Friday 29 April 2016

Big Blue

This is another shot from our weekend at Flinders.  This was taken on a Public Holiday, in the late morning.  Don't you just hate crowds!

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 196 - White-faced Heron

This species is basically my default heron - its the one I see most often, and the first one that I rule out if I think I may be on to a different species.

These birds are about 65 - 70cm tall, making them about 2/3 of the size of the Grey Herons I grew up with.  The formal name of the White-faced Heron is Egretta novaehollandiae which means Little New Holland Heron.  New Holland was the old name for Australia.  This species is found over much of Australia and as a result it can be seen in a wide range of habitats.  These pictures show it in a freshwater pond on Lord Howe Island, and in shallow sea water nr. Melbourne.

I have been unable to keep up with blog replies this last week - too much other stuff going on - but the next week looks rather more calm!

Click on the familiar blue button to join in with WBW!

Monday 25 April 2016

A Wider View

We were lucky enough to be invited down to Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula for the night this weekend.

A great, if short, getaway.

Here are some panorama style shots from an evening walk along the edge of the sea.

The house on the hill was not where we stayed - although I wish it was!

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

Friday 22 April 2016

Plane Tree Sky

There is a plane, a tree and a sky.  But I dont think the tree is a plane tree!

Another phone shot during a week that makes me wish I was retired!

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 195 - Welcome Swallow

When we got back from the trip out into the Bay, H pointed out this Welcome Swallow sitting on the back of a seat in another tour boat.  I love the way this bird seems to be looking around, taking things in.

The Welcome Swallow is the 'normal' swallow in my part of the world, and its a different species to the Barn Swallow (which I just called a Swallow) that I used to see in the UK.  The Welcome Swallow is Hirundo neoxena while the Barn Swallow is H. rustic.

These birds do migrate north from Tasmania and SE Australia in the winter, but a few hand around all year.

In these pictures you can see that these swallows do not have the dark chest/ breast band of the Barn Swallow.

Now its your turn - click the blue button and off you go!

Tuesday 19 April 2016

I suspect it may be autumn

A quick phone shot from my after work walk - I suspect it may be autumn!

Compost in the making!

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

Monday 18 April 2016

Food for Thought

Those of you misfortunate enough to have a real time conversation with me will have notice that I like a pun or two - or as my kids say "Pun City!!".

This weeks 52Frames theme was food - so when I thought about it, I came up with the idea of Food for Thought.  And this is the picture that I made.

Silly as it may be, I rather like this!  SM

Friday 15 April 2016

A hawk sky, with no hawks!

I have mentioned on a number of occasions that I don't seem to get pictures of birds of prey - so here are two for the price of one!

The lower of the two birds is a Little Eagle and the upper one a Whistling Kite.  I used a wonderful Australia Bird ID group on FB to check these identifications - I can recommend this group highly!

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 194 - Red-Tailed Tropicbird

Back to Lord Howe Island this week.  Red-Tailed Tropicbirds are truely remarkable - and I was glad to get a second chance to photograph them as I had had a few ideas about how to improve my shots from the first time I saw them!

These pictures were all taken on the cliffs at the north end of the island.

One day I'm going to run out of pictures from LHI - but it is not this day!

Now its your turn - click the blue button and off you go!

Tuesday 12 April 2016

The Middle of the Bay

During our week away at Curlewis, I took the kids out on a boat tour of Port Phillip Bay - where we swam with seals and dolphins!  It was a great day!  I got the best set of Dolphin pictures I have managed to take!

Port Phillip Bay has a population of about 100 - 150 rather special dolphins - they are a species of Bottlenose Dolphins called the Burrunan Dolphin.  This type of dolphin only occurs in the Bay and The Gippsland Lakes to the east of Melbourne.

The three images above show dolphins 'riding' the pressure wave at the front of our boat.

These four pictures show dolphins surfing the bow wave of a much larger boat in the main shipping channel.  In the last image you can see part of the skyline of the Melbourne CBD in the background.

These shots show two different pods of dolphins that came in to investigate the boat.  As you can see in one of the pictures, they are willing to swim right up to people in the water.  The last two shots also show a young dolphin with its (?) mother.

So long and thanks for the fish!

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

Monday 11 April 2016

Preying Mantis

This rather wonderful creature was loitering by our front door earlier this week.  I think that Preying Mantis must be some of the most alien looking creatures that I see on a regular basis - and this 'other-worldness' was enhanced by the fact that the mantic turned its head around to watch me as I was taking these pictures.

Such encounters really do challenge the 'mindless automaton' vision of creatures other then human - this guys was very clearly checking me out!

You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday and I love Macro

Saturday 9 April 2016

The Light on the Hill

I have taken some picture of this building before - but this weeks 52Frames challenge was 'Magic Hour' - so this seemed perfect.

Also, this has not been a good week for inspirational political leadership - tax evasion, the rhetoric of hate and divisive funding decisions do not make for much confidence.  So, maybe, we need some Light on the Hill.

Friday 8 April 2016

Fast Changing Sunset

This is a sequence of images taken over the space of about two minutes, which show just how fast the sky can change at sunset - all images have been treated in the same way, and have had very little done to them except having the horizon levelled.

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 193 - Black-Fronted Dotterel

It will come as no surprise to anybody even vaguely familiar with me, that I managed to squeeze in a few hours birding while I was down on the Bellarine Peninsula last week.  Not a huge number of hours - too many other things to do! - but enough to get some sights and pictures for the next few weeks at least.

One place I always like to visit when I am in that part of the world is Lake Lorne.  This is a naturally occurring lake of about 12 hectares.  It normally has decent populations of water birds on it, especially when other areas are dry.  One day, I will get to sit by the water all day and see what comes along.  This time I was looking for, and found, Black-Fronted Dotterels - a wader that is often seen at the lake, often feeding on the exposed muddy edges.  And this is what 3 of these birds were doing when I found them.  A bit of creeping along on my knees - I think I may buy knee pads one day! - got me close enough for some pictures - although if anybody has a spare 600mm lens knocking around I'd be happy to take it off your hands.

The Black-Fronted Dotterel is more technically known as Elseyornis melanops and is widespread through Australia.  The fast dashing feeding motion of these birds made them rather difficult to keep in focus - or even in the viewfinder if the truth be told!  It was only when they stopped moving that I could frame them - hence these pictures are all rather similar.

Now its your turn - click the blue button and off you go!