Wednesday 26 December 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 335 - Fairy Martin

Well, by the time this post goes to air, some people will have completed Christmas and others will still be knee deep in presents and food.  In many homes fairy lights will twinkle on a tree.

On WBW Fairy Martins twinkle on a barbed wire fence.  (Well sort of!)

The Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel) is mainly a summer visiting breeder to Southern Australia.  I took these pictures on Christmas Eve at the Western Treatment Plant - AKA Werribee Sewage Works! (This is what happens when you are organised and dont have to do any shopping on the day before Christmas!)

This bird can be identified by its characteristic ginger/rufous crown.

As ever, to join in with WBW click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  

Feel free to spread the word about our little birding community in 2019 - wishing you a great Christmas and a bird filled New Year.  SM

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 334 - Great Tit

On a number of occasions I have mentioned in comments that backyard bird feeding is not really that common in Australia.  Blogs from the UK and North America regularly show a host of birds around feeders in people's backyards.

While I was at the RSPB reserve at Ham Walls in Somerset, UK, I was able to get some shots of Great Tits (Parus major) feeding behind the 'office' in the car park.  The light was shocking - very, very dull - and it was rainy, but it was nice to see this bird with a camera in my hand.

So, WBW 334 may be a common bird for many people, but I really enjoyed catching up with some again.

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

Tuesday 18 December 2018

At the top of Tassie

'Mount Ossa is a mountain of the Pelion Range located in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania, Australia. With an elevation of 1,617 metres (5,305 ft) above sea level, Mount Ossa is the highest peak in Tasmania.'

Well, thats what it says on a well known encyclopaedia web site.  What it does not say is just how wonderful the view is from the top.  Apparently you can see about 30% of Tasmania from the summit - and who am I to question such things.

We walked, scrambled and even climbed a little to get to the top of Mount Ossa.  Thankfully, we left our backpacks at the bottom of the hill, and only took a few essential supplied with us.  It was one of the best short (but steep!) walks I have done.

I really did feel as if you were in the middle of nowhere - which compared to my daily life I suppose I was.

I plan to go back.

Yes, the white stuff in the pictures is snow!

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

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 333 - Grey Heron

Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) were one of the few large predatory birds that were (reasonably) common in the countryside when I was a kid.

They were waterside watchers, reed-bed statues that I saw when I fished.  They were often more successful than I was!

These pictures were taken at a range of locations in Somerset when I was back in the UK last month. It was good to get some close views of this often nervous bird.

I do rather like the last image - I think it says more about the nature of the bird than the other pictures.

As ever to join in with WBW click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  SM

(There seems to be an issue with being able to comment on some Blogs - the Google Account does not work and the comment is lost - I'm trying to work out why!  SM)

Tuesday 11 December 2018

A walk with H

Last week I was in Tasmania with H, walking the Overland Tack.  What a week! Four Seasons of weather and views that are out of this world.

Cant think of much else to do, other than post some pictures.  More words to come at a later date I think!

However, it is reasonable to say we had Four Seasons in One Week!

At the very start

At the very end!

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

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 332 - Kingfisher

Kingfishers (Alcedo atthis) are wonderful birds.  They are always a highlight for me.  Being back in Somerset a few weeks ago gave me a chance to catch up with this species.

I spent a huge amount of time as a kid fishing, so I saw these birds on a more than occasionally; but they never lost that charm of being something special.   The flash of blue as they shot across ponds or rivers was always a wonderful thing to see.

I caught up with this female (the orange on the beak is a give away) at Ham Walls RSPB reserve.  These are not the greatest pictures, but they are the first ones I have taken of this species in the UK.

Splendid birds.

As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below the thumbnails.  Cheers SM

(Today I will be starting the longest day on a six day walk in Tasmania- wish me luck!)