Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 312 - Masked Lapwing

The Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) is a visible and often vocal part of the Australian landscape.  If they are anywhere in the area you are very likely to know about it, either through their calls or their tendency to swoop people, cats, dogs, horses and such like in the breeding season.

This bird - which was one of a (presumed) pair - was reasonably well behaved, until, shrieking, it jumped into flight.

These pictures were taken last week at Wilsons Promontory, a wonderful national park about 3 hours from Melbourne.

As ever to join in with WBW just click the blue button below.  Cheers  SM

{312 consecutive weeks is a long time! The last couple of weeks have not been that straight forward. At present the net access at home is flaky, Blogger has stopped sending email notifications and I have too much work!  All in all, it's been pretty difficult to visit blogs and generally reply to comments.  In the absence of cake, messages of encouragement would help - as would suggestions as to how to get bloggers linking into WBW again.  Cheers - SM}

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 311 - Shy Albatross

Late last week I went out on a whale watching cruise around Phillip Island - which is about an hour and 40 minutes from Melbourne.  Its a popular holiday destination, but also has some good wildlife.

Most of the people on the cruise were very much concentrated on the whales, and I was one of the few that got excited when we encountered some albatross.

I'm pretty certain that all of these pictures are of Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta), but I am more than happy to stand corrected.  I just get happy seeing Albatross, the identification and taxonomy of which seems rather more challenging than for some birds.  Shy Albatross have a wingspan of over 2 meters and weigh in at just over 4kg.

I love the pictures why the huge skies - these are birds of the wide oceans and empty skies.  Its not always all about filling the frame.

As ever, to join in with WBW click on the blue button.    Cheers, SM.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Watching the Whales

Late last week I took a whale watching tour around Phillip Island, Victoria. An early start - with a wonderful sunrise and rainbows - was in order, but all went well.  Strange how easy it is to get up when you dont have to go to work!

The whales - Humpback in this case - were reasonably obliging, although they did keep their distance a little.  We saw two groups of two and a possible singleton - although it may have been one of the others - during the tour.  Not a bad return for place that is about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Melbourne!

The whales were in travelling mode, so no breaching and such like, but it's still great to see them.

I'm about to have a really busy week - so it may take me a while to get to visit your blogs - sorry!  SM

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 310 - Pied Oystercatcher

This is another set of pictures of a pair of Pied Oystercatchers I found on the beach near Coles Bay in Tasmania.

The Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris) is the most common of our two species of Oystercatchers in Australia - although at present there is a visitor from New Zealand in the area as well.

I really like the water and sand in the these pictures - and I reckon they sum up my pictures pretty well: less bird, but more environment than some.

As ever, to join in with WBW click on the blue button.    Cheers, SM.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 309 - Australian Magpie

The Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen) is a common street bird near my house.  They are my almost constant companions on walks around the neighbourhood.  I really like them.

Just like the Currawong from last week, these birds are more closely related to Butcherbirds than crows.  The name Magpie comes from an association with the colour of Magpie (Pica pica) from Europe.

Most of these birds were making use of a bit of sunshine to stock up on food.

As ever, to join in with WBW click on the blue button.    Cheers, SM.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

By the fire

It's winter here - and by local standards it's been a cold start.  Which makes it a fine time to sit by the fire.

The first image is me, taking advantage of the fire at a wonderfully straight forward cottage we stayed at a few weeks ago.  The second image is of Freda, taking advantage of the fire in a slightly less straight forward house we stay in most of the time.

Both were pretty good fires - although the addition of a cat makes the second one even better.

More pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM