Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 94 - Botanic Birds

During the weekend trip to Melbourne's Botanic Garden I had hoped to get some pictures of the herons that stand on the islands in the lakes.  While it was a rather good plan (or so I thought!) there were rather too many people about - and you can also hire a punt and being "punted" around the lakes.

While I am sure this is all jolly good fun, it does rather put the kibosh on heron watching.

How dare they!

So we sat down to eat a picnic lunch, and just watched the opportunists walk up to us in the hope of crumbs and snacks.

These are some of our hungry looking visitors!

Female Magpie Lark 
Female Wood Duck
Male Chestnut Teal
Purple Swamphen
Dusky Moorhen
Hardhead or White Eyed Duck

Hardhead or White Eyed Duck 
Silver Gull
Now it's over to you - click on the link below and off you go.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014


I managed to get out for two walks this weekend - one on Saturday that yielded yesterdays Future Fossil, and one on Sunday around the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.

Both walks were in perfect autumn weather - clear blue skies, crystal clear air and temperatures in the high teens - what more could you ask for.

This was the first weekend when the autumn colours were to the fore.  None of these pictures are of native plants, but I can forgive them this for the colour they bring.

And another thing I like, is that if it is autumn with me, it must be spring for many of the people who visit this blog - it seems you have had a long winter!

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

Monday, 28 April 2014

Future Fossil

A pre-karate and ballet walk with the kids on Saturday morning yielded this image of a modern fossil in a concrete path.

Those of you who have been here before may have realised I have a fondness for these types of images - things that are not there anymore, but are still present anyway!

I remain rather too busy!

You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday 2 and I Heart Macro.  SM

Friday, 25 April 2014

Corella Sky

I took these pictures last weekend, as a flock of Little Correlas flew over Ruffy Park Lake.

I liked the way they seemed to define the sky with their wings.

You can find more skies at SkyWatch Friday.

Today is ANZAC day in Australia - so I won't be doing much blogging - replies will be delayed.

We could do nothing better than to protect the worlds children from the horror of war.   SM

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 93 - Welcome Swallows

I spent a few days down near the coast last week - wonderful location, wonderful weather and no phone reception!

As autumn starts to find its feet here, many birds start to move north for the winter (remember I'm in the southern hemisphere!).  Our summer waders are heading to the far, far north and some birds just move north within Australia.

One bird that leaves parts of Australia at this time of year is the Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena). While the "welcome" part of the name is a reference to the birds arrival in the spring, the area where I live never entirely losses its Swallows in the winter.  A few hang around, hawking for what ever they can find.

As a result, I am more likely to notice the swallows leaving than returning.  Most, if not all, of the birds from Tasmania move north for the winter and if you happen to be on the coast of the mainland of Australia at this time of year you can see them gathering in flocks as the arrive and take a break before moving on.

On the last day of our week away we woke to find over 150 or so Welcome Swallows around the house.  An hour later they we all gone.  I have seen this type of behaviour before - and it makes me think about my own migration!

When the birds were not on the wing they rested on a wire fence behind the house - when they sat there I was reminded of musical notes on staves!  I don't know what tune the swallow notes were writing, but they looked great.  As soon as I saw how the fence looked through the viewfinder of the camera I knew that these images would work well in "panorama" format.

These images really do need to be clicked on so you can see a larger version.

Now its your turn - click on the link below and off you go!

Monday, 21 April 2014

A day at the beach!

I think it's hard to sum up a place with one single image - but this is my attempt at summing up my Australia in a single image.

This is a wombat, on the beach, in the sunshine!  I would also point out that this picture was taken in the middle of the school holidays, about three hours from Melbourne!  (Count the people!)

For those who need to know these things, this picture was taken at Squeaky Beach at Wilsons Promontory National Park.

You really should click on the image!

You can find more pictures from around the world at Our World Friday.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Beware of Seahorses?

Found this sign painted on the path in a local park.

I was confused - should I be aware of snakes as the text says, or seahorses as the picture shows?

Who knows?

You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday2 and I Heart Macro.  SM

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Obscured by clouds / I see the Moon

I was not a matter of planning that placed me away from the bright city lights for this weeks lunar eclipse - it was just a matter of good luck.  And it was just a matter of bad luck, that for most of the time the Moon was eclipsed, that it was obscured by clouds!  It did peek out a few times and I managed to get a couple of shots - but at no time was the Moon really clear of cloud.

These are the shots from the eclipse.

The Moon rises for the rest of the week were, I have to say, pretty good, if not better than the eclipse.  The Moon would rise, pale and orange and then turn the more traditional silver.

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.  

PS: I am now very behind with replies to comments - apologies all round!  SM 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 92 - White-Faced Heron

The White-Faced Heron is a familiar and wide spread Australian heron - for the places I watch it is the heron I am most likely to see.  Its my default heron!

You can see them over the majority of Australia, with it being absent from eastern Western Australia and western South Australia.  (Which was a sentence that amused me!)

The is not a large heron - standing about 70 cm, with a wing span of just over 1m.

This bird was hunting around the edges of a small dam at Point Lonsdale.

Now its over to you!  Click on the button below to link up!

Monday, 14 April 2014

A face in the leaves.

I was doing a bit of autumn sweeping in the garden, when I noticed a rather strange pile of leaves on the ground.  The leaves were all chewed up and there were bit of fruit in them as well!

In the branches above me I noticed a very scruffy looking nest sort of thing. Peering out of the nest were two small faces - both attached to Ring-Tailed Possums.  Needing no excuse to put down the broom I went inside to get my camera!

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

Busy week - replies may be slow!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Latest and Greatest

P is spending most of her spare time with the new latest and greatest thing - a Band-a-Loom.

Its basically weaving with small elastic bands.  I rather like the abstract patterns they make.

You can find more Marco shots at I Heart Macro and Macro Monday 2

Friday, 11 April 2014

Gannet Skies

Need to post and go today - here is a series of pictures from the summer.  Must dash.

You can find more skies at Sky Watch Friday.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 91 - Crested Pigeon

I think that pigeons are a rather under appreciated bird - maybe its the familiarity of the urban version - the mingled blood lines of rock doves and racing pigeons that mess up the grand city facades and statue.   Maybe it's the willingness of the city birds to come camera close, bribed with bread and grain.

Whatever the cause, I think that the consequence is that pigeons can be overlooked.  That is unless that have a headdress like this bird.

This week I give you the crested pigeon - Ocyphaps lophotes. The name means crested swift pigeon, which is correct on both counts.  These birds can often be seen on playing fields and dry grasslands.

Unlike a number of birds with a crest, this bird displays the crest almost all the time - although it sometimes lies a little flatter than expected.  I can't help but think that the bird looks surprised when it's crest is vertical!

As is often the case with birds that are overlooked, once you take a close look that are rather splendid.

Now it's over to you.  It seems that the Linky has a mind of its own at present - so please try to restrict the label on your thumbnail to a name and location, and please don't get upset if I edit it a bit for the sake of presentation.  Cheers SM.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Queenscliff, St George the Martyr at night

This rather wonderfully lit church was just up the road from where we stayed in Queenscliff a few months ago.

We would walk past it most evenings on the way home from the beach / pier / fish and chip shop or restaurant.  In the end I remembered to take my camera on the outward leg of these journeys, so that I could take some pictures on the way home.

The electricity (or telephone?) lines are a bit of a pain, but I do like the whole colour of the pictures.

Next time I go back to Queenscliff I think I may have to try to photograph this building again.

You can find more images from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  Enjoy the pictures.  SM

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Rock Art

I'm back into the archives today - in two ways.

These shots are from a trip to central Australia last year, and they show some of the rock art that can be seem from the footpaths that skirt the base of Ularu.

These sites contain many paintings and symbols, the meaning of which is unknown to me.  But what it does show that the culture that produced them had a rich and varied understanding of what was going on around them. They were creating a symbolic understanding of their own world.   Humans are all story makers (why do you think blogging is so popular?) and even if I can't read the words of these stories I feel a kind of connection with the urge to communicate.

I have pictures of some of the more famous styles from trips further north - I think I need to go back to northern Australia - but they are as slides.  I feel an evening with a scanner coming on!

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

(I have entered my wordy blog in a writing competition, if you feel like finding out about it, or even voting for me have a look here.  The link to the voting page is on the RHS of the linked page.)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Australian Writers Centre - Best Australian Blogs 2014

I have entered my wordy blog in the Australian Writers Centre - Best Australian Blogs 2014 - well, why not I ask myself!

You can have a look at my wordy blog here.  And while you are there you can click a button on the rights side of the page to vote in the "peoples choice" category. 

If you want to vote without visiting my wordy blog you can just click on the image below!

WIsh me (and the 1124 other blog entrants) good luck!


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 90 - A classic Australia

After a few weeks in Arizona, WBW comes back home this week.

I thought I'd go with a bit of a classic Australian this week.  I know I have posted pictures of these birds before, but I have a real fondness for them.  There seem to be a few family parties of these Black and White wonders on my route to and from work - and they are always a source of distraction.

While these birds occur over much of Australia, they are also very variable - with varying degrees of white (or black) on the back.

I'm going to leave it here for this week - but I do ask that you have a look at the new tab on the top RHS of the page.

Now it's your turn to link up to WBW - click on the link below and off you go.

Don't forget to just but a name and location in the second box on the "linkup" wizard thing!  And if it would let you link, check that you have selected an image in the lower part of the wizard!

Cheers - SM.