Wednesday 26 April 2023

Wild Bird Wednesday 561 - Shy Albatross

I was lucky enough to spend the last week in Tasmania, mostly birding, but also a weekend in Hobart with great food, wonderful whisky and the best company I know of!

During the birding part of the trip I was luck enough to go on a Pelagic Trip from Eaglehawk Neck.  While I have been out on a few whale watching trips, this was my first pelagic trip (3 others have been cancelled!)

One of the advantages of a trip from this destination is that the continental shelf is reasonably close to the shore - maybe 1.5 hours out from shore.  This means yo can spend more time looking for the 'pelagic' species and less time just getting there and getting back.  Even if we had to cut and run about an hour early because of increasingly bad weather we still had a great trip.

The most frequent albatross we encountered was the Shy Albatross (also called White-capped Albatross) (Thalassarche cauta).  At times we had close to 40 birds around the boat.  Wonderful!

Here are some pictures.

In a number of these pictures you can see the back 'thumb print' in the 'arm pit' of the bird which is characteristic.

I'll try not to spam WBW with albatross for the next couple of weeks - but you may be seeing a few more of these wonderful birds! 

As ever, to join in with WBW click the link below.  SM

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Wednesday 19 April 2023

WIld Bird Wednesday 560 - Rainbow Lorikeet.

The Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) would have to be in the running for the 'most brightly coloured bird in the world' award.  And they are common in my part of the world.

This individual was feeding by the side of the path in a local park when I stopped to photograph it.  As you can see, these birds are very nimble with both feet and beak.

Wonderful birds.

As ever, to join in with WBW click the link below.  SM

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Sunday 16 April 2023

Pictures from an exhibition.

A couple of weeks ago I went to an exhibition / installation in the old (and unused) part of Flinders Street Station.  This is one of the two main railway stations in Melbourne - it is the station for all the local train-lines.

The installation was about summoning a feeling for the past.  This is the way it is described in the information on the web site.


Flinders St Station

Set in the long-abandoned third-floor wing of Flinders Street Station, Time is a nostalgic love letter to mid-century Melbourne and a tribute to one of the city’s great icons.

Created and developed across the past three years, this truly exceptional site-specific experience is Rone’s most ambitious project to date. Profoundly atmospheric, Time captures both the grand scale and character of the site and the minute detail of a period of Melbourne’s history long lost to progress.

A fictional history that transports audiences to post-WWII Melbourne, Time is inspired by an era when European migrants powered the city’s booming manufacturing industries. A vignette of mid-century working-class life and an ode to the faded yet enduring beauty of this forgotten place, Time captures the spirit of the city’s industrious past while offering glimpses of the station’s role as a once-glorious hub of work, learning and social life.

Twelve installations, each room adorned with Rone’s haunting signature murals, the artist and his team have created an immersive, multisensory installation that audiences will remember for time to come.

The images for the newspapers, come from papers that were used to cover the windows in part of the exhibition.  One of the 12 installations was a post office sorting room - and an original 1950s book of all Melbourne street addresses was open to the pages that contained our house!  A really rather remarkable coincidence!

Unfortunately the exhibition is now sold out - if not I would go again.  SM

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Wild Bird Wednesday 559 - Australian Pelican

With a combination of rather cold weather, and internet access that is (to say the least) unreliable, I hope that this post will see the light of day on Wednesday!

I spent the Easter weekend on the coast, about 2 hours from home.  The weather people tell me it has been the coldest Easter for 80 years.  I do not really doubt them!

Anyway, I found this couple (but maybe not a pair) of Australian pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus) preening at Swan Bay Jetty.  They seemed to have a degree of synchronised movements during the actions and it was rather comical to watch.

I will just post the pictures, and hope the internet cooperates.

As ever to join in with WBW, click the link below.  SM

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Wednesday 5 April 2023

Wild Bird Wednesday 558 - Laughing Kookaburra

I went for a bit of a walk in one of my local parks this weekend, and I encountered a good number of that most iconic of birds, the Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae).

The first birds I encountered where sitting as a pair, and one of them had (what looks like) a house a mouse in its beak.  Nice to see such an icon contributing to the control of invasive pests!

I did not get to see the behaviour where the bird smacks its prey against a branch to subdue it - but it was a great view nevertheless.

A little while later I encountered a group of three birds in the tree tops.  

What great birds!  They are the worlds largest kingfisher, and have one of the most distinctive calls in the world;  the call even occurs in early Tarzan films!

It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning - although I am sure the mouse through otherwise.

As ever, to join in with WBW just click on the link below.  SM

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