After numerous attempts I finally saw the Freckled Ducks at Lake Monger this evening. They have been hanging around for a few weeks now and steadily increasing in number (five were present). It turns out I had confused east and west and had been checking the wrong area of the lake.
As an added bonus John Graff’s expert Little Grassbird mimicry yielded good views of a specimen just before dusk. These two birds are numbers 267 and 268 on my life-list.
I now have a new laptop – a brand new 13″ MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Core i5 with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard disk drive. It is just the second computer I have purchased brand new (the previous being a 12″ PowerBook G4 1GHz while studying at Uni).
I was considering an 11″ MacBook Air (for about the same price) but the lack of ability to upgrade RAM, relatively small storage space and general lack of ports pushed me back from style towards substance. I am very happy with the decision.
A bird that had been conspicuously absent from my list was the Chestnut Teal. Or so I thought. I recently purchased Apple’s Aperture application and imported in all of my digital photographs (nearly 7,300 photographs from the Canon 350D alone). I was cycling through the old photos and something caught my eye. A Chestnut Teal. Full plumage male no less. Refer to the photograph below…
The worst bit is I remember the day I took the photograph clearly, I was looking for Hoary-headed Grebes at a lake in Joondalup and thought this particular bird was a manky farm duck. So the Chestnut Teal becomes bird number 266 on my list.
|Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea, Joondalup, WA, Australia). Image has been cropped and the white balance adjusted.
The recent Hillarys Pelagic netted me three new birds for my list:
- Streaked Shearwater (many seen, easily the highlight of the trip);
- Wilson’s Storm Petrel (a brilliant little bird but almost impossible to photograph);
- Bridled Tern (great views near the boat).
After my last pelagic experience (I felt very seedy….
) I was reluctant to go on this trip. It turns out sea sickness tablets do work (I took some the day before) and seeing cool birds early in the trip takes your mind off “other things”. I’m glad I went.
Check out Leeuwin Current Birding for discussion of the Streaked Shearwaters. These move my lifelist onto 265.
Edit: here is the official trip report.