Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Early Morning

Join me! I am indulging in a my favorite morning occupation. Hot cup in hand I am sitting in my rocking chair in front of the glass sliding door in the family room. The room faces north and east and the chair is angled for me to watch the first gleams of the rising sun.

If I look a little further to the north there are several very tall stalks from my neighbor's yard. I think they are bamboo and the birds are enjoying them. At this hour the light changes very quickly. I amuse myself by trying to recognize bird silhouettes.

All during the day an assortment of birds fly on and fly off. Most of the birds are content to use the stalks as perches but the White Cockies seem to enjoy the taste. Bit by bit they break off the tops. These birds put on quite a show the other morning as they jostled for position and called raucously. Unfortunately white birds against grey sky don't make great photos. Late yesterday afternoon some Galahs flew in. I always think they are such pretty birds and against the late afternoon blue sky they looked even better.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Yard Birds

When I first came here to live I planted a lot of different palm trees in the yard. I had never lived this far north in the sub-tropics before and was delighted with all the palms that grew easily. (All you people in the northern hemisphere remember that you have an upside down view of where tropical climates are!!!!) Of all the different palms I planted this one is my favorite.It is a Bismarckia Nobilis. I love the blue color of its foliage.

Then the other afternoon I noticed a couple of Blue-faced Honeyeaters (Entomyzon cyanotis)sitting high on one of the leaves. I have tried for good photos of them over the last couple of days but when I was photographing them yesterday afternoon they suddenly started screaming and dive bombing me! I looked around and found my cat had followed me around .  These birds can be very aggressive! The dog used to keep them away from the house and in control! I wonder if they are nesting up in that palm? They are the only birds that I know that like to find a palm leaf partly folded in on itself and then build a nest closely folded in there.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, July 4, 2016

Around The Bay

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I decided to go down to Tin Can Bay and enjoy looking around the shoreline. There are always numbers of boats which use this part of the Strait as an anchorage.




I have often seen dinghies at the edge of the bay with someone rowing out to the larger boats. Sometimes then one of the boats will start to motor away and sometimes I think the owner is just checking out his boat and maybe doing some maintenance.


I started out at Norman Point where there is a small sand bank that often has birds sitting at the edge of the water. I expected to see at least Gulls and Terns but was a bit surprised when there was nothing at all. Then I saw a man and his off-leash dog that was enjoying a romp through the shallows! No birds would stay around with that amount of disturbance. I heard a Pied Oystercatcher flying over and saw a pair of them roosting on the southern side of the point. These were the only birds there also and I wondered if the dog had already enjoyed running along this stretch of beach. Both birds looked as if they were resting but their red eyes were watching me.

Down at the Crab Creek end of the foreshore I was surprised to see a group of Pelicans roosting in shallow water. They were all taking the opportunity for a good preening. (I really like the way the early morning light glints across the water but I find this light creates challenging conditions for photos!)

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Backyard

First I want to say thank you for all the very nice and very encouraging comments on my last post. Thanks!
Sometimes life gets a bit difficult. I have recently had to admit that I cannot keep up with all the maintenance on my yard. Bushes turned into trees very quickly and other parts turned into jungle before I could get them into control. Fortunately I found someone that didn't mind coming in now and again and bringing a big saw and taking out the too luxurious growth. The place is looking much better and I can see what used to be there! Last time this fellow was taking out small growth under some trees down the back. "Please be careful around there," I said, "I think there might be some pineapple plants in there somewhere". Yes! And one had fruit on it! This is an amazing climate. Most things grow if you put them into the ground. Pineapples fresh from the farm gate are usually bought with the green bushy tops still on them. A while back I bought some like this and cut the tops off with a little attached flesh under them. These went into the ground and this is the result!

Another problem has been happening recently. A couple of Magpie Larks - Peewees to give them their common name - have decided the yard is theirs and I am just barely tolerated! The cat is not tolerated at all and she is driven away from her food dish! Then, I hear a pathetic little mew which means she needs me to come out and keep her safe. I watched the peewees the other day and they were swooping very low over her to move her on! My dog used to keep such pests well away from the house but I lost her just over a year ago and the birds quickly learnt! Here are the Peewees enjoying my yard - which needs mowing again! The male and female have different color patterns around the head and neck. This is the female...

and this is the male and he is the noisiest and the most aggressive.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday 

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Return to Blogging

As you can see it has been quite some time since I have posted anything on this blog. Unfortunately, the longer this went on the harder it became to put up another post. I kept thinking I had to find something really good rather than just the same old birds! Then, the other day a friend called and suggested I came round for coffee and we would sit out on her verandah and just see what birds were visible. This is the result.
The first birds to come in were a family of Magpies. They were very tame and obviously expected a hand-out if they stayed long enough!

