Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Birds on the Roadside

It's been a while since I posted anything on this blog and even longer since I posted regularly. I am still here and still OK apart from a body that no longer always does what I want it to do! It is astonishing to me that all those breaks, and tears and sprains from a life-time ago have come back to haunt me! I am very grateful for all the birds I can see and hear out side my windows and especially grateful for all the folks that continue to post about interesting and beautiful birds in their own areas.
I am going to try to photograph some of the birds I see and hear close around - even if they are not always in picture-perfect poses.
We are well into summer now. Along with considerably warmer weather all the usual bugs and 'bities' have come out in their millions! My house is fully screened with very fine wire in the screens but things still manage to come in. A lot doesn't get in and numbers kill themselves against the lighted windows. The other morning I looked out to discover a very cheeky Pee-Wee sauntering down the back patio  and picking at the bugs that were littering the patio.
A couple of weeks ago there were Australian Wood Ducks right outside my front fence. I decided that by the time I went inside and and got my camera they would have moved too far away for great pics. When I went outside a couple of days ago they were back and this time I went inside for the camera to at least record them there. Australian Wood Ducks (Chenonetta jubata) look so different from the birds in the USA that are also called Wood Ducks. I frequently see these ducks wandering along beside the road. I think they are finding young and tender grass and weeds. It is a perilous place to take young ones and not a lot survive. This morning a male was walking along the far side of the road and the other adult - the female - was on this side with three young ones.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Beach Life

Rainbow Beach is the closest sea-side beach to where I live. Although it is only two or three
kilometers from the Straits and all the bay side waterways it is totally different.
I had worn a warm track suite that morning because there was a brisk wind blowing. However, as soon as I stepped out of the car I began to feel over-dressed. Other people around me were wearing bright shorts and shirts. Then I took a second look and these same people also had significantly paler skin! Tourists! Possibly southerners that are not used to Queensland weather!
As soon as I stepped down onto the beach I noticed a group riding horses along the beach. I don't know if this is a tourist thing also or if it is one of the local pony clubs.

Down close to the water the LifeGuards had a bright canvas shelter.

There were a couple of fellows just taking out a "rubber ducky" through the surf. (Rubber ducky is the name commonly given to the small boat the lifeguards use for rescues in the surf.) I'm sure this must have been for rescue practice but it looked like lots of fun!

There were dozens of birds swooping through the air just behind the beach sand hills . There must have been considerable numbers of insects to be caught but I soon decided I had no chance of catching the action on-wing. I assumed they were swallows of some kind but when one finally came in for a rest on a log barrier at the edge of the car park I saw it was a Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys). These little birds are very common and I have had one recently calling outside my house at daybreak.

For more scenery from around our world visit Our World Tuesday 

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


A bout of flu and associated ills left me disinclined to do anything energetic! However, it was a beautiful sunny day and I decided to get in the car and drive around the bay to Carlo. This is a popular boat anchorage with quite extensive wharves, plenty of room for launching smaller boats, and a row of small businesses and restaurants along the waterside.

One of the businesses along the waterfront advertises house boats for rent and while I was there one motored out and set off north along the Strait.

This is also where the boats leave for off-shore fishing charters. Away in the distance are the boats anchored in deep water just outside Tin Can Bay.

There were lots of birds swooping around after insects. I assumed they were swallows of some kind but I find if difficult to get any sort of in-flight shots - and I simply did not have the energy to try this day. The only ones I saw that came down and perched within reach of my lens were these ones. A knowledgeable friend tells me that they look like Tree Martins and this is where she has photographed them before.

There are always Pelicans somewhere around and when I walked north along the foreshore I found quite a group of them up in that area. Then I discovered the attraction was a group of fishermen cleaning their catch at one of the fishing tables. The Pelicans might look half asleep floating out on the water but they can move fast enough when any scraps are tossed out.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Early Morning

Join me! I am indulging in a my favorite morning occupation. Hot cup in hand I am sitting in my rocking chair in front of the glass sliding door in the family room. The room faces north and east and the chair is angled for me to watch the first gleams of the rising sun.

If I look a little further to the north there are several very tall stalks from my neighbor's yard. I think they are bamboo and the birds are enjoying them. At this hour the light changes very quickly. I amuse myself by trying to recognize bird silhouettes.

All during the day an assortment of birds fly on and fly off. Most of the birds are content to use the stalks as perches but the White Cockies seem to enjoy the taste. Bit by bit they break off the tops. These birds put on quite a show the other morning as they jostled for position and called raucously. Unfortunately white birds against grey sky don't make great photos. Late yesterday afternoon some Galahs flew in. I always think they are such pretty birds and against the late afternoon blue sky they looked even better.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Yard Birds

When I first came here to live I planted a lot of different palm trees in the yard. I had never lived this far north in the sub-tropics before and was delighted with all the palms that grew easily. (All you people in the northern hemisphere remember that you have an upside down view of where tropical climates are!!!!) Of all the different palms I planted this one is my favorite.It is a Bismarckia Nobilis. I love the blue color of its foliage.

Then the other afternoon I noticed a couple of Blue-faced Honeyeaters (Entomyzon cyanotis)sitting high on one of the leaves. I have tried for good photos of them over the last couple of days but when I was photographing them yesterday afternoon they suddenly started screaming and dive bombing me! I looked around and found my cat had followed me around .  These birds can be very aggressive! The dog used to keep them away from the house and in control! I wonder if they are nesting up in that palm? They are the only birds that I know that like to find a palm leaf partly folded in on itself and then build a nest closely folded in there.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, July 4, 2016

Around The Bay

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I decided to go down to Tin Can Bay and enjoy looking around the shoreline. There are always numbers of boats which use this part of the Strait as an anchorage.

I have often seen dinghies at the edge of the bay with someone rowing out to the larger boats. Sometimes then one of the boats will start to motor away and sometimes I think the owner is just checking out his boat and maybe doing some maintenance.

I started out at Norman Point where there is a small sand bank that often has birds sitting at the edge of the water. I expected to see at least Gulls and Terns but was a bit surprised when there was nothing at all. Then I saw a man and his off-leash dog that was enjoying a romp through the shallows! No birds would stay around with that amount of disturbance. I heard a Pied Oystercatcher flying over and saw a pair of them roosting on the southern side of the point. These were the only birds there also and I wondered if the dog had already enjoyed running along this stretch of beach. Both birds looked as if they were resting but their red eyes were watching me.

Down at the Crab Creek end of the foreshore I was surprised to see a group of Pelicans roosting in shallow water. They were all taking the opportunity for a good preening. (I really like the way the early morning light glints across the water but I find this light creates challenging conditions for photos!)

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


First I want to say thank you for all the very nice and very encouraging comments on my last post. Thanks!
Sometimes life gets a bit difficult. I have recently had to admit that I cannot keep up with all the maintenance on my yard. Bushes turned into trees very quickly and other parts turned into jungle before I could get them into control. Fortunately I found someone that didn't mind coming in now and again and bringing a big saw and taking out the too luxurious growth. The place is looking much better and I can see what used to be there! Last time this fellow was taking out small growth under some trees down the back. "Please be careful around there," I said, "I think there might be some pineapple plants in there somewhere". Yes! And one had fruit on it! This is an amazing climate. Most things grow if you put them into the ground. Pineapples fresh from the farm gate are usually bought with the green bushy tops still on them. A while back I bought some like this and cut the tops off with a little attached flesh under them. These went into the ground and this is the result!

Another problem has been happening recently. A couple of Magpie Larks - Peewees to give them their common name - have decided the yard is theirs and I am just barely tolerated! The cat is not tolerated at all and she is driven away from her food dish! Then, I hear a pathetic little mew which means she needs me to come out and keep her safe. I watched the peewees the other day and they were swooping very low over her to move her on! My dog used to keep such pests well away from the house but I lost her just over a year ago and the birds quickly learnt! Here are the Peewees enjoying my yard - which needs mowing again! The male and female have different color patterns around the head and neck. This is the female...

and this is the male and he is the noisiest and the most aggressive.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday 

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday