Monday, October 16, 2017

Local

I took this pic one afternoon when I took a quick look around down at the bay just to make sure everything was still the same!These people were on holiday and told me they were filling in time while younger members of their family were off on more active pursuits. They knew lots more about fish and fishing than I did and told me what small fish they had already spotted. This is where I used to launch my kayak and I don't think I have ever seen fish right there!  I hope they had some good luck!
All these birds I saw and photographed one afternoon around my house I often see Galahs flying over but they only come down on the lawn when I haven't mowed the grass for some time and there is a good crop of dandelions for them to enjoy. Galahs always amuse me, They have a slow and rather stately movement but they waddle not walk! Also a lot of my photos show that sideways look where one eye is half closed!
This is a little Willie Wagtail that spent a lot of time around my yard some weeks ago. I think there was a pair of them and they were the first birds to call in the morning and the last ones at night also. They frequently came and sat on the top of what used to be the pen where the cat was enclosed - but that was a while ago and much of the wire had rusted and fallen away. They knew all the ways in and out and obviously felt quite secure up there.
This is a little sparrow. They are relatively new to my yard and quite new to this whole district. Why did they come here? I wonder what has attracted them into the yard and is one of my neighbors feeding them. There is quite a flock of them around by the sounds of them in the bushes outside my house.

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gymea Lilies

I have posted about Gymea lilies some time ago but this has been an exceptional season which has had an impact on all growing things in my yard. My Gymea lilies were given to me some years ago as very small plants by a friend. I have a number of plants in different places around the yard but this year must have just suited the plants in the front yard. I don't know if it was the very warm winter or the lack of rain. All except one plant has flowered and this has been quite spectacular.  The first two plants to put up a flower stem were right in among the palms and the flowers became very high - I am guessing about 5 meters high.  I kept photographing these first two flowers but they did not become fully formed perfect flowers. I don't know if it was just too dry.

Then another plant started to flower and this flower was only a couple of meters tall and much easier to photograph.  It was interesting to see it gradually open up.

One of the other plants put up a flower stem right among the palms and the flower started to open before it got clear of he palm frond

Now I wonder if it was the lack of rain that damaged those first two flowers or if it was maybe those 'wicked' Blue-faced Honeyeaters?They are so aggressive and constantly pull apart the beautiful blue and white flowers on the strelitzia nicolia. They also made my poor little cat's life a misery if they ever caught her out in the open! She would crouch down under a plant and cry until the dog came and rescued her. The dog loved it! These were one of the few birds she was allowed to chase!! (These bird photos were taken a while ago.)

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, October 2, 2017

Return to Blogging

First - I want to state that it is much easier to stop blogging than to start again!

This strange creature climbed half way up one of the posts on my verandah.  I never saw it climbing up there but then I didn't sit and watch it! I have never been really interesting in "bugs and bities" but when something like this comes right in front of you, it is necessary to take a photo and at least find out what it is. This is a Case Moth and it is well camouflaged. The (caterpillar/ grub/) creature (?) is inside that case and able to move around. It eventually comes out as a fully formed moth. I found a lot of pages of descriptions on-line and this is one of them http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/psyc/elong.html

No photo for this next part - I hope your imagination is working well! I have just had cataracts taken off both eyes.  This is day surgery and you are given what they call a twilight anaesthetic- which means that you are awake all the time but don't feel any pain.  When I came out from the operating theater I was lying flat on a bed/trolley and swathed or cocooned in a warm fluffy brown blanket with just my head poking out.  As others also came out they were the same way. I felt like a brown moth and wished I could draw everyone all lined up this way. As soon as possible we were sat up in an easy chair and given a cup of tea or coffee and something to eat. By the way - my eyes are much improved and my sight is so much better. I just wish there were something similar that could be done for the macular degeneration!

My eye specialist  is down on the Sunshine Coast - about an hour and a half drive away. By the time we got home it was nearly dark but there to welcome us were at least a dozen White Cockatoos swinging on the electricity wires at the gate and all yelling in typical "cockie" fashion. No  photos taken right then but here are a couple of photos taken a while ago when the birds were putting on a similar show in my back yard.

 Now it is just a matter of keeping up blogging!!

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, May 8, 2017

Lookng Back

  Looking forward - one would hope for a sustainable future for all these long distance migrants but it is not a very hopeful outlook. As I said in my last post Eastern Curlews have just been declared Critically Endangered. So this is a partial record of my sightings of Eastern Curlews over the past 10 years or so since I have lived here.
I first identified Eastern Curlews in places like this - way out on the sand flats - such a distinctive looking bird with that huge down-bent beak. There is never any chance of sneaking up closer they are just so 'flighty'. A friend suggested to me that behavior may have been bred into them through generations when their size made them desirable food additions all up and down the flyway.
Eastern Curlews are some of the first migrants to return in the spring. This photo was taken in September out at Inskip Point.My own observations suggest that a lot of birds stop in at this place before moving on to other roosts either further south or in other places around the Straits.  A lot of the birds are seen sleeping - despite the people walking all around the area - not to mention the vehicle traffic! Also see the half-closed eyes on some of the birds.
I have seen Eastern Curlews in most of the roost sites around the bay but often there are only one or two together. However, the Mullens roost site usually has a larger number together. They are always at the back of other migratory birds or else further back on the roost. This was a lower tide with more sand and salt marsh exposed but the Curlews were well back behind other birds.
Eastern Curlews look especially beautiful in photos where their under wings can be seen.

