Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 374 - Crimson Rosella

The Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) is a wonderfully coloured bird found in eastern and south eastern Australia.  We sometimes get them in out garden, which is a bit of a treat.  These birds were feeding on some short grass at Wilsons Promontory National Park.

The males and females of this species are fairly similar (identical to me!) - but the greener birds in these pictures are immature birds.









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!  Cheers. SM

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 373 - Little Pied Cormorant

The Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) is a common enough bird in Australia, but I was a little surprised to find one on my local patch last weekend.  It seemed to be a common bird in an uncommon place.

I though I would try something at little different this week, and a pied bird make me think of black and white.

So, here is a Little Pied Cormorant rendered as black and white.





I may sound like a bit of a stuck record here, but I am about to start a very busy three weeks with a combination of work, travel and family events making for a bit of a full calendar.  So, WBW will roll on, but I may be less than prompt in replies etc.

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!  Cheers. SM



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Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 372 - Superb Fairy-Wren

Over the last couple of weekends I have managed to track down my local family of Superb Fairy-Wrens (Malurus cyaneus).  This group of birds live near a local wetland, with associated scrubby woodland and a freeway.  I am not sure that they choose the location because of the proximity to the freeway!

These birds are (in my opinion) pretty hard to photograph - the combination of unpredictable high speed movement, small size and very contrasty colours makes for a bit of a challenge.  The group of birds is not quite reliable enough for me to sit and wait with a long lens and tripod, so 'stalking' is more the approach I use.  Maybe next time I should just stake out the wooden post as just see who turns up!

The bird in this picture may always be the same male bird - the females were even faster than he was!















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!  Cheers. SM




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Monday, 2 September 2019

Mount Sonder

Mount Sonder is the forth highest mountain in the Northern Territory (1,380 metres (4,530 ft)).  The (very) early climb up it to see the sunrise was a bit of a highlight of my recent trip to the NT.

We were walking by just after 3am and arrived at the 'summit' in time for dawn after an 8 km walk.  I say 'summit' as the real summit of Mount Sonder is not reached on this walk - which is about 3/4 of a kilometre further on.  The path does not extend to that point due to safety concerns.

It was a great walk up, illuminated in some places by the pale glow of a head torch - but for much of the walk by moon light.  Its been a while since I have been up that early.

The views from the summit were wonderful.














It was remarkable to watch the light change over the course of an hour or so.  In the two pictures above you can see the shadow of the mountain being cast over the landscape by the low Sun.  It was a special morning.

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

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 371 - Australian White Ibis

This will be a short post this week.  Also, sorry for not getting to visit many blogs this week.  Busy, busy, busy.

The Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis moluccus) is another very common Australian bird - its adapted to human presence rather well, and will feed on almost anything.  This opportunist habit has given it the less than flattering slang name of The Bin Chicken.

These birds were all gathered on and around a large breeding colony in Jells Park about 30 minutes from my house.  This colony is rather noisy and smelly, but always active.

In some of these birds you can see a patch of bare scarlet skin under the wings.  This is normal for this species, although it looks a bit shocking when you see for the first time.








Normal service will be resumed soon - meanwhile, 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!  Cheers. SM


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Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Wild Bird Wednesday 370 - Masked Lapwing

The Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) is a common bird in Australia.  In fact, its population in thought to be growing - which is, unfortunately, not really a typical situation for most birds.

Despite it's growing population this seems to be a bird that suffers a great deal from stress - and when you watch them, they always seem to be on the verge of hysteria.

Although this bird, which was feeding around the campsites at Wilson Prom National Park, was reasonably relaxed I think you can see the growing sense of stress in its eyes!

Eventually even my discreet presence was too much for this bird and it headed, shrieking, to a place about 10 wings flaps away.  Funny birds!






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!  Cheers. SM


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Monday, 19 August 2019

Swamp Wallaby

I don't think I will ever tire of seeing marsupials in the wild.  Even after many years in Australia, they still seem exotic - and frankly, unlikely!

These animals are Swamp Wallabies (Wallabia bicolor).  They are not hard to see at Wilson Promontory, but they can be tricky to photograph as they seem much more timid than other species of wallaby and kangaroo.  This species ix reasonably common in the right location.  Males can weigh up to 27 kg and the female are about 10kg lighter.

This is another set of pictures where I used the car as a hide.  It's a method I can recommend.







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