The Spangled Drongo's were the next to show themselves but they stayed high in the trees.

A family of Pied Butcherbirds also came in . This is the adult

and the juvenile still has a slightly brown colored head.

I finished my "cuppa" and then my friends suggested we walk around to their back yard because a couple of Tawny Frogmouths could usually be found somewhere out there.  Their backyard is delightful and each time I am around there I take photos to try to capture the space and colours underneath the large gum trees. I have never been completely satisfied with the photos. I tried again this time and took this photo showing their outdoor eating area and the view down through the trees.
Then Sarah told me she had taken a couple of photos that morning when she had been helping Graham clean off the rubbish which had fallen on the roof during a storm the night before. How good is that! Great photos with a new view of the yard. Sarah's photo of the same place.

Sarah is an artist and this is a view of the corner of her studio.

Then we found the Tawny Frogmouths. They are never easy to see and the second one was especially well hidden. These were the stars of the show for me! They are active during the night so during the day they sit high up with their eyes closed but usually you can see that there is just a crack where they are obviously watching you.

For more photos taken around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Figbird In A Fig Tree

The other day a friend told me she had seen a lot of small birds in a Fig Tree that was covered with small figs at present. The small birds she had photographed were ones I really wanted photos of as well. When I went down the next day about 10am there were no birds at all in the tree! The following day I left it till the afternoon and there were birds all over the tree. Unfortunately they weren't the ones my friend had seen and photographed but any bush birds that sit still long enough for a photo are good birds!
The tree is a native Fig - not the ones that people usually eat! When I looked up "fig tree" in my  books about local native trees I found that there lots of fig trees that grow locally. Without more experience I couldn't ID it although a friend suggested that it might be a Ficus rubiginosa.


I have taken lots of photos of Figbirds (Sphecotheres viridis) but never before one in a Fig Tree.

There were other smaller birds up in the very top of the tree but I couldn't see them properly in among the leaves. The only other bird I saw clearly was this little Red-browed Finch ( Neochmia temporalis) which was using a puddle to take a drink. I used to call this a Red-browed Firetail but my birdbook says it is a finch!

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Seary's Creek

I went out with my friends Sarah and Graham a couple of days ago. They have a big 4 wheel drive vehicle which lets them get into beautiful areas where I cannot usually go. Thanks Sarah and Graham - it was a great trip!
We first took a quick look at Inskip Point. We hoped that we might see some interesting birds that had been brought in by the ex-tropical cyclone. When we got out there it looked like everyone else from around the district had had the same idea - vehicles and people everywhere! There were a few terns roosting on the point but even those were being disturbed!
Some of them did come back in for a few moments and I was able to get this photo of Little Terns in partial breeding plumage.
Then we drove off to follow the road through the National Park down to where Seary's Creek flows into the bay. If I had thought about it I could have taken enough photos for a whole post about the kind of roads/tracks that go through the Park. Parts of the road were covered with areas of deep dry sand. Other parts had steep rocky drops over low parts that were covered with water. It would be impossible to drive this road without a 4 wheel drive vehicle - and a good driver too! 
We stopped and walked around for a while where the track crosses the Creek. The land all around here is very low lying and when the tide is full in it is very swampy.
The Creek flows slowly through this area. The water in the Creek is stained with tannin and the color when we were there was very dark.
( I have kayaked from Tin Can Bay up to this point on the creek 3 or 4 times. The first time I came here I had looked very carefully at the maps and still managed to miss the passage up through the mangroves. The next time I left more time to explore around the mangroves. I was still very unsure of where I should go but then looked down into the water and realized the clear waters of the bay had changed into tea colored water! I had found the creek! I then paddled upstream until I came to the little bridge which is the crossing for the road.!)
These are Mangrove Ferns. I have read about them but these were the first ones I have seen. They grow from here through northern Australia and up through parts of SE Asia.

The only bird we saw was this Little Egret which was standing on the edge of  one of the swampy ponds.
The road goes only a little way beyond this area. It leaves the Creek and goes over a small rise and comes out on the Bay right underneath the power lines that cross from the other side. It is interesting to look at things from this side. Those small white spots far down the bay are the boats I see when I am kayaking out from Mullens.

For more scenery visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday