Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 286 - Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

More from the parrot family this week.  This is a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) investigating a hole in a tree just around the corner from last week's flock of Eastern Rosellas.

Like most parrots, these birds are really rather smart.  They are also noisy, destructive and fun to watch.  I assume that I consider them 'fun to watch' because they are not destroying the wires and gutters of my house!

These birds are about 50cm long and can be found all over the eastern and northern parts of Australia.  Their voices can not really be described as melodic, but their raucous calls are a really iconic part of the bush soundscape in this part of the world.









As ever, to join in with WBW just click on the blue button below the thumbnails - feel free to share a link to this page on the many and varied forms of social media that we now use every day!  

cheers - SM

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The camera you have...

I cant claim to be indifferent to conversations about camera gear - but in the end I do find the endless fixation with focal lengths, shutter speeds and ISOs to miss the point.  The first thing you need is a vision of the picture you want, and then you use the gear you have to produce it.  Or produce a picture as close to it as you can.

I was out for a walk recently - actually looking for fishing spots - when I saw these Australasian Swamphens on a fence.  The only camera I had with me was on my phone.  These are the images I managed to make.




I really like the middle one of these pictures.  More pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM

Friday, 12 January 2018

Evening at Chateau Yering

Chateau Yering is a vineyard in the Yarra Valley - about one hour from home.  Had an overnight there earlier in the week.  All very relaxing.

Here are some low light shots from the end of the day.





I have applied a filter called "just a little too much red wine" to these images!

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

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 285 - Eastern Rosella

The Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) is a wonderful looking bird.  Unfortunately, I find them to be rather camera shy and nervous in the extreme.  They are not really uncommon, but as a result of their flighty nature, I see this bird far more often than I photograph it.

When I was out looking for the Powerful Owls last week I found a small flock the Rosellas.  While these are not the best pictures in the world I thought that people would like to see them as the bird is so brightly coloured.

This bird is about 30cm long and can be found in south east Australia and Tasmania. Due to their use as a logo on a bottle our family name for these birds is a Tomato Sauce Rosella - and of course I would never use that in the presence of serious birders!







As ever, to join in with WBW just click on the blue button below the thumbnails - feel free to share a link to this page on the many and varied forms of social media that we now use every day!  

cheers - SM

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Blue-Tongue

During a brief wander at Studley Park this week, I stumbled upon a Blue-Tongue lizard - in fact a Blotched Blue-Tongue (Tiliqua nigrolutea) if we want to be specific.

Blue-Tongues are large skinks - with this animal being about 45cm long.  As is the way with these animals, it was really doing all that much - just passing through as it looked for food.

When I was checking through the images I took at home, I noticed the two creamy white objects behind the lizards from leg. (Best seen in the 3rd picture) With the help of some people on a reptile forum I was able to find out that they are ticks - apparently most blue-tongues carry a few.  When I found this out, my toes curled up a bit!

In the second picture, you can see why these skinks are known as blue-tongues!





More pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM

Friday, 5 January 2018

Football Sky

One of my last 'outings' of 2017, was a trip to the football with H. Fun was had by all I think - except the fans of the away team, the Newcastle Jets, who had to watch their team be beaten 2-1 by Melbourne Victory.

One of the more remarkable things is that the sky went from cloudy grey to orange for a short time.  These are phone shots - but you get the idea.




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

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 284 - Powerful Owl

Well, the first WBW of 2018 gets off to a good start via my last real birding trip of 2017.  With the help of a fellow birder I was able to get wonderful views of a family of Powerful Owls (Ninox strenua). The family - an adult female and two young - were showing well once we found them - although they were close to invisible from the path.  One of the young birds was far more active than the other, and the mother spend a few minutes sorting out some stray feathers.  This activity seemed to be a great interest to the more lively of the young ones.

Powerful Owls are Australia's largest owl - being about 65cm long - are are only found in east and south east Australia.  I had not seen any during 2017, so it was a nice way to end the year.  

These owls feed on possums, and you can see the size of the young birds feet in the last image.

Wonderful birds.
Young Bird
Young Bird x2
Adult female
Young Bird
Whole group
Young Bird
Whole group - female preening
Whole group - female preening 
Whole group - female preening 
Whole group - female preening 
Whole group - female preening 
Whole group - note size of feet.
To join in with WBW just click on the Blue Button below the thumbnails and follow the instructions. Feel free to invite all and any bloggers who may be interested.  Cheers and a Happy New Year.  SM

Monday, 1 January 2018

The Watcher

Welcome to 2018!

On one of my last birding trips of 2017 I was waiting to start a walk, when I noticed this head sticking out of the long grass by the edge of the carpark.  A bird, watching a bird watcher.  On a point of completeness, it's a White-faced Heron.



More pictures from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM