Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Backyard Blues!

The excessive heat has moderated a little but now we are faced with rain - non of it too heavy and not constant!  However, even showers that come and go most of the day can make things uncomfortably damp. The plants love it and my lawn is well out of control. For the last three days I have walked out on the grass first thing in the morning to check how 'squishy' it is under my feet.When I make wet muddy marks in the ground I know it is impossible for the mower!  Here's hoping for later today!
What I do not understand is why so many birds love it. The other morning quite a large flock of Lorikeets flew over. Then I heard a few that had settled in the palms along my boundary fence. No flowers there so what had attracted them? I moved slowly around hoping to get a better view. Fortunately, I did click one photo from a less than perfect angle and then they all flew off. The photo shows 4 birds but I counted 8 as they flew past me.
Later I saw that the birds were eating from the bunch of seeds these palms have grown this year.
Next day I tried for a better photo when I heard the birds again but a rain shower started again and I went inside very damp and had to quickly dry  drops off the camera as well.  Photos showed even more damp than I had realized and even the bird's plumage showed damp!

For more photos from around the world visit Our World Tuesday.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Low Tide

Finally I am posting again !  First the excessive heat broke but in typical Queensland fashion we then got very heavy rain. Right around where  I live we escaped the floods BUT water plus heat makes a sauna! Even typing at my computer is enough to make the perspiration run!  Contrary  to  what you northerners are saying we are consoling ourselves with the thought that summer must soon come too an end!

After my last two posts I needed to show what low tide is like on the bay around here.  After  seeing what high tide looks like it is a little hard to imagine low tide in the same places. The bay has very low gradients all over so contrary to what it looks like it is possible to walk out for a very long way. I have watched fishermen wade back to shore from such a distance out that I have not been able to recognize them until they got almost back  This photo shows the little creek that the boats use to launch only a few meters further up stream.  The water now is only ankle deep - I have frequently walked all over this area.  The creek divides here and the deepest channel is over by the mangrove trees in the background.
 of course, this wide expanse of sand is ideal for shorebirds to feed. The birds roost up on higher ground as the tide comes in but then follow the water as it falls away. Sand is softer where it is close to the water and the long beaks on the shorebirds can be damaged if they are knocked on hard things. I have occasionally seen a bird with a beak pushed out of shape but I am told that they will die quickly because they can't eat like this. On very low tides one only sees birds right down along the channels in the distance. Way out close to a channel I have found there is more mud than sand and it is definitely not good for watching birds. Shorebird watching needs to be done close to one of their high tide roosts. Shorebirds use the same high tide roosts day after day - and even year after year. From our observations around the bay we have seen slight changes in the birds' preferences for roosts because of the tide height.
I don't have anything new or exciting for bird photos I WILL NOT  and CAN NOT go bird watching in this heat!! BUT there is nothing more Australian than a kookaburra. I think they have been increasing around my house because I have been hearing a group of them giving their group call very early in the morning for some mornings now. I am told that this is a group territorial call.  The first bird was sitting up on the roof of my house and the other bird was on a tree close to my friend's house,

For more photos from around the world visit Our World Tuesday 

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Very High Tide 2

These are the photos I took of the very high tide around at Mullens. I had hoped to go back and get some photos of the same places when the tide was out - but -  the temperatures this week are too high to make it comfortable to wander around during the day time. 39 Centigrade  is over 100 Fahrenheit - just too hot for me!This extreme heat is predicted to last for another week but after that I shall go down to Mullens again and take some nice sandy photos to show what it is usually like.
This is the boat ramp where the bigger boats are launched,
This is the area immediately down from the car park.
Looking south across the creek where the boats go out onto the bay,
The same area but looking up towards the bank where cars usually park to be close to the water but not right in it!  All the leaves under the trees get picked up on a high tide like this.
With the tide this high more of the mangroves close to the sea are right in the water and with no wind look very beautiful.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Very HighTide

With two major events in one day I had to attempt to document them. The most important one - the special moon - I had little hope of really seeing it. I am NOT a night person - so the best I could do was catch a photo early in the night to at least show I tried!!
The other big event was a very high tide. Although it was too hot to want to go wandering around outside I could at least get in the car with the air conditioner going and drive to what I wanted to see and photograph. First I went to the Norman Point end of Tin Can Bay and photographed the boat ramp for small private boats.
Then I went to the other end of town to the Crab creek end,  There was more activity there with quite a few small boats lined up at the boat ramp.
There was also a group of four people enjoying the water.
Finally I saw three kayakers coming close. They were all in the kind of kayak which is moved along with paddles moved by the feet while you sit back and rest much more comfortably than in the kind of kayak I am used to where you paddle with arm movements. However I am told that these kayaks weigh quite a bit more and I think that would make problems for putting them up on my roof racks.
This is also the area that I have taken photos of all the high tides over the years. The highest tide I have seen came up and washed over this walking path - and this one this year was nowhere near that height.
The only birds I saw were these Crested Pigeons. They are pretty but quite common.
I also got some nice pics  of the high tide down at Mullens - but that can be posted in the next post.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Late December

I long ago decided that I preferred a sunny Christmas to one where I was surrounded by snow and ice. However, I also find that high humidity and temperatures of 34-35 degrees - 93-95F-  is not really comfortable - at least outside. So I have been making use of  my air conditioner and these photos are from around my yard rather than out on more extensive walks.
There has been enough rain that the palms and trees still look nice and green.
This is a Crepe Myrtle - one of the few trees flowering at present.
The other afternoon I noticed  a small brown bird  hopping around on my lawn. I kept still and it eventually came close enough for me to get clear photos. It  was an Australian Pipet. My book says that they are common across Australia.I have seen them at other times but their small size - 15-17cms - and habit of quickly flying off somewhere else means this is the first time I have got reasonable photos.

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Weather Dependent!

Sometimes,even with the best intentions, it is not possible to photograph the birds. It has been raining for a couple of weeks. Much of the time it has been just light showers - but enough to make you wet if you stay out in it! Yesterday morning we had a heavy downpour and the photo shows my back yard. Then by afternoon the sun was out again and it felt like a sauna. Now the weather bureau says we can expect more of the same for the next week. Oh well! This too shall pass!!

For more scenery from around the world visit Out World Tuesday

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fairy-wrens

I take frequent short trips down to the Mullens foreshore but unfortunately it is not a part of the bay often frequented by shorebirds. It is always beautiful no matter the weather.
I also find the trees that dabble their stems in the water - mangroves - very beautiful.
The other day I took this photo looking north along the shore. The boat would be well up on dry land when the tide went out - and I hope the fisherman had some luck after standing out in the water for so long.

A couple of weeks ago several bloggers posted photos of  Fairy-wrens on this meme. I waited for others to show some of the other very colorful Fairy-wrens but since no one did I went back into my photo archives so that all the overseas birders could get an idea of the variety of such birds you can see.
These first birds are the ones that were posted a few weeks ago - Superb Fairy -wrens. For some reason I have never seen these birds right in my area. According to my birding books they should be here! I saw these ones on a trip out west my sister and I took a few years ago at a place called Mitchell.  I have included photos of the little brown females - which I find difficult to ID.
The only blue colored wren that I have seen right in my own area is the Variegated Fairy-wren Malarus assimilis.I have frequently seen this bird on the bushy walk out to Inskip Point but it likes the more dense shrubs and is not easy to follow or to photograph.  The colors are especially bright!

The Red-backed Fairy-wren Malarus melanocephalis is fairly common around here and I took these photos out at Inskip Point and at Bullock Point.


For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday