Tuesday, 29 December 2020
Tuesday, 22 December 2020
|This is the merged version|
Anyway, I have a few more days at work - and then I'm free for a while, so I'll visit web sites, finally write some words and generally reflect on a pretty crazy year.
Wednesday, 16 December 2020
Tuesday, 8 December 2020
There are a few small ponds near my house - and I like to keep an eye on what is happening on them. Of course, lock down made that rather difficult. During a recent (post lockdown!) trip out I found this family of Eurasian Coots (Fulica atra) occupying the bank-side grass.
The chicks are delightfully ugly - with punk hair styles and huge feet!
I think that the pale tip on the beak is an "egg tooth" which would suggest that these little ones had not long come out of the shell.
The birds seem to be benefiting from the scraps from the numerous picnics that were going on around the edge of the pond.
These picture look much better if you click on them so see a larger version.
Tuesday, 1 December 2020
The Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) is an abundant, obvious and noisy companion in my neck of the woods. Their raucous screeching and generally eccentric behaviour are great to observe - but they can also do a significant amount of damage to fruit trees, electrical wire, gutters and downpipes.
I guess that they are just showing us puny mortals that we are not as great as we think we are!
Anyway, this one turned up a week or so ago when I was out and about, had a few things to say, eat some seeds and was gone!
Tuesday, 24 November 2020
Monday, 23 November 2020
This lockdown nearly broke me, but my loved ones are still here and we are healthy.
So, it is with considerable relief that I was able to go for a walk today without a mask. On the weekend I will be driving an hour and half from home to go on a fly fishing course. And last Friday I met up with a friend from work to go birding.
When I was out and about on Friday evening I heard a commotion behind me and turned to see this icon of Australia being harassed by a Grey Fantail.
You can find more pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.
It was good to be out.
It's good to be back.
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
Well, I finally made it out of lockdown this weekend, and following some tips from local birders I went in search of Scarlet Honeyeater (Myzomela sanguinolenta) at Bushy Park, about 25 minutes from my house. You can tell what kind of year I (we) have had since COVID arrived in that this is about the longest journey I have been able to do in many months!
I was helped out by two birders on site who pointed me in the right direction to find the birds - although I think I may have found them anyway as they were calling loudly and feeding on flowering bushes - ie behaving in the way the field guides say they do! (This is a novelty)
The Scarlet Honeyeater is 9 to 11 centimetres (3.5 to 4.3 in) long, and is the smallest honeyeater in Australia. It also flies rapidly, spends a lot of its time with its head in flowers and generally spends most of its time inside bushes, rather than on the nicely illuminated flowers on the edge of the bushes!
In other words, I did not get a lot of 'keepers' in the photographic sense.
This is a pretty unusual bird for my part of the world, and this year there have been a much higher number of sightings than usual. This species does move south in spring/ summer, but this year it seems to have come much further south (and in greater numbers) than normal. This is good news for me, but maybe not good news for the bird.
These pictures look much better larger - so please click away.
(Also, is anybody having problems uploading images from their computer to Blogger?)
It feels great to be able to post some current birds, and to have a chance to restore some form of normal service! So, as ever, stay safe and link up with WBW.
Tuesday, 10 November 2020
There was a small flock of birds have a bit of a wash and brush up just off the end of the jetty when we started a boat tour of Yellow Waters in Kakadu National Park last year.
The birds were ..... and now I have a problem. They are called the Green Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus pulchellus), but I assume that a group of them are not called Green Pygmy-Geese, and I am also not keen to write Green Pygmy-Gooses! Anybody who knows about these things, please leave a comment.
Anyway, the birds were busily cleaning themselves as we sailed away.
Of course, these birds are not geese at all - they are ducks - but they are not very large! These were the first pictures I managed to get of this species.