Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 278 - Royal Spoonbill

This weeks WBW is brought to you by one of the better beaks - or maybe bills - in the world of birds.  The Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) is generally spotless white, sports a 20cm long spatulate (spoon-shaped!) bill, and in breeding plumage also has a few patches of colour.  All in all its an impressive bird.

The breeding plumage a buff 'wash' on the breast - although this bird seems to have more than I would call a wash - long plumes off the back of the head and yellow patches of skin over the eyes and a pink patch in the middle of the forehead.  As far as I am aware, the male and females both have this set of colours.

This bird was loafing around in some shallow water near a boat ramp, which is not where I normally expect to see them.  My experience of these birds is that they are rather more shy than that.  As you may anticipate, I did not complain about its cooperativeness!

To join in with WBW just click the blue button below the thumbnails - SM.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Out and About

A number of people seem to assume that I spend my life jetting all over the globe - and only rarely call Australia home!  Well, thats not really the case!  The truth is, that when I am overseas I take huge numbers of pictures - and when I'm at home, I'm (far too) often at work.

So, in an attempt to redress the balance and provide some Australia content, here are some picture from a recent trip down to Apollo Bay - which is a costal town in Victoria.   The beach scenes are from Apollo Bay, and the forests are from a grove of Californian Redwoods, which were planted near a settlement called (rather confusingly under the circumstances) Beech Forest!

As you can see, this was a trip of beaches and forests and sunshine and showers.

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

Friday, 17 November 2017

Through a Swiss Window

Jungfraujoch is a saddle - an area of lower ground - between some pretty impressive mountains in Switzerland.  It sits about about 3460 m above sea level.  Luckily you can get there by train!

About a forty minute walk from the train station is a mountain hut, that is used by climbers as a base.  It has a cafe where I drank some of the best hot chocolate and cold water I have ever had!

These are some things I saw from the windows in the hut.

You can find more skies from around the world at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 277 - Little Pied Cormorant

The Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) is Australia's smallest cormorant.  It's found over much of the country - with the (unsurprising) exception of the western desert areas.

This bird was sitting on a rock in the small harbour at Queenscliff in Victoria.  This bird is in the classic 'wing-drying' pose.  In this case the bird probably is drying its wings, which is not always the case for birds in this pose!  In some birds - such as Anhingas - the position may be more to do with temperature regulation than just feather drying.

This bird was a little more cooperative than normal for cormorants, and it stayed on its rock for a while as I photographed it.  Eventually it was spooked off by the arrival of some ducks - which just goes to show I am less intimidating than a duck!

To join in with WBW just click the blue button below the thumbnails - SM.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Scenic Cows

While we were wander about above First in Switzerland, we met these scenic cows.

Very nice of the authorities to have put them there for us and the other visitors!

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

Saturday, 11 November 2017

In Remembrance.

Mells is a small and classically English village; stone cottages, a small stream, a church whose origins can be traced back beyond 1292.

And a war memorial, with name after name.

And the grave of Siegfried Sassoon, whose writings about the First World War are as relevant today as they were on publication.

Sassoon had a significant influence on many of the writers who have become inextricably linked 
with the the First World War.  

One of the things I find remarkable about this grave is that it lies less than a 15 minute drive from where I was born - and yet I only found this out in recent years.

We promise not to forget, but seem unaware of those who would help us remember.   


Friday, 10 November 2017

Eiger Light 2

The light on the North Face of the Eiger from Grindelwald really was spectacular at times.  When the owner of the house we were trying came out to start taking pictures as well, I knew we were seeing something out of the ordinary!

I'll leave to you to see if you agree with me.

(I am not a real fan of 'over-cooked' images - and apart from a few small adjustment, these images have not be photoshopped to add light etc)

You can find more skies from around the world at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 276 - Silver Gull

The Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) is basically the default gull in Australia.  From my point of view, about 99% of all the gulls you see here are of this species.  They are, to say the least, but ubiquitous and abundant!

However, on close inspection they are also rather good looking - in that grey palette, with a brighter beak and legs kind of way.

This pictures are probably a little more portrait-like then many of my pictures, as these birds were stood in a concrete car park or on a rather new boat jetty.  Neither of the locations were particularly scenic!

To join in with WBW just click the blue button below the thumbnails - lets hope it shows up on time this week!  (sorry about that!)  SM

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Eiger Light

Just a brief post today.  We saw some pretty good sunsets in Switzerland - and this was one of them.  Last light on the Eiger north face.  Just wonderful.

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