Monday, 30 May 2016

.........Pea Green Boat

A recent 52 Frames topic was "My Bed Room" - and given that I have a long term ownership dispute with Mr. Hudson over this particular piece of real estate I thought this would be appropriate picture.

I also like the reference to rather well known Edward Lear poem!

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

PS: replies may be slow this week due to jet lag and overseas travel.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Pelican Sky

These were taken while ago - but I am always amazed that a bird this big can fly!

These birds are Australasian Pelican, gliding in to land on Port Phillp Bay.

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 200 - A few Highlights

Greetings, in July of 2012 I posted the first Wild Bird Wednesday link up (following about 90 World Bird Wednesdays over at Pine River Review) - at that point I would have laughed if you said I would still be doing it 200 weeks later!

Well, I am, and for a good number of you, so are you!

As is the way with my life, things are busy and my planned 'birthday' celebration has been reduced to a 'highlights' reel from the last 100 WBWs.  So, here there are:

Arctic Tern, Farne Islands, UK

Brown Noddy, Lord Howe Island, Australia
Crested Shrike Tit, Phillip Island, Australia

Gang Gang Cockatoo, Halls Gap, Australia

Black Headed Gulls, Seahouse, UK

Jackdaw, Bempton Cliffs, UK

Laughing Kookaburra, Halls Gap, Australia 
Masked Lapwing, Churchill Island, Australia
Puffin, Farne Islands, UK
Tree Sparrows, Bempton Cliffs, UK
Hope some of your favourite shots are here.  The WBW community is stable about about 45 to 50 bloggers each week, but there is always room for more.  So, as a special 200th birthday activity, why not share the link for WBW through any social media that your use - Facebook, Twitter and such like!

Now - for the 200th time, it's your turn.  Click the blue button and off you go.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Powerhouse Museum

The Powerhouse Museum is a museum that focuses on technology in Sydney.  We had a good time there and I would recommend it as a place to pass a few hours.

I was not in 'photographer mode' during this visit - but I did stop to take this low angle, long exposure  of these planes.  If you look at the left side of the picture, you can see some 'ghosts' - i.e. people walking through the field of view during the shot.  I always like that kind of thing.

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

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 199 - Spotless Crake

One week to go until it's Wild Bird Wednesday 200!

Until then I will continue as normal!

This weeks bird is the Spotless Crake (Porzana tabuensis), a rare example of the a bird where the common name and the reality seem to coincide.  This bird is about 20cm long and has the typical reclusive habits of most rails - i.e. it likes hiding in reeds and dense vegetation and only coming out when you are looking in the other direction!

However, this individual must have been a bit of an exhibitionist as it came out on a number of occasions and sat in a rather nice patch of light!

This bird was photographed at that most remarkable location, Werribee Sewage Plant - which despite (or maybe because ) of its nature is a real hot spot for birds.

So, it all its spotless glory, I give you the Spotless Rail.

As ever, these picture look much better larger - so click on them to make them expand.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Sydney at sunset

A very brief - and archive based - post this week.

These are some pictures from around Sydney Harbour bridge from a trip in January.

Busy week!

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

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 198 - Powerful Owl

I have said on a number of occasions that I dont seem to get as many pictures of birds of prey as some people - and this week I finally managed to get some pictures of a bird I have wanted to see for ages.

The Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) is the largest owl in Australia - with males and females being between 50 and 60cm tall,  with a wingspan between 110 and 140cm.  Males can weigh almost 1.5kg.  By any measure this is an impressive owl.

I was lucky enough to see some report of this species on an web-forum, so I grabbed my cameras and headed off.  The birds were reported to be in the 'New Zealand Collection' of the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, which is not a small area - so I was lucky again when some of the staff at the garden pointed me in the right direction.

I was be reasonable to say I was rather excited.  These owl feed on possums and many sightings include the rather gory spectacle of a less than well marsupial hanging from the claws of the owl.  Luckily for the possums and possibly unluckily for me, this was not the case when I saw them.

So, here in all their glory are two Powerful Owl.  I am still really pleased to have seem them!

This is a different bird to the pictures above
This is a different bird to the pictures above

Click on the blue button to link up to Wild Bird Wednesday.  (And I can't help but note that in two weeks, it will be the 200th time I have written something like that!) SM

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Rafted Up

I spent a day at the Western Treatment Plant aka Werribee Sewage Farm this weekend - and a good day it was.

Although these pictures do not show a rare - or even appreciated bird - the sheer number of Eurasian Coots in these pictures gives you so idea of the numbers of birds that this location supports.  More pictures to follow soon.

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

Monday, 9 May 2016

Red and Blue

The themes for the last two weeks in 52Frames were red and blue.  These are the pictures I submitted.

Pip in the evening light at Flinders - red, red, red!

The old Citi Bank Building in Camberwell.  The was a gap in the roof of the covered walkway next to the building - bit of a gift really!  SM

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 197 - White-winged Chough

During my trip on to Serendip Sanctuary this Saturday I was very pleased to encounter a flock of 30 or more White-winged Choughs.  I have never managed to get any pictures of this species before, so I  was thrilled to be able to sit almost in the middle of this flock as they washed in a spring and generally did some plumage maintenance.

I have always found this species a bit 'flighty' and have never been able to get up this close to them before.  The behaviour of this flock was much more in line with the 'text books' that say these birds are often tame and approachable.

The White-winged Chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos) is a member of the of a group of birds called the "Australian Mud Nesters" which reflects the fact that they make their nests from mud!  But much more interesting is that they are 'obligate co-coperative' breeders.  This means that an adult breeding pair can only successful breed when it has help from other birds.  These 'other birds' are often the offspring of the pair from previous years.  This breeding strategy is through necessary because of the difficulty just two birds would have in finding enough food to feed the current years chicks.

A number of people have suggested that this 'cooperative' approach, which is found in more species of birds in Australia than anywhere else in the world, is a result of Australia's highly variable climate.    A little bit of reading suggests that what I saw was in fact the aggregation of a number of breeding groups rather than one large one.   I have to say watching them was great fun as the squabbled and bickered with each other!

As you can see from the final image, the white-wing is not always visible - and can only be seen clearly when the bird is in flight.

Click on the familiar blue button to join in with WBW!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

A Quollity Animal.

I dont normally post pictures of captive animals - in fact I dont really take many pictures of captive animals - but this is an exception due to the extreme Quollity of this animal!

This is a Tiger Quoll, or Spotted-tailed Quoll - Dasyurus maculates - which is a cat sized marsupial predator.  In my part of Australia this species has suffered a huge decline in range and abundance since European settlement - although there have been some encouraging sightings of the species in recent years.  This animal is one of a (very) small group breeding group held at Serendip Sanctuary, about an hour from my house.

This Quoll (pronounced to rhyme with doll) was having a bit of laze about it what may be the last warm sun for a while.  Once I managed to find a way to shoot pictures through the leaves I was please to see the quoll open its eyes and have a bit of a look around.

What a Quollity animal!

You can can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday, although I doubt you find too many other quoll posts!  SM