Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Visitor's View

I enjoy living with so many beautiful places so close around, and I also enjoy showing these places off to friends who visit me. Last week - on one of the few days without rain - I took a couple of friends for a quick visit  to places around here that I especially enjoy.
We drove first to Inskip Point and walked from the parking place out onto the sand at the end of the point. Unfortunately there were no shorebirds waiting for us as there were too many people around and the tide was not right. However, the scenery is always beautiful - this photo is looking from the road over towards Fraser Island.

There are always bush birds to see and this little Red-backed Fairy Wren was fluttering around in the same tree where I saw a pair last time. I wonder if there is a nest close by.

We then drove on to Carlo where there is a ramp for boat launching and various other boats moored to the docks. There are also picnic tables and shelters - a perfect place to sit and eat and enjoy the sound of the birds high in the trees above. We saw a group of pelicans further along the shoreline and were walking towards them when they suddenly moved and swam past us. There were a couple of small boats just coming in to land and the birds obviously were hoping for a hand-out! When it didn't happen quickly enough a couple of them flew up and perched on one of the lamp stands. It always seems strange to me to see these big birds perched way up high like that.

There were other people sitting at another picnic table and I don't know if these crows were being fed or if they just hoped to be. I realized a while ago that I had never photographed crows up close. They are handsome birds but I can't help thinking of the old saying - "handsome is as handsome does"- and crows are noisy bullies and have the nasty habit of taking small birds out of nests and sitting and eating them while the parent birds scream and cry in frustration!
There is also a distant view from Carlo over the bay right back to Tin Can Bay.

We then drove back to Rainbow Beach and looked at the beach from the viewing platform close to the surf club building. This photo is looking north along the beach.

This photo is looking south towards the lighthouse on Double Island Point.

The Seary's Creek picnic area is on the way home. There is a board walk through the bush which leads down along the creek. It's beautiful and peaceful and I am always fascinated by the color of the water and the reflections of the trees and bushes in it.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sunshine Coast

Last week I made a quick trip down to Esk to see family. On the way home I traveled along the range instead of using the motorway along the coast. I went through Maleny, Montville, Mapleton, and got on to the freeway again at Nambour. There are magnificent views all along this route.

The land drops away very quickly and you can see all the way to the coast - or at least you can if the weather is good! Unfortunately, there was fog and low cloud around and the views were restricted because of this. We stopped first at the look-out a short way along the road to the Mary Cairn Cross Reserve.

The view out to the coast includes the Glass House Mountains which were named by Captain James Cook as he sailed up the coast in 1770. These mountains rise straight out of the coastal plane and are the remnant cores of extinct volcanoes. In this photo they are just visible through the mist and cloud.

The only birds I saw were these Crows - and I couldn't get close photos because I had the 50mm lens on the camera for the scenic photos.

This view was taken at another look-out between Maleny and Montville. The view is looking northward.
 Next time I travel on this route I hope the weather is nice and clear and good for photos!

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


The other week I posted some photos of Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) and was quite surprised at the interest shown by overseas readers of the blog. I think we often forget that what is common and unremarkable in the local environment is not so in other places.

White Ibis have become common in cities and towns on the east coast of Australia. These birds have the unfortunate ability to adapt to feeding on whatever humans drop or put into rubbish bins or land fills. When city parks become home to hundreds of these large birds (65-75 cms or 25-30 inches) then local councils are pressured to do something to control them. Some cities have simply culled them. A few years back Brisbane council hired a man with a trained Wedge-tailed Eagle to fly over the parks where the Ibis were the most numerous. It worked! However, at the same time as the birds are a problem in urban areas, they are becoming scarce in inland wetland areas. So a debate has been raging as to whether they are a pest or an endangered species.
The Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) is about the same size as the White Ibis but it has not adapted to eating human left-overs! It is found around fresh water swamps and in grassland. It eats small aquatic creatures and also grasshoppers and crickets etc. Because of its liking for grasshoppers etc it has been called the "farmers' friend". Ibises also use their long bills to probe into the ground for food. Yesterday, I saw these Straw-necked Ibis busily moving across some vacant land and picking up whatever insects moved. I frequently see both kinds of Ibis around town.

For more birds from around the world visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Early Morning

It's great to get well lit and detailed portraits of birds - but it's also great to get photos of birds in the landscape - or in this case - the 'sky-scape'.
My family room looks out to the north-east through sliding glass doors. I frequently sit there first thing in the morning and watch the sun come up and the birds begin to wake. The other morning this Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) sat high in the tree.

Spangled Drongos are glossy black birds with a long fish-shaped tail. They twitch this tail backwards and forwards.

They are noisy birds and this one soon called a mate to sit up there and make their raucous voices heard. Of course, the colors of the sunrise were changing all the time.

For more birds from around the world visit Wild Bird Wednesday.