Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 369 - Australasian Swamphen (aka Purple Swamphen)

I know that I have posted pictures of these birds - possibly this actual bird - before, but I really like them.  They are also one of the more visible species on part of my local patch.

So, these are Australasian Swamphens (Porphyrio melanotus) which are now considered a full species rather than a sub-species of Purple Swamphen.








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Monday, 12 August 2019

Wombat

One of the reasons I love visiting Wilsons Promontory is the chance to see Common Wombats.  The cropped grass of the campsites seems to be a kind of wombat paradise, and they are pretty easy to find.

During the winter these rather solid animals can be seen at almost any time of the day, although dusk is still the most reliable time.  These wombats were out and about in the late afternoon when I found them.

The animal in the last three pictures was either inquisitive or short sighted, as it wandered up to see me! I the end it was too close to focus on!  I loved it!










These barrel shaped beast are about 1m long and weigh in at about 30kg - they are, by any measure, solid!  They are herbivores that live in large burrows and are only found in SE Australia and Tasmania.  In my opinion, it's worth a visit to Australia just to see these animals!

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM


Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 368 - Galah

Winter is my favourite time to visit Wilsons Promontory National Park - it's so much less crowded than at other times of the year.  At times it does feel like you have the place to yourself.

This group of Galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) was very busy feeding on (I assume) the roots of the grass around some of the camp sites.  They were very much in 'head down' feeding mode.  I wonder if they have to feed in such a concentrated way because of the short days, cold temperatures and (presumably) the low food value of the feed?

Who knows - but they were busy and good looking!






Galahs are basically a type of small cockatoo, they are about 38 cm long and can occur in large flocks.  These birds where part of a group of about 15 birds.

As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking on the link below - and also as ever, please feel free to share the love for WBW with other bloggers!  Cheers. SM

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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Humpback Whale

Last weekend I went on (another) whale watching trip, based out of San Remo in Victoria.

This time we found a whale!

After about 40 minutes of searching we cam upon this youthful - not full grown according to the crew - and energetic Humpback Whale.

Although I have seen whales in the past, my views have been limited to tails and few fins.  This whale put on a wonderful display of breaching and pectoral fin slaps.  At one stage the whale breached close to the boat - but of course I was on the other side, although I did manage to see it crashing back into the water.

Fast focus and burst mode were the order of the day.  I have to say, that this was a pretty special experience.























At one point, while the whale was slapping its pectoral fins, the boat engines were turned off - I was great to be able to hear the amount of noise that this behaviour creates.  Just wonderful.

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 367 - Pacific Gull

The Pacific Gull (Larus pacificus) is a very large gull, with a mass of of just over 1kg and and a wing span reaching 1.5 m.  For comparison, the  Pacific Gull is a little smaller than the Great black-backed gull (Larus marinus), but it does seem to have a much larger beak for its size.

All in all they are am impressive bird.

This individual was loafing about a picnic area at Tidal River at Wilson's Promontory National Park.  As I was watching and photographing this bird I could see it was banded / ringed.  With a bit of help from the photographs I was able to read the ring details and send them off to the relevant authorities.

It turns out this bird was at least five years old when it was banded - which means it was banded as an adult.  It was banded 11 years, 11 months and 15 days before I saw it, which makes it around 17 years old!  That's older than my son!

Possibly not that strangely it was banded at Tidal River at Wilson's Promontory National Park - which means that the recorded movement for this recovery over almost a 12 year period, is zero! I wonder where it really has been.  I also suspect that this is not the first time this bird has been recorded.







As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking on the link below - and also as ever, please feel free to share the love for WBW with other bloggers!  Cheers. SM



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Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Central Australia, Larapinta Trail - Part 2

Although I had a small 'pocket' camera with me, I was glad I took my SLR as well - I think I would have been a fish out of water without it.

These pictures continue from the last Central Australia post.  The images from the Heavitree Ridge walk are taken from the second day of the walk. Although this area had been burnt, it was one of the more remarkable landscapes I have walked in.

A few people have asked questions, so yes it was hard under foot, but decent boots overcame that (until I tripped over on the last but one day!) and although the area was very dry, it was also generally cool and pleasant in the days and cold (and wonderful) at night.  We only carried day sac and a sense of adventure.

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston Gorge

Heavitree Ridge - on way to Counts Point

Heavitree Ridge - on way to Counts Point

Heavitree Ridge - on way to Counts Point - to think this was once the ocean floor

Heavitree Ridge - Counts Point

Heavitree Ridge - Counts Point

Heavitree Ridge - Counts Point

Heavitree Ridge - from Counts Point

Heavitree Ridge - from Counts Point


You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM