Here are a few more photographs from various locations in and around the Northern Rivers area. The shot below of a Pacific Baza was taken at Broken Head Nature Reserve, a beautiful spot where the forest truly meets the sea. This was one of a pair just off the beach in a section of forest sloping down to the white sand beach. I think it is an extremely handsome little raptor with very bright yellow eyes, a clear brown & white barred breast and a very jaunty crest balancing the strongly hooked bill. I watched these birds flying over the forest and swooping down suddenly in a streamlined v-shape into the canopy to prey on stick insects, tree frogs, lizards and sometimes small birds. Spectacular.
The Galah, sometimes known as the Rose-breasted Cockatoo is extremely common in virtually all parts of Australia. It is one of those birds that has benefited from human habitation and the clearing of woodland for grazing, disastrous for most birds but not this one. They are highly intelligent and adapt well to captivity if suitably stimulated and cared for, then they can live for 70 - 80 years.
The large Brush Turkey is fairly common in woodland reserves. i am somewhat surprised that it survived the early colonisation of Australia as it looks like a christmas dinner on legs. It did in fact become almost extinct in the 1930's but it has since recovered and is now very easy to see where it is protected from hunting.
This one is called a Little Wattlebird which is a bit of a misnomer as it has no wattles. The other member of its genus do but not this one. It is another Honeyeater but a slightly nondescript one except for its strangely streaky plumage. I found them along the sandy heathland above the beach.
The Dollarbird is an old favourite from S E Asia. It is so named because of the conspicuous light blue coin shaped spots on its wings that are distinctive in flight.
Being from the Roller family the Dollarbird is quite colouful and fairly easy to photograph as it likes to sit in exposed positions, waiting to spot and pounce on prey on the ground.
Rainbow Bee-eaters (merops ornatus) are the only representative of the Bee-eater family in Australia. Somewhat similar in appearance to our European Bee-eater (merops apiaster) but paler in colour and with two tail feather extensions, longer in the male than the female.
Rainbow Bee-eaters migrate North during the winter after breeding in Southern Australia. They reach as far as New Guinea and some Southern Islands of Indonesia.
Here's another member of the Cuckoo family, the Pallid Cuckoo. This is another brood parasite which is not specific in which species it will lay its egg. It may choose members of the Honeyeaters, or Robins or the Willy Wagtail.
One interesting fact about the Pallid Cuckoo is its feet which are zygodactyl. That is two toes point forward and two backwards, quite unusual.
The Pallid Cuckoo shares a characteristic with several other Cuckoo species such as the Fan-tailed Cuckoo (below) in that they have yellow eye rings.
The Masked Lapwing vanellus miles is a very common species, in fact it can be seen in any open pasture or light woodland and is colloquially known just as "Plover". There are two subspecies and the one shown below is sometimes described as a separate species known as Black-shouldered Lapwing, vanellus novaehollandiae.