Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Locals - Again

First these were called "Bottlebrush" then they become known as "Callistemon" and now they are "Melaleuca". Whatever the name the honey/nectar eating birds love them. I have a number of these bushes growing down the sides of my place. There are a number of red flowering ones and also ones with pale cream flowers. At present there is only this red one flowering.

Yesterday there were a number of Little Friarbirds (Philemon citreogularis) on the flowers. Little Friarbirds have a naked bluish/grey skin on the head and face.

This is a Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus). The head is naked with black skin covering it. The most distinctive feature is that upright knob on the bill.

These Blue-faced Honeyeaters (Entomyson cyanotis) are usually somewhere close but yesterday they were high up on the pine tree next door.

This is a female Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) - I used to know them as Pee-wees.There are a pair of these that spend most of their time in the big pine tree next door but find most of their food somewhere on my lawn.

For more scenes from around the world visit Our World Tuesday 

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Meet the Locals

I love roses! Where I lived before I had them rioting up and over the garage roof and growing far taller than they were supposed to. They were beautiful! BUT when I had to go and prune them they ripped my skin wherever they caught me - so in this house I decided no roses. Except, that is, for little
Banksia roses. They have no thorns, look like tiny roses and smell like roses as well. I have planted a screen of them just outside the kitchen window.

I also enjoy an expansive yard around me. It would, however, be better if I enjoyed working in the garden and mowing the lawns. Over the last few weeks I have neglected the yard, and the grass is long and the dandelions are standing tall and yellow and beautiful. The only time I see Galahs is when the lawn is in this condition. These birds are such fun to watch.

I seldom see Magpies in my yard but my friends always have them. I took my camera when I went for afternoon tea the other day. This birds is a young one - still showing more grey than black in its plumage.

This is an adult. It was sitting on the branch and singing/warbling.

These are Tawny Frogmouths. Although they can be hard to find my friends often have them in their yard. It is a large yard with lots of mature trees - and no cats, dogs, or kids! Two birds were sitting one above the other in the same tree. The lower birds was hidden behind the leaves.
The other one was easier to see.

This is a full crop to show the head .

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lake Alford in Gympie

The other day I visited Lake Alford in Gympie. This is a small lake right next to the highway coming in to Gympie. It is surrounded by well mown lawns, concrete paths and picnic tables.
The ponds are filled with all the more common water birds - but these are ones that I don't usually see out here on the bay. They are easy to photograph because they expect hand-outs from visitors! I was photographing birds on one end of the pond when they all took off for the other side of the pond. There were several mothers with small children that were happily throwing food to the ducks and whatever other birds came over.

I always look for the pair of Black Swans that are usually there but this time there were about 10 of them. I found it hard to get a good count as I was focused in on my photos and they were constantly moving. There was one pair with fairly young juveniles. The young ones were still in their grey plumage.

The numbers and varieties of ducks changes with the seasons. This is a Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa).It is common over most of Australia where there is water.

This is a Hardhead (Aythya australis). This is a male - the female has a dark eye.

These two birds are very common - an Australian White Ibis and a Dusky Moorhen.

I only looked at the main pond but if you walk around and watch carefully there are lots of other birds around. Go over to my friend's blog (Out and about in Cooloola) and see what she photographed just one day after I went there!

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Perfect Weather

Blue skies, sunshine, almost no wind - and even the locals were tempted out onto the water. I had decided to just go for a walk along the shoreline but wished I had gone down with my kayak!


Paddle Boards have become popular out here recently but they definitely perform better on calm water!

There were also a couple of people on kayaks.

There are always numbers of power boats around - plus the occasional sail boat.

There were plenty of birds high in the trees and bush but few of them came within reach of my lens. This one came down into the bush ahead of me and when I saw its fish-shaped tail flicking I knew that it was a Spangle Drongo. There seem to be a lot of them around right now.

I haven't walked any distance along the shoreline for quite some time so was more anxious to walk than to stop and patiently wait for photo ops for birds! In habitat like this you need a lot of patience! This little Brown Honeyeater came close but kept behind the bushes.

Grey Mangrove trees flower around Christmas time but there were quite a lot of mangrove seeds washed up at the tide line. The covering on the seed splits open when it reaches land and the bright green leaves push out and eventually the roots as well.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday 

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bush Birds and Beach Birds

Yesterday I spent a few hours visiting some of the places close by that I always enjoy. I had friends with me from New Zealand who have been here before and really like these places as well. I think it is always more enjoyable with friends who share your enjoyment.
Seary's Creek picnic spot is along the road to Rainbow Beach. There is a short boardwalk down to a creek. The water in the creek is usually tea colored from the vegetation along the banks.

There are always lots of birds in the area - but they don't often cooperate with photo opportunities. I saw - and nearly got photos of - a Lewin's Honeyeater. When I got home and looked at my photos they were either blurred or only part of the bird was visible in the thick trees. This Silver Eye was high in a tree and against the light but the distinctive eye was clearly visible.

Rainbow Beach is always worth an extra look but there was a cold wind blowing and no-one in the water swimming.

We went up on the cliffs overlooking the beach to enjoy our afternoon tea.

The last stop for the afternoon was over at Carlo Creek. This has a boat ramp and wharf where the off-shore fishing charters start from. Of course there are also lots of small private fishing boats as well and the Pelicans know there is sometimes a free feed of fish given away! The tide was going out and these birds were resting on an exposed sand bank. Pelicans look so graceful swimming on the water but they turn into untidy bunches of feathers when they are resting on land.

There were others waiting around a small boat ramp.

This bird came for a closer look at us. The feet under the water move it along quite fast as seen by the wake behind the bird.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Palms and Cockatoos

I enjoy all the palms in my backyard. When the wind is blowing the sunlight glints off the fronds in constantly changing patterns. The sound of the wind through the palms is also quite different from wind through any other tree or shrub. These are leaves of the Travelers Palm with some fronds of an Alexandra Palm on the front right.

This is another Alexandra Palm

This is a Golden Cane Palm

Palm fronds first come out tightly curled and sticking straight up. This is when the birds like to cling to them. The other morning a small flock of Sulphur crested Cockatoos flew over and settled in the top of the palms at the bottom of the garden. It was very early before the sun was up so the photos are grey instead of blue and white! When "Cockies" fly in a flock somewhere they all screech as loudly as they can. I guess for them it is a way of communicating - for a human it is just pure noise! They sat up on the top fronds and jostled for the best and highest position.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.