Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 385 - Splendid Fairy Wren

This rather splendid little bird is in fact a Splendid Fairy Wren (Malurus splendens) from Alice Springs in central Australia.

This bird was feeding around some table in the cafe area of the Desert Park - and at one time was sitting on the table in front of me all of 30cm away.  This was one for the few times I have had too much lens when photographing small birds!

This bird seems to occur in 3 distinct areas, with a population in Western Australia, one on Central Australia and the third just clipping the NW of Victoria and going up through NSW and Queensland. I had never had a chance to photograph this bird before.

I would have liked to have sat and waited for this bird - and a far more nervous female - to present themselves in a little better light.  But, alas I had to leave.






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  

PS: I can feel the frenzy of the approaching season already! 

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Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 384 - Diamond Dove

The Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata) is Australia's smallest dove, being about 20cm long. It is found over most of the drier and northern parts of Australia.  The red eye-ring and the 'diamonds' on the wings help with identification.

As with a good number of recent WBW posts I took these pictures in the Desert Park in Alice Springs.  This was the first time I have had a change to photograph this species.











This bird (all the pictures are of the same individual) was dashing about looking for seeds.  It was a rather splendid little bird.

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, 25 November 2019

Things of Wood and Stone

When you are in Central and Northern Australia, you cant help but feel that the bones of the Earth, are very close to the surface.  Its an old landscape, where things have been worn down for beyond the reach of everyday thought.

And clinging to these bones is a thin flesh of trees; holding on and holding together.

These pictures were taken at Ubirr, a famous rock art site in the Kakadu National Park.





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


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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