I have never thought that birds with mainly brown and tan colors looked their best against a background of brown vegetation . There is only one place on this roost where the birds can be seen with water in front and behind them.  It took me years to find cooperative birds, the right tide height and nice sunny conditions. This photo is the result.

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday




Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Autumn in Cooloola

The very early part of the day is always the best for me. I like to sit in front of my big window that faces out over my yard towards the north east and just watch as the day dawns and the sun slowly comes up. The other morning this is what it looked like. A few hours later all the cloud had blown away and we had another sunny dry day.
A few days later this is what it was like - but an equally nice day followed..
I had hoped to post on this blog more regularly but "things" happen unfortunately.
Start with a visit to my eye specialist! I am still grateful for his abilities - but that does not mean that I like the treatments!! Then I finally decided that I would not put up with the computer monitor I had been using so had to make a decision about what to replace it with. To finish everything off my Kindle "packed it in"!! I find it so much easier to be able to enlarge the print and to make it brighter that I am getting nearly all my new reading matter on that. When I went to order another one on Amazon a little message popped up saying they no longer shipped that out to Australia. 
OH well, I guess everything is relative - the worst news of the week came in with some birding promotional material in the mail. Eastern Curlews are now listed as Critically Endangered. I jumped in the car and drove around the waterfront to see what migratory shorebirds I could see but I am a bit late - they all seem to have left for the northern hemisphere. So now it is a matter of waiting for next spring and seeing what turns up
I also intend to go back over my photo archives and  show curlews and places I have seen them regularly over the years.
These were the only shorebirds I saw anywhere - and even these did not give me a look at their eyes - which are blue and the prettiest part of them I think. They are Little Black Cormorants and often sit up on these light poles. There have been attempts made to keep them off the poles but it looks to me as if the weather and maybe birds pecking at the bits have gradually taken off the extra bits on the poles.
There was also one bird down on the boat ramp that popped back into the water and swam for a few moments before it disappeared under the water.

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday





















Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Close to Home

Yesterday I had a look around the Mullens picnic area. This is the closest part of the bay from where I live. The tide was good and high and there was almost no wind. It would have been a perfect day for a kayak. (Maybe sometime I will be able to get out there again!) The one thing I had forgotten was how bad the small biting insects are after some rain!
The sky was grey towards the east so the sea was also grey in that direction.

I went around to the boat ramp where the creek goes west and such a difference!

I hoped to see some birds in my own backyard but they were not around. I got up very early this morning hoping to catch some as they flew over at that time.
The light was beautiful and as the sun rose there were even more beautiful patterns on the palm leaves.
Unfortunately, this was one morning when the birds had decided to fly over elsewhere. The only ones I saw flocks of where Rainbow Lorikeets but they are too fast to get good in-flight photos I find. Some came down and roosted in the pine tree next door but I only got glimpses of the color up high.

This Kookaburra saved the morning for me. It sat up on the electricity wires and blinked at me but the early morning sun made its plumage very beautiful.

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Back to a Routine

Hopefully!
Before I start on my personal tale of woe I want to thank all of you who keep blogging and write such interesting posts! You are much appreciated even though I have not commented on your posts for quite a while 😊
It has been hot, hot, hot! I have lived up here for more than 13 years but I don't ever remember it being quite this hot before. It was often quite pleasant before sun-rise but soon after that even sitting at the computer would make the sweat start dipping and the clothes unpleasantly damp. I put in a couple of wall mounted air-conditioners when I had the house built but they are noisy and I found I could not live comfortably with them on all day. Added to all that I am still having trouble with my eyes. I am very grateful that my vision has been saved but constant head-aches are not easy to put up with! It has finally cooled down and we missed the extreme weather brought in by cyclone Debbie!
Here are some good things in my yard over the last couple of months. Some of the trees flowered more prolifically than they have for several years. This is an Ivory Curl Tree (Buckinghamia celissima). The flowers have quite a strong perfume.
This the top of my Leopard Tree(Caesalpinea ferrea).This year it had more flowers than it usually has and there must have been a  good amount of nectar because the birds came over in flocks and perched up in the top. Unfortunately the tree is now so tall that the birds up in the top are well hidden and I didn't get any good photos.
The flowers I am most pleased about are the Gymea Lilies. There are more of them flowering than ever before. However, they are very slow to come into flower and I have been waiting for months for some of them to come right out in flowers. This is one of the smaller plants and the flower stem is only a couple of meters tall. That green top will eventually come out in a spectacular red bloom.
The really tall ones are up in the tops of the palms - I am guessing 3-4 meters tall.This year the big flowers are not quite as red.
I wonder if they will get a darker color as they come out more.
There are always birds around somewhere. In the worst of the heat even the birds disappeared a couple of hours after sunrise. Crows can look quite beautiful against a bright sky.
I heard a bit of noise from the local birds one morning and counted 20 of these Common Myna. They are not native birds and are quite aggressive and can eventually displace many of the native species. I knew they had come into this district a couple of years ago and I have seen a couple at a time. But with a group this big they must have been breeding locally. 

For more scenery  from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.