Last week I went for a lovely walk to Flat Rock near Ballina. I went to get some additional photos of some local flora for a new design based on the beachside flora of this area. I also went to take some extra photos of the bird life that gather there. It was an absolutely stunning Spring-like day.
On arrival I encountered as I have always know them, a Scrub Turkey. They are also known as Australian Brush Turkeys or Alectura lathami. Bold as brass he/she was! Strutting around almost posing for the camera!
I kind of like these odd-looking birds and their sense of entitlement and arrogance. I love their odd-looking scrawny heads and have been drawing up a new linocut of one of their heads – great colouring too!
Flat rock is basically a rocky outcrop on the beach where at low tide the local sea-bird life gathers.
There is a sign as you approach the beach talking about the local sea birds.
I am very much an amateur bird watcher so fortunately today I managed to have local birdwatcher there with his binoculars and he very kindly identified the birds for me. Some I knew already some I didn’t.
There are Crested Terns seem to be the biggest colony there at the moment. They are white, grey and black and have a lovely ‘crest’ or tuft on the back of their heads.
At one stage the birds took off rather spectacularly and the birdwatcher tells me is was a raptor overhead probably a Brahminy Kite. Unfortunately I didn’t see the raptor!!
In amongst the Crested Terns out towards the sea were Ruddy Turnstones which I managed to not get a photo of, but did get a rather distant photo of Red Necked Stints. They are the small brown birds in the middle of this photo of the surrounding Crested Terns.
There were also some Sooty Oystercatchers but didn’t get any worthwhile photos of them. A couple of Gull Billed Terns were there and although I didn’t get a worthwhile photo of them last week I did get one of them flying a previous photo of them back in April. They have the dark beaks.
Silver Gulls – or Seagulls are very common and there were a couple of them out there as well with their distinctive red legs, beak and ring around their eyes.
There were only two Little Black Cormorants there, this is one of them, but I had taken a photo of one flying there back in April as well.
Only one Little Pied Cormorant was there that I could see.
But by far my favourite are the Pied Cormorants. They have a distinctive orange eye patch and bare throat skin. They also have large webbed feet.
You often see them with their wings outstretched and drying which is just rather lovely.
And they can be quite graceful once in the air.
These are a series of photos of took of them back in April. As the tide came in they made numerous small flight hops to the next rocks.
I can just imagine the conversations these three were having.