Seabirds

Pacific Gull and Little Black Cormorant

Pacific Gull and Little Black Cormorant

Marina

Marina

 

Today the weather was perfect for an early start in the kayaks, so we had a trip around the marina and along the coast.  There were plenty of seabirds around.  Because we were on the water, I only had my little camera, so not very good for distance shots of birds.

Young Osprey

Young Osprey

 

 

The best thing this morning was seeing one of the young ospreys for the first time since they left hte nest a few weeks ago.

 

 

Osprey Mum

Osprey Mum

 

 

Mum kept a close eye from a nearby lookout – you can see her on the aerial on the roof.

 

 

Osprey nest

Osprey nest

 

 

 

Here’s a view of the nest from on the water.  You get a good view of the sculpture that it was built in.

 

Fishing Practice

Fishing Practice

 

 

 

 

And here the youngster is perched on a mast, looking closely for fish.

osprey call  Click on ‘osprey call’ and hopefully you’ll be able to see and hear it.  The young osprey was constantly calling to Mum during its training session.

Crested Terns

Crested Terns

 

 

There were several families of crested terns by the boats.

 

 

 

Female Darter

Female Darter

 

 

 

There was a family of Australasian Darters out.   This is the female.

 

 

Young Darter

Young Darter

 

 

 

 

Young darter.

 

Night Heron

Night Heron

 

 

 

I’ve also seen several night herons by the marina this week.  This is the best picture I’ve managed.  The problem is that I see them when it’s dark.  They are too far away to use a flash, so all the pictures were a bit dark and blurry.  Hopefully I’ll get a better one before they leave the area.

Pied cormorants

Pied cormorants

Osprey

I was in a kayak, having my first paddle across the nearby marina, when I saw a bird of prey where I didn’t expect to.  It was above my head on the balcony of a large house, and I was sure it was an osprey.  I knew that ospreys had bred on the coast nearby in recent years, but I hadn’t seen one until then.  Since then, I have undertaken the most civilised bird watching ever.  The balcony is on the opposite side of the marina to the shops and cafes.  So I am forced to sit in a cafe drinking tea and eating cake in order to watch the ospreys (and enjoy the view) – such a chore.

The balcony is too far from the cafe to get a decent picture with my little (not very zoomy) camera, so, the following weekend, I set off again in the kayak, this time with a camera.  I rounded the corner to see not one but two ospreys.  Fantastic.  I still had to zoom quite a lot, and the kayak was wobbling and drifting a bit, but I did get a picture.  Very cooperative birds.  Ok, so the picture is quite grainy, but I think it’s quite good given that I was bobbing about and using a little camera at quite a distance.

Ospreys on the balcony

 

The council thoughtfully erected an osprey nesting platform in the wildlife reserve about a kilometre away, so I’ve been going to look regularly.  On one occasion, one of the
ospreys flew over with a fish in its talons.  No, I didn’t manage to get a photo, it was far too fast for me.  So far, no luck with the nest, but I’ll keep an eye out as I’m sure they’ll nest somewhere nearby fairly soon.  I hope so as I’d really love to watch them raise a family this season.

Some of you may be thinking that an osprey isn’t just an Australian Bird.  No, you can find them in many parts of the world.  I’ve seen them in Britain, but the great thing for me here is the ease of seeing them, right on my doorstep – no hikes in the rain to remote places.