Thursday, July 28, 2011

Magnetic Skys - Part 2 (Friday Skies)

One of the most remarkable things about being on Magnetic Island was the number of birds of prey that we saw. More than any other place I’ve been they owned the sky. There was barely a sky that did not contain a hawk, kite, eagle or osprey. They fought in the sky, they called to each other and at times they seemed to be flying just for the fun of it.

The weather was generally very settled – and over night near the end of the week the sky turned from clear blue to flat grey. But as I was watching a Sea Eagle I noticed a hole in the cloud open up. It promised better weather. But it lied! The sky darkened and few small drops of rain fell.


On a beach ringed with orange rocks we waited for the storm, but that did not come either. So we just watched the birds. We watched until the unthinkable happened and we had had our fill of hawks, kites, eagles and ospreys and we knew it was time to pack up and go back to the house









If you know of anything better to do than sit under a falling sky, surrounded by your family, watching hawks to whatever they please then please let me know, for it must be very special.




You can find more images of the sky here at Skywatch Friday.


You can find my other blog by clicking on the Paying Ready Attention link on the RHS or by looking at the “My Other Blog” tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

World Bird Wednesday - Yellow-Bellied Sunbird

This brightly coloured little (11cm) bird is a Yellow-Bellied Sunbird. The male has the splendid blue/ black throat patch. Saw these for the first time on Magnetic Island. They kept flashing across the road in front of the car and disappearing into the bushes. Finally I managed to find some that were cooperating. Hope you like them.









You can find heaps more splendid birds here at World Bird Wednesday.


You can also see the most recent post on my other blog by clicking on the Paying Ready Attention button on the RHS of this page.


PS: For those of you missing the parrots I have a cracker in store for next week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My World Tuesday - Found Objects.

I like found objects, simple things. Sticks. Stones. Large leaves. Shells. Most nature watching comes into the class of found objects as well. Chance encounters. Fleeting glimpses. I don't like it as much when the wildlife is on tap, around bird feeders, or begging for food.

Beaches are some of the best places I know for found objects. They change hour by hour and a morning walk, best just after high tide, always seems to bring something to light. Some living, some not. These are set of pictures I made of some of the shells we found during our week on Magnetic Island. I don't know what most of them are, but for me that's part of the charm of shells, they seem so fine and yet so unknowable. I hope you like them.













You can find lots of other good things to see here or by clicking on the My World Tuesday button on the RHS of the screen.

You can also see my most recent post on my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention button on the RHS of the screen.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Magnetic Island (Friday Skies)

As you may have gathered I spent last week on Magnetic Island in Queensland. It was great. Cool enough at night, but nicely warm during the day. But one thing was missing to get really good skies - we had very few clouds! Now I'm not claiming thats a problem - its just a nice irony that the best skies seem to come when you have some cloud.


Anyway, these are about the best two sky shots I came up with. Another reason for the lack of skys could have been that I spent too long taking photographs of the abundant birds! Such is life.



You can find more images of the sky here at Skywatch Friday.You can find my other blog by clicking on the link on the RHS or by looking at the My Other Blog tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

World Bird Wednesday - Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos are a common but rather spectacular bird. They can also be a real problem, especially if they start eating parts of your house! (I’m not making this up!)

However, as you can see they are not really very difficult to look at. They are noisy, bright, clever and very, very watchable.



These birds are feeding on split and germinated seeds around a horse feeding area on Magnetic Island in Queensland. Flocks of these birds formed an important part of the soundscape during the day, often flying over in crazed noisy flocks.


More birds from Magnetic to follow!

You can find heaps more splendid birds here at World Bird Wednesday.


You can also see the most recent post on my other blog by clicking on the Paying Ready Attention button on the RHS of this page.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My World Tuesday - Magnetic Island.

I spend last week on Magnetic Island – which is an island (!) 8km offshore from Townville in Queensland. As the smallest of my small people said: “Its just like a twopical island” – which is not that surprising, because it’s a tropical island!

All these pictures were taken on the first evening, having flown up from Victoria where the temperature was in the single figures and the weather was an Antarctic export.

As you can see it’s a rather splendid place. I get the feeling I’ll be going back, and I also get the feeling that this trip will figure large on my blogs for a week or more.


All these pictures are taken at Horseshoe Bay, which is where we stayed.




You can find lots of other good things to see here or by clicking on the My World Tuesday button on the RHS of the screen.



You can also see my most recent post on my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention button on the RHS of the screen.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blue Tiger (Macro Monday)

Just come back from a week on Magnetic Island. The island is 8 km off the coast from Townsville in Queensland. It’s about the same distance for the equator as Mexico City.
This butterfly is a female Blue Tiger (Tirumala hamata ) which is common in Queensland – but that little bit of information is less important that the fact that it’s a cracking beast!




I’ll be posting more shots from Magnetic Island for the next week or so to show more of the island!




You can find more marco shots at Marco Monday.

You can see the most recent post on my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention link on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the close ups!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Garden Skies (Friday Skies)

Last Friday I did a little experiment. I thought I'd take a series of pictures in my garden over 24 hours. You can see the all of these pictures on my other blog. In the end it was surprising what I found. I must have spent about 2 hours poking around outside at different times.

A few (well 3!) just about crawl into the sky category - so here they are.




































You can find more images of the sky here at Skywatch Friday.



You can find my other blog by clicking on the link on the RHS or by looking at the My Other Blog tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

World Bird Wednesday - Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo

I was not planning to put these pictures up this week – but I saw a flock of about 60of these birds on the way to work. A really splendid way to start the day. These birds have a wing span of over a metre and have a weird and far carrying voice. They are are one of the few birds here that can tear pine cones apart. So you often find them in these trees.

Of all the birds I hear, these are the ones that always make me stop and look. A saw a small flock of them only four days after I arrived in Australia, and I have sort of adopted them as my favourite bird.





You can find heaps more splendid birds here at World Bird Wednesday.



You can also see the most recent post on my other blog by clicking on the Paying Ready Attention button on the RHS of this page.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My World Tuesday - Glass Panels.

I was walking through central Melbourne this weekend, having just left a show full of gleaming, and often unaffordable, motor cars. The stands were staffed by iPad wielding pretty young things, with flawless skin and perfect hair, with hands that will probably never be soiled by machine oil, or suffer the indignity of a broken nail. Bright light displays flashed corporate messages. The whole place was a temple to the future – a future that will be bright, sleek and aerodynamic. Well, maybe.
I think it’s safe to say my car mad small person did not notice these things.

On the journey back to the train station we walked over an old railway bridge. For years it had idly spanned the Yarra, its tracks ripped away, its real purpose lost. In recent years it has been resurrected as a foot bridge.

I had never walked over it before, so I was surprised to find clear glass panels along one side, each one was etched with the details of a countries contribution to Australians migrant communities. They were organised alphabetically, and stretched across the whole bridge.




I stopped at the English panel, and was surprised to see that my home county was listed as a major source of migrants. Because the panels were clear you could see the skyline through them, and the names of the migrants floated like ghost names over the present day. It was by no means a sombre place, but it did make me stop and think.

I was struck by the difference between flashy vision of the future at the car show, and the more sober account of the past.

You can find lots of other good things to see here or by clicking on the My World Tuesday button on the RHS of the screen.

You can also see my most recent post on my other blog by clicking the Paying Ready Attention button on the RHS of the screen.