Sunday, December 31, 2017

Late December

I long ago decided that I preferred a sunny Christmas to one where I was surrounded by snow and ice. However, I also find that high humidity and temperatures of 34-35 degrees - 93-95F-  is not really comfortable - at least outside. So I have been making use of  my air conditioner and these photos are from around my yard rather than out on more extensive walks.
There has been enough rain that the palms and trees still look nice and green.
This is a Crepe Myrtle - one of the few trees flowering at present.
The other afternoon I noticed  a small brown bird  hopping around on my lawn. I kept still and it eventually came close enough for me to get clear photos. It  was an Australian Pipet. My book says that they are common across Australia.I have seen them at other times but their small size - 15-17cms - and habit of quickly flying off somewhere else means this is the first time I have got reasonable photos.

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Weather Dependent!

Sometimes,even with the best intentions, it is not possible to photograph the birds. It has been raining for a couple of weeks. Much of the time it has been just light showers - but enough to make you wet if you stay out in it! Yesterday morning we had a heavy downpour and the photo shows my back yard. Then by afternoon the sun was out again and it felt like a sauna. Now the weather bureau says we can expect more of the same for the next week. Oh well! This too shall pass!!

For more scenery from around the world visit Out World Tuesday

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


I take frequent short trips down to the Mullens foreshore but unfortunately it is not a part of the bay often frequented by shorebirds. It is always beautiful no matter the weather.
I also find the trees that dabble their stems in the water - mangroves - very beautiful.
The other day I took this photo looking north along the shore. The boat would be well up on dry land when the tide went out - and I hope the fisherman had some luck after standing out in the water for so long.

A couple of weeks ago several bloggers posted photos of  Fairy-wrens on this meme. I waited for others to show some of the other very colorful Fairy-wrens but since no one did I went back into my photo archives so that all the overseas birders could get an idea of the variety of such birds you can see.
These first birds are the ones that were posted a few weeks ago - Superb Fairy -wrens. For some reason I have never seen these birds right in my area. According to my birding books they should be here! I saw these ones on a trip out west my sister and I took a few years ago at a place called Mitchell.  I have included photos of the little brown females - which I find difficult to ID.
The only blue colored wren that I have seen right in my own area is the Variegated Fairy-wren Malarus assimilis.I have frequently seen this bird on the bushy walk out to Inskip Point but it likes the more dense shrubs and is not easy to follow or to photograph.  The colors are especially bright!

The Red-backed Fairy-wren Malarus melanocephalis is fairly common around here and I took these photos out at Inskip Point and at Bullock Point.

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


I enjoy all the bird song that I hear in my yard. However, seeing and photographing the birds is much more problematic. Sometimes you can get lucky and the other morning while I was watching out the window I saw that the callistemons were flowering again.  It had been so dry that the first flowers hadn't lasted very long but some good rain showers had brought the flowers out again. It looked like a flock of little birds were enjoying them and they were all dancing up in the top of the trees. It was very early so the light was perfect!
First here are the callistemon trees and flowers.
There were little birds up in the top of the trees and definitely enjoying the feast! There were more creamy-white flowers and more birds up there but it was the wrong angle for me to get photos so I tried for the ones that came down the tree among the branches. The birds were White Cheeked Honeyeaters - and they are tiny!The book says 16-19cms

I really wanted some photos with sky behind the birds so I moved over to the tree with the red flowers which was not so tall. Ah! Much better photos!

There were also little Brown Honeyeaters. They are about the same size. 12-16cms

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

End of an Era OR

A New Beginning.
I have lived here for about 14 years and I am finally going to get a new house next door and a new family moving in. I have met the new people and they seem very nice.
The early morning peace and quiet were disturbed by a rattle and a rumble and when I went outside to investigate next door was very busy. Before any work could be done on the land there were two large pine trees to get rid of. This area is surrounded by pine plantations. The pines are not a native species and they spread wherever the seeds blow! The only ones that have really enjoyed these trees are the birds. They have nested in them and roosted in them.  They were not pleased and - being parrots - they expressed their displeasure at the top of their voices - especially that night and the next morning!
There were two fellows with big chain saws, a big truck to take away all the rubbish  and one of those machines that take in branches and stuff on one side and spit it out as chips on the other.
They started by cleaning up all the small stuff that had grown up close to the tree and then cutting down the lower branches.
They next made a good sized scarf cut on one side of the trunk and on the opposite side began hammering in several metal wedges. They had very big heavy sledge hammers which they used very efficiently. I could not see details as I was very safely on the other side of my fence. A few cracking noises and the tree was down!
That left the branches to be cut and chipped and all that is left is the trunk and a big stump -  all of which will need to be taken away at some later date.
These bottle brush flowers - callistemons - are now the highest trees on that side. There was a high breeze blowing and bush birds don't sit nice and still the way shorebirds do! I have a lot of learning to do before I can achieve the photos I want! Please be patient as I learn!!!
Rainbow Lorikeets
White-cheeked Honeyeater

