Malabar Headland – More Birds and Whales – 31 July 2018

Another trip to Malabar Headland. I was keen to return after photographing Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons on my last trip and well as some close ups of breaching whales. This time I was joined by Ken Griffiths, who is a very good nature photographer (See his website here). Ken is also an expert on frogs and reptiles – and is able to often spot these creatures in places I walk past.

We met at Central and caught a bus to Maroubra and then set off along the track to Magic Point and the Boora Point.

On the way, I first photographed a Welcome Swallow sitting on the fence for the rifle range.

Soon after, we passed a water treatment pond. Ken was listening for frogs, while I photographed a group of New Holland Honeyeaters squabbling on the surrounding fence.

Then a Nankeen Kestrel flew past overhead. I quickly turned my camera and was able to get a shot or two of it as it flew into the distance. It was the only one we saw.

Behind the pond, we noticed quite a few rabbits lolling about.

We continued on the path and soon reached Magic Point, where we waited for a while to look for whales. No whales at that stage, but we did see some sort of Naval landing craft cruising past.

There were also some nice Superb Fairy-wrens around.

We then kept on going towards Boora Point. Ken pointed out good habit for snakes, lizards and frogs along the way. He had not been on this track before and was impressed not only by the scenery, but also by the habitat.

Despite the dry conditions, we spotted an interesting fungus that had popped up. It was Pisolithus arhizus (Horse Dung Fungus) – a type of puffball.

Further out, we paused and waited and watched at the place I had seen the Peregrine Falcons on my previous recent trips. we moved around the cliffs a bit and surveyed with binoculars. I then spotted one of the Falcons – perched on a precarious ledge.

After a few photos of it, we moved to closer vantage point. A few more photos – then waiting to see if it would take off or be joined by its mate.

It was standing on one leg – something lots of birds seem to do, and this is not a sign they are about to move. So we waited patiently. We could also look for any passing whales.

After a while, we noticed the bird move a bit and then stand on both legs. It then stretched its wings and made some noises. Perhaps calling to its mate – sitting nearby on eggs? we waited with our cameras ready, expecting it to take off. It did, but flew away from rather than towards us. And that was the last we saw of it for a long while.

We also moved on – out to Boora Point, where we had lunch. Our whale acting was rewarded. Some whales passed by reasonable close.

We then started to head back slowly towards Maroubra. On the way back, Ken spotted a couple of Jacky Dragons sitting on small bushes basking in the Sun.

We waited some more on Magic Point. Far out to sea we could see a fishing trawler. It was surrounded by a huge flock of birds.

A Naval helicopter flew past. Cormorants rested on a high ledge on the cliffs.

We continued back, spotting a few more birds closer to the carparks and bus-stop.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo

White-faced Heron

Another good day in the bush connecting with Nature.

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