Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 383 - Grey Crowned Babbler

The Grey Crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis) is a wonderful active bird to watch.  These birds were part of a flock of these birds that were actively foraging for food in the Alice Spring Dessert Park.

The Grey-crowned Babbler is widespread throughout north-western, northern, central and eastern Australia.  It is the largest of Australia's four babbler species.  As with many species, the population of this species is falling, but as yet this species is not one of immediate concern.

The flying dirt, bright light and consequent deep shadows made this (another) a challenging photo opportunity.  I rather like the amount of movement on the pictures.  These birds were really going for it!










If you look carefully at the bird on the branch, you can see that it has found a small caterpillar. 

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

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Monday, 18 November 2019

Karlu Karlu Conservation Reserve

The Karlu Karlu Conservation Reserve is situated about 400kn north of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.  We arrived there after a long drive, and it was great to get out and have a look around.  There was almost nobody else there, which made things even better.

The name Karlu Karlu translates to mean, rather unsurprisingly, round boulders.  This is a wonderfully functional description.  The boulder form when fractured blocks of granite are exposed at the surface.  The processes of weather remove the 'corners' making the boulder a round shape.  I have to say that they are rather wonderful.













These formations are also know as the Devils Marbles - but I don't really like that name.  I think it harks back to a time when the wild was thought to be 'evil' and the no good could come from being in such places.  Nature is what it is, and evil does not come into it.  I don't think we need to burden places like this with names that have no meaning.

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

PS: I'll try to catch up with comments as soon as possible, life is hectic. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 382 - Some waders for Clive.

Last week I found out that Dr. Clive Minton had been killed in a  car crash.  Clive was the originator and driving force of the Victorian Wader Study group, and I was fortunate to have spent a small amount of time in the field with him trapping and banding waders.  I had hoped to do a lot more of that in the future - but it is not to be.

If you Googled 'Citizen Scientist' it would have been appropriate if a picture of Clive had appeared.

The birding world lost an absolute champion last week.











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

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Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 381 - Painted Finch

The Painted Finch (Emblema pictum) is found across much of central and western central Australia.  It is described in the most recent Australian bird guide as 'striking' - and the authors are not wrong in this regard.

The name 'Painted' - and the second part of its scientific name - come from the red and white spots that are found on both the male and female birds.  The males have a greater spread of red around the face then the females.

These picture were taken in the Desert Park in Alice Springs.  The birds were gathering around a small pool of water and preaching in the branches above the water. This was the first time I had seen these birds, and if the truth be told, although I got great views of the birds it was really hard to do them justice photographically.  Small dark birds against the sky, or on dappled light and shade, are always a challenge.

I would have liked to have sat with them for a while, with the lens on a tripod - but that will have to wait until next time I think!










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!   SM

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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

A Whale Tale

Last weekend I went on a whale watching tour that started from Port Welshpool and travelled down the east coast of Wilsons Promontory.  I had never seen that part of the Prom from the sea before, and I like whales - so it was a good. mix.

The weather on the day was really variable - heavy rain followed by bright sun.  We saw at least 7 or 8, and maybe more, whales.  However, they all remained rather distant from the boat and were just in travelling, rather than playing mode!  Shame really, but it was great to get out into the (very) fresh air after too much time in the office over the last few weeks.

As you can (just) see in the first picture there were two whales in sight at this time.  You will need to make the picture large to see the second, distant flipper.  As far as I know, all of these whales are Humpback Whales.








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

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 380 - White-Plumed Honeyeater

The White-Plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus penicillatus) is a widespread and common Australian endemic.  It is also I bird that seems to have escaped my photographic pursuits until I went to central Australia a while ago.

Like many of my recent WBW posts this bird was living (wild) in the Desert Park in Alice Springs.  The White-Plumed Honeyeater has a wingspan of about 90mm and at its heaviest reaches about 24 grams.  So, its not really a big bird!

I really like the colour contrast in these pictures between the bird and the plant on which it is perched.






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!   SM



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