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, October 16, 2017


I took this pic one afternoon when I took a quick look around down at the bay just to make sure everything was still the same!These people were on holiday and told me they were filling in time while younger members of their family were off on more active pursuits. They knew lots more about fish and fishing than I did and told me what small fish they had already spotted. This is where I used to launch my kayak and I don't think I have ever seen fish right there!  I hope they had some good luck!
All these birds I saw and photographed one afternoon around my house I often see Galahs flying over but they only come down on the lawn when I haven't mowed the grass for some time and there is a good crop of dandelions for them to enjoy. Galahs always amuse me, They have a slow and rather stately movement but they waddle not walk! Also a lot of my photos show that sideways look where one eye is half closed!
This is a little Willie Wagtail that spent a lot of time around my yard some weeks ago. I think there was a pair of them and they were the first birds to call in the morning and the last ones at night also. They frequently came and sat on the top of what used to be the pen where the cat was enclosed - but that was a while ago and much of the wire had rusted and fallen away. They knew all the ways in and out and obviously felt quite secure up there.
This is a little sparrow. They are relatively new to my yard and quite new to this whole district. Why did they come here? I wonder what has attracted them into the yard and is one of my neighbors feeding them. There is quite a flock of them around by the sounds of them in the bushes outside my house.

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gymea Lilies

I have posted about Gymea lilies some time ago but this has been an exceptional season which has had an impact on all growing things in my yard. My Gymea lilies were given to me some years ago as very small plants by a friend. I have a number of plants in different places around the yard but this year must have just suited the plants in the front yard. I don't know if it was the very warm winter or the lack of rain. All except one plant has flowered and this has been quite spectacular.  The first two plants to put up a flower stem were right in among the palms and the flowers became very high - I am guessing about 5 meters high.  I kept photographing these first two flowers but they did not become fully formed perfect flowers. I don't know if it was just too dry.

Then another plant started to flower and this flower was only a couple of meters tall and much easier to photograph.  It was interesting to see it gradually open up.

One of the other plants put up a flower stem right among the palms and the flower started to open before it got clear of he palm frond

Now I wonder if it was the lack of rain that damaged those first two flowers or if it was maybe those 'wicked' Blue-faced Honeyeaters?They are so aggressive and constantly pull apart the beautiful blue and white flowers on the strelitzia nicolia. They also made my poor little cat's life a misery if they ever caught her out in the open! She would crouch down under a plant and cry until the dog came and rescued her. The dog loved it! These were one of the few birds she was allowed to chase!! (These bird photos were taken a while ago.)

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, October 2, 2017

Return to Blogging

First - I want to state that it is much easier to stop blogging than to start again!

This strange creature climbed half way up one of the posts on my verandah.  I never saw it climbing up there but then I didn't sit and watch it! I have never been really interesting in "bugs and bities" but when something like this comes right in front of you, it is necessary to take a photo and at least find out what it is. This is a Case Moth and it is well camouflaged. The (caterpillar/ grub/) creature (?) is inside that case and able to move around. It eventually comes out as a fully formed moth. I found a lot of pages of descriptions on-line and this is one of them

No photo for this next part - I hope your imagination is working well! I have just had cataracts taken off both eyes.  This is day surgery and you are given what they call a twilight anaesthetic- which means that you are awake all the time but don't feel any pain.  When I came out from the operating theater I was lying flat on a bed/trolley and swathed or cocooned in a warm fluffy brown blanket with just my head poking out.  As others also came out they were the same way. I felt like a brown moth and wished I could draw everyone all lined up this way. As soon as possible we were sat up in an easy chair and given a cup of tea or coffee and something to eat. By the way - my eyes are much improved and my sight is so much better. I just wish there were something similar that could be done for the macular degeneration!

My eye specialist  is down on the Sunshine Coast - about an hour and a half drive away. By the time we got home it was nearly dark but there to welcome us were at least a dozen White Cockatoos swinging on the electricity wires at the gate and all yelling in typical "cockie" fashion. No  photos taken right then but here are a couple of photos taken a while ago when the birds were putting on a similar show in my back yard.

 Now it is just a matter of keeping up blogging!!

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, May 8, 2017

Lookng Back

  Looking forward - one would hope for a sustainable future for all these long distance migrants but it is not a very hopeful outlook. As I said in my last post Eastern Curlews have just been declared Critically Endangered. So this is a partial record of my sightings of Eastern Curlews over the past 10 years or so since I have lived here.
I first identified Eastern Curlews in places like this - way out on the sand flats - such a distinctive looking bird with that huge down-bent beak. There is never any chance of sneaking up closer they are just so 'flighty'. A friend suggested to me that behavior may have been bred into them through generations when their size made them desirable food additions all up and down the flyway.
Eastern Curlews are some of the first migrants to return in the spring. This photo was taken in September out at Inskip Point.My own observations suggest that a lot of birds stop in at this place before moving on to other roosts either further south or in other places around the Straits.  A lot of the birds are seen sleeping - despite the people walking all around the area - not to mention the vehicle traffic! Also see the half-closed eyes on some of the birds.
I have seen Eastern Curlews in most of the roost sites around the bay but often there are only one or two together. However, the Mullens roost site usually has a larger number together. They are always at the back of other migratory birds or else further back on the roost. This was a lower tide with more sand and salt marsh exposed but the Curlews were well back behind other birds.
Eastern Curlews look especially beautiful in photos where their under wings can be seen.

I have never thought that birds with mainly brown and tan colors looked their best against a background of brown vegetation . There is only one place on this roost where the birds can be seen with water in front and behind them.  It took me years to find cooperative birds, the right tide height and nice sunny conditions. This photo is the result.

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday