Sunday, January 29, 2012


I usually post about birds and the local environment and I seldom post about my dog. However, she is an important part of all of the walking and bird watching that I do around here so I thought it was about time to again give her a blog post of her own.
Misty is a Stumpy Tail Blue Cattle Dog - sometimes called a Smithfield - which is an Australian breed of dog. Although these dogs were originally bred for droving cattle they are also great companion dogs. She is especially good in the bush and warns me of any snakes (which are my pet hate!) she smells long before I know any are around. Then the hair on her neck stands up and she stays between me and the snake and pushes me away. However, it is with birds that she has become especially clever.
When she was very young I always made her come back to me and go on the lead and stand behind my legs when I saw any birds that I wanted to photograph. She has added her own little 'twist' to this behavior. Her senses are much better and quicker than mine. She hears and sees things before I do. When she sees a bird she comes back to me and stands in behind my legs and waits for me to get the photographs I want. If I am not quick enough to see the bird or to get my camera up to photograph it then she gives me little nudges on my leg with her nose. Only when I am finished photographing and give her an OK will she back off away from the bird just like I do.
She loves splashing through the water but wants her legs on the bottom all the time so swimming is just not something she wants to do. Because of this I did not teach her to go out on the kayak with me.
She always knows when I am getting ready to go out. If it is somewhere that I am going to take her then she is at the door and literally dancing until either we get into the car or I put her on the lead and we set off for a walk. If it is somewhere that she is not going she knows this and puts herself back into her kennel and gives me a "look"!

The other morning I wanted a photo of her ahead of me but looking back. This was the best I managed. She is looking at me but her ears are turned to listen to people who were just out of sight around the corner and who I had not yet heard or seen.

For other cute critters visit the Camera Critters Meme.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This post is for World Bird Wednesday.
A couple of weeks ago I heard some unusual noises coming from the big pine trees in the empty block next door. When I went and looked I found a family of Galahs roosting there. There were two adults and three very noisy juveniles that were still begging for food from the adults. The adults were well hidden in the foliage high in the trees but the juveniles were lower down in the tree and looking at me as much as I was looking at them. They looked soft and fluffy and just as cute as young birds usually do.
This is the first photo cropped.
This one didn't seem to know how to keep its head feathers nicely smoothed down in the slight wind that was blowing.

Morning Light

This post is for NatureFootstep Waters.

These photos were taken a few weeks ago when I was driving through Kilcoy very early one morning. There was fog hanging around and filtering the sunlight. The little lake in the park was like polished silver.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pied Oystercatchers

This post is for World Bird Wednesday.

Pied Oystercatchers (Haematopus longirostris) are a common sight around the bay. Sometimes I even see flocks of a dozen or so roosting together. However, pairs of Pied Oystercatchers stay in the same territory year after year and these ones are decreasing. The pair I photographed for this post have a permanent territory around the Mullens shorebird roost.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fog over the Bay

We don't get many foggy mornings here but when I went down to the bay for an early morning walk the other day fog covered most of the sand flats. Even the closer mangroves trees were indistinct.
Finally the sky started to clear and then the fog began lifting also and the sand flats were clear.
In a short while the last of the fog could be seen moving quickly northwards down the channel of water at the far side of the bay.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

High Tide Roost

This post is for World Bird Wednesday.

On the highest tides of the year when most of the shorebird roosts are underwater, there is one small sandbank where the small shorebirds fly in to roost. When we kayaked there this year we again found small shorebirds lining the edge of the water. There were Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Stints roosting together. (All photos enlarge when clicked on)
This Red-capped Plover looked especially nice standing in among the Sea-purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum).
As usual I took lots of photos and then examined them carefully at home. In amongst the Red-necked Stints was one different bird. It took me a while to work out that it was a Lesser-sand Plover. These don't usually roost so closely with the Red-necked Stints but I guess any roost is better than none! (Red-necked Stint in front and Lesser-sand Plover behind.)

Monday, January 9, 2012


The very nicest time of the day down at the bay is soon after sunrise. I took these photos two days ago. Looking toward the sun the sky was bright golden but looking at an angle away from the sun the colors were soft pastels and reflecting in the still water.
The only shorebirds I saw were a couple of Little Egrets - both visible in this photo. (All photos enlarge when clicked on.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gull-billed Terns

Gull-billed Terns (Sterna nilotica) can often be found at the Mullens roost with the migratory shorebirds. These Terns stay in Australia all year but leave this area to breed on inland lakes and water. In breeding plumage they have a full black cap. In non-breeding plumage this black cap reduces to a black patch around the eye. There were several birds still with a black cap in the flock I saw the other day. They had been roosting with Bar-tailed Godwits.
Before I got very close most of them flew off a little way to another part of the roost.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year

Happy New Year to everyone!
I decided the best start to the year would be to post some photos of Rainbow Lorikeets. These birds are the most numerous in my yard. They are noisy and quarrelsome but also gentle and affectionate within their small family groups.
I have never had a "wink" from a bird before! It was a very windy afternoon and the leaves and branches were whipping all around and I think this gave me the photo op!