo: Aldo Trissi
This text is quoted from the excellent bird book “Fleurieu Birds” by Peter Gower:
“Size: 66-70cm. A common water bird seen on most wet areas. Becomes relaxed to human activities around towns and farms.`Feeds on crustaceans, small fish, frogs, tadpoles etc. Nests from September to November. Three to five eggs are laid in a shallow stick nest normally higher than 5 metres.”
Peter Gower’s book is my go-to book for bird sightings – It is such an easy view and so fast to peruse – It is available from the South Australian Museum Shop, or you can see Peter’s work in the following Link:
Petroica boodang aka Scarlet Robin
Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park, South Australia – July 19th, 2014
Photo: Aldo Trissi
Thanks to Aldo Trissi for this great shot – The Scarlet Robin has more black on the throat, whereas the similar Flame Robin has a more vivid orangy colour and that colour goes up closer to the beak – This is a male.
Anthochaera carunculata aka Red Wattlebird
Adelaide, South Australia in the front garden of an Eastern hillside suburb – Ocober 18th, 2014
Photo: John Fleming
Article: Michal Dutkiewicz
Wattlebirds are Australian birds from the family known as Honeyeaters. I love the rasping and rattling sounds Wattlebirds make – They are another bird whose characteristic sounds I try to imitate while walking around, along with Magpies, Maned Ducks and others. John Fleming made this observation:
“This bird was regularly seen each morning at about 6:00AM singing from this tree branch. It seemed to be a favoured location to join the morning chorus. Unfortunately just a few short weeks after this photo was taken a red wattle bird was found on the ground nearby. The only redeeming feature was that it appeared to have suffered no trauma so i am hoping it was s case of natural causes.”
Ocyphaps lophotes aka Crested Pigeon, sometimes mistakenly called a Topknot pigeon
Adelaide Botanic Gardens cafe – November 29th, 2014
a hot, dry day – that’s Hummingbird Cake on its beak –
Photo: Adam Dutkiewicz
Adam Dutkiewicz, Aldo Trissi, and I were taking a break from macro photography in the ABG – Here is a distillation of our Facebook conversation about this happy moment that ensued between SAN members:
Adam Jan Dutkiewicz:
We couldn’t refuse taking a shot – he took the crumbs off our plate and then sat at table with us for a good quarter of an hour.
That’s right, it was! – Sigh – He was happy to sit on the chair back looking at us – It was such a magic moment – I have loved this species for years, and to be that close to one, completely unafraid of us, was sublime! I was doing my best to be the antithesis of my usual frenetic self! Incidentally, there was only a crumb of cake – We knew we weren’t supposed to feed them.
Adam Jan Dutkiewicz:
I had to lean back in my chair to get the 1.1m I need to focus as he sat on the chair next to me – if I’d moved he would have flown off. You can see my reflection in its eye, I have my black hat on.
It’s so nice that it is so common in Australia, and the Crested Pigeon is just one of the many wonderful birds that call Oz their home. A lovely portrait, it’s a must for the SA Natureteers Facebook Banner!!
Adam Jan Dutkiewicz:
Very cute indeed – the last time I was that close I was nursing one in a shoebox full of cotton wool – unfortunately it was too weak to survive – Wouldn’t take any water or food at all.
Stunning photo of a beautiful bird.
Love It! Thankyou!
Ninox boobook aka Boobook Owl, Southern Boobook, Strix boobook, Athene marmorata
Kensington Park garden – February 2nd, 2014 – laying over in garden trees during heat wave
Photos: Adam Dutkiewicz
Text: Adam Dutkiewicz (Edited by Michal Dutkiewicz)
I photographed this juvenile Boobook in my garden during an extended heatwave in January 2014. There were weeks and weeks of over 40 degrees C temperature, as I recall it, and it resided in my front yard for several weeks, on and off. This possibly may have been because it was a young bird and wasn’t capable of long migrations in that heat. My garden always has multiple bird baths with fresh or reasonably fresh water and a good supply of rodents and skinks! Interestingly, my blue-tongue would only appear when the bird was not around! – Boobooks make a distinctive, soft, mellifluous, haunting “moop moop’ sound, with the first sound slightly higher (?) than the second. Very pretty birds.
Ardea alba ssp modesta (?) aka Ardea modesta, Ardea alba, Eastern Great Egret, White Heron
Murray Mouth, South Australia – January 15th, 2013 – sunny conditions
The Great Egret can be seen worldwide on most continents – It is a large, white Heron, and some debate exists as to whether it is perhaps actually several separate species in different areas – The beautiful, white bird is very graceful in flight – My brother Adam took these photos and he has always been fascinated by them since his first interest in bird subjects in Japanese and Chinese watercolour painting as a youth. He says “They are almost as large as humans when you get close, the wingspan must be about 8 feet, around 2.2metres (at least that was my impression when one flew up out a creek bed as I approached the creek one day in the Grampians with Graeme Hastwell)” – A useful identification feature is the commissural line, a crease that runs from where the upper and lower beaks meet and extends backwards under the eye and continues a small distance behind the eye – Wikipedia says the bird can be seen “wading or standing still in shallow water and spearing prey with its bill”.
The smaller bird in the fourth picture is possibly Egretta garzetta aka Little Egret.