Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 273 - Satin Bowerbird

I don't have much time this week - so this week's WBW will be much shorter than normal!

These are some pictures of a male Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) from the week we spent at Apollo Bay.

There were often a dozen of more of these birds in the garden - but they were very flighty, and it was rather hard to get pictures of them.  I think the best way would have been to have used a hide on the verandah of the house - but as I dont have a hide that was not possible!

The blue males seemed a little braver than the 'green' birds - which are females and immature birds.  However, I was rather pleased with the shots of the male in the tree.

Also - I have added some video footage of a 'foraging party' that was on the lawn for one of the afternoons.  This footage was taken with a Trail Cam, which was left in garden all day.

As ever, to join in just click the blue button and off you go!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Here are some shots of that classic Australia - the Koala.  Just to be clear, this is not any sort of bear, and it's closest relative happens to be the wombat!

These chaps were sitting in the road side trees on the way to Cape Otway.  In the past this habitat has been damaged by the numbers of Koala in the trees.  We did not see as many as in the past - but they were hardly scarce.

The animal in the first image has a really messy eye, and as conjunctivitis is one of the symptoms of a  chlamydia infection, this animal may be sick.  The chlamydia infection is common in Koala, but it only becomes a health issue of the population (or habit damage) cause high levels of stress.

However, as the second picture shows, Koalas do spend a lot of time being inactive (and this is nothing to do with 'drugs' from the leaves) its hard to tell between a sickness and natural lassitude.  The Koala spends some much time immobile because it's gut is basically a large fermenter, and the animal is waiting for the bacteria in its gut to work their chemical magic on otherwise indigestible food.  Once the bacteria have broken done the food - bought gum leaves in this case - the koala either digests the waste  produced by the bacteria, or the bacteria themselves!   Charming!

The last set of pictures show a female - and at times you could get a glimpse of a young koala with her - but I was not able to capture an image of that.

So, here is a Koala, and if you could get there name right it would be good - as they already have brough to bear!

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

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 272 - Superb Fairy-wren

There seemed to be a small resident group of Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) in the garden in the house we stayed in at Apollo Bay.

These are tiny, fast moving birds - and as such were a bit of challenge.  The adult male (and sometimes others as well) objected very strongly to presence of 'alien' birds in the wing mirrors of our car and they would display and attack the reflection.  This at least give me a chance to know where the birds would be!

So, here are some Superb Fairy-wrens in a variety of locations from the garden.

As ever, you can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below - and why not spread the word about this little group to friends and fellow bloggers alike.  (Hard to believe this in week 272!)   Cheers SM.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Rainbow at Gwinganna

When we were at Apollo Bay it seemed that the clouds would build up most afternoon, and we would often have a couple of rumbles of thunder.  On one day we had thunder in our ears, but sunlight on the horizon - which is a good recipe for rainbows.  And that's what we got!

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

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 271 - Bassian Thrush

This is the first of a series of pictures I managed to take while we were away last week at Apollo Bay.  We had stayed in this house before, but this time - possibly due to a closer than normal spring - there were not as many flowers as in the past, and this meant that the birds were rather spread out - without a nice focal point to concentrate on.  As as I was trying to work out what to do, a Bassian Thrush (Zoothera lunulata) started feeding on a small patch of lawn to my right.

So, focal point found!

The Bassian Thrush is generally found in wet forests, and as one of those backed on to the block of land the house was on, it was no real surprise to find one on the lawn.  This bird looks a rather similar to the Song Thrush, and this was made more so by its lawn feeding.  However, the Song Thrush and Bassian Thrush are not in the same genus.

The Bassian Thrush feeds with a rapid stop start motion - dashing forward and then seeming to stop to listen.  I'm not sure if this is really what it is doing - but it does look like.  This individual bird was a lot 'braver' than some I have seen - in fact it got too close to focus on at one stage!

Close examination of some of the pictures shows that this bird has some form of lump in front of its left eye.  I only noticed it when I was processing the pictures.

As ever you can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below. SM 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Stevensons Falls

Just back from a wonderfully relaxed week behind Apollo Bay, about 3 hours west of Melbourne.  Great little house, with a wood burner, wide verandas and more than enough wildlife to keep me happy.  Even if the weather was a little damper than I would have hoped for, this only made the waterfalls run better!

I think the whole family needed to 'mellow out' for a bit - and that's exactly what we did.  These are some pictures from Stevensons Falls.  You may get a feel for how lush and damp the place was from these pictures.

The hills behind Apollo Bay are part of the Otway Ranges - which in many places are covered in cool temperate rainforest.  For those of you who have been to the Hoh Rainforest in Washington in the US, it's a very similar kind of place.

Anyway, enough of me - here are some pictures - taken in the rain!

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

Friday, 29 September 2017

Down in the woods tonight (well, in July really!)

When I was in the Lake District in the UK, I set up a Trail Cam / Night Camera in the woods behind the house we had rented.  There were lots of signs of animal activity in the woods - and I got lots of images of mice!  Larger animals were rather less abundant, and in some cases a little camera shy!

So, here are three videos - a fox and two badgers.   I had hoped for rather clearer footage - but I am on a steep learning curve with both trail cams and video.  So here they are!

I hope to be getting some Australian footage over the next couple of days - so, there may be some marsupials on the way.  Cheers SM

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 270 - Alpine Chough

The pictures of birds from my time in Europe come to an end this week with the The Alpine Chough (also called the Yellow Billed Chough) - Pyrrhocorax graculus.

I saw these birds in Switzerland - where I spent a week walking and being blown away by the landscape.  On most days I was not in the mood to carry a long lens into the mountains, so I did not get many bird pictures.

I had really wanted to see this species, and I was not let down by them.  The birds on the 'road' sign were at Jungfraujoch, and the combination of very bright sunshine, lots of snow and even more tourists mad bird photography a wee bit of a challenge!

Anyway, here is the The Alpine Chough.  One fact I can't let slip past, is that this species may breed at a higher altitude than other bird.  It has been seen on Mount Everest at an altitude of 8,200 m (26,900 ft)!  Impressive I have to say.

As ever you can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below. SM 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Stott Park Bobbin Mill

When we were in the Lake District we visited Stott Park Bobbin Mill, which is a 19th Century Bobbin mill that was bought in working condition in 1974 by a government agency, and is now a museum.

The mill made bobbins - in other word the wooden spools that had cotton would on to them - for the Lancashire cotton mills.  The bobbins were made from local coppice timber, and in its original form the mill relied on a water mill to spin the lathes.  Local timber and abundant water are still present in the Lakes, and its a very nice example on a landscape that many only think of as being very attractive (and they are not wrong) also having an industrial history.

Much of the Lakes has been formed by human activity, rather than just found in this way by recent visitors.

Apart from the addition of modern covers on the belt drives for the lathes, the Mill is in more or less original condition.   As you can see the turning lathes produce a lot of waste material, and when the Mill installed a steam boiler and engine to replace the water wheel, the waste was used as fuel.  So, the use of local produce and waste minimisation are not really modern ideas!

Outside of the buildings there were some cut lengths of Silver Birch timber, which had been set aside to dry.  I rather liked them - and here are two images.

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