Wednesday 24 June 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 152 - Hoary Headed Grebe

This is the first of three Wild Bird Wednesday's that I need to organise before I head off for work related travel.   So, although the familiar blue button will appear at the bottom of the page - the posts themselves will be rather briefer than normal!

These rather splendid little birds are Hoary Headed Grebes, Poliocephalus poliocephalus (and no, I have not developed a stutter!).  For those of you in the UK, they are about the same size as a Little Grebe, and for those of you in the USA its about the same size as a Pied Billed Grebe.

These birds were all loafing about on coastal pools on Phillip Island, Victoria.

And now its your turn to join in - click on the blue button to link your blog to WBW - and while my visit may not be swift, I'll get to you in the end! SM

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Jakarta Bay Fishing Boat

By the time this post hits the airwaves (so to speak) I will be well into more work related travel - and as per normal I have no idea when (or if) I will get to have a look at my blog.  It's so annoying how things like work get in the way of important things - like life!!

This is one of the many fishing boats that we encountered while we travelled out to the fish traps.

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

Friday 19 June 2015

Jakarta Bay Dawn Sky

To visit the Friagtebirds featured in the last post, my journey started at 4.30 am!  Even then the streets had a good deal of traffic on them.

I'm trying to track down the exact location we ended up at, but the Sun was not that far over the horizon when the boat left the beach.

A combination of early morning sea haze, pollution and a low Sun provided some rather interesting colours.

You can see more skies from around the world at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 151 - Christmas Island Frigatebird

Despite a rather hectic schedule in Jakarta, I did manage to get about 3/4 of a days birding in.  As has become my habit when I travel for work I tacked on a days leave to the start of the trip, so at least I can have one day to have a loom around.

Luckily I was able to make contact with a local birder who acted as my guide, interpreter and identification coach - the local currency does not have a high value on the world markets, but paying over 3 million anythings was a bit of a shock!  (That is until I did the back 'translation' into Australian $ and it all made a bit more sense!)

Part of the day involved a very early start to take a boat out to some fish traps in the Bay of Jakarta, to the north of the city.  These fish traps are basically just large curtains that trap fish on the fall and rise of the tides.  It's no surprise that these places attract birds!

And the birds we were hoping to see were there in abundance - Frigatebirds of three species.  As I have mentioned before the light was shocking, the birds flighty and the boat less than stable - under these circumstances I am rather surprised I managed to get any images at all.

As far as I am aware these birds are all Christmas Island Frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi). These birds are about 100cm from beak to forked tail tip and have a wingspan of over 200cm.  In other words they are big.  There was constant squabbling going on between the birds and it was a real thrill to be sitting in amongst the best part of 200 of these birds.

(Brief up date to one of the images - its a Juvenile  Lesser Frigatebird)

Frigatebirds on the fish traps

Juvenile  Lesser Frigatebird 

The birds with the red pouch under the beak are males, the others are females and juveniles.  It may not be very scientific - but when they sit with their beaks out to one side they remind me of the vultures from Bugs Bunny!

Now it's over to you - click the blue button and off you go.  I have not caught up from last week yet, and I am back on the road in a few days - so, good things will come to those that wait!  SM

Monday 15 June 2015


Due to the wonders of Social Media, some of you may have noticed I was in Jakarta, Indonesia, last week.

I was working with a group of teachers on the development of assessment materials - all good stuff really, even if the language barrier was sometimes rather too high.

For most of the week I was indoors - and for much of the time I did manage to get outdoors there was a heavy haze of some sort in the air.  Both factors rather limit photography.

Here are three image that sum up my week!

Evening sky from my hotel window

Water Buffalo, north of Jakarta

Workshop participants - and some (almost) bald guy!
You can find more pictures from around the world here at Our World Tuesday.  SM

Sunday 14 June 2015

Fallen Flower

I tried to get out of my hotel room in the early mornings on my recent trip to Jakarta - it was hardly cool in the mornings, but it was considerably less hot than in the afternoon.

This fallen flower caught my eye.  I think that the flower is a frangipani - but I could be wrong.

One busy week of six completed, and I have a couple of days at home!

You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday2 and I Heart Macro.  SM

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 150 - Crested Tern

Hard to believe its just under a year since I was thinking - wow 100 WBWs, but the passage of the years does not lie.

Todays pictures are of one of our ore cooperative birds - the Crested Tern.  It's not that these birds are tame, or even used to people feeding them (and no, I did not lure the ducks towards me with bread last week, I just waited until some other people did!), but at least these birds don't fly off at the very sight of a person with a camera.

These shots were taken at two different locations - the first set at Swan Bay Jetty, nr. Point Lonsdale and the second on the beach at Ocean Grove.  Both of these locations are on the Bellarine Peninsula, to the west of Melbourne.

If Silver Gulls are our default gull in this part of the world, then the Crested Tern is the default tern. None of these birds are in their full breeding plumage - but they still look pretty good.  These birds at a little over 40cm from tip to tail and have a wing span of about 100cm.  So all in all they are a good looking bird.

You can see that it is raining in the second set of pictures - which just shows the lengths I go to to keep WBW up and running!

So, now it's over to you - click the blue button and join in.  (I will be 'on the road' this week, so replies may be slow!)

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Under Surveillance

I found this strange little scene while I was out getting my lunch last week.  I wonder what is being surveilled!

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

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 149 - Chestnut Teal

Although the Chestnut Teal is common enough in my part of the world, I still like finding them - especially when the males are in almost perfect condition.

As is often the way in the world of birds the female is somewhat less colourful, and in fact they can be hard to separate from the rather less colourful Grey Teal at times (OK, most of the time!)

These ducks were on a local pond, and seem to be rather more relaxed then some.  Although bread feeding is not good for the health of the birds, it does make for rather easier than normal photography.

The Chestnut Teal's official name is Anas castanea, which means that it is in the same genus as the very familiar Mallard.  The name Anas castanea means Chestnut duck - which only really applies to the male; so the ladies can feel rather left out.

Not a lot of action in these pictures I grant you - but that bottle green head is a cracking colour.

(As a note the next month will be really busy for me - WBW will appear as expected, but that may be about it!  So, if you comment and I don't seem to reply, it could be because I am up to my neck in work, or on a plane, or jet lagged or all three at the same time - but trust me, I will get back to you in the end!)

So, now thats out in the open, if you click on the familiar blue button below you can join in with WBW!

Tuesday 2 June 2015

The Uninvited Guest

Part of a busy Sunday was being at a karate tournament with H.

There were a couple of uninvited guests in the sports hall, some people seemed disturbed by these visitors - I rather liked them!

Not sure if these are back-belts, but they are Magpies